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Reducing poverty, ensuring food and nutrition security for all, addressing climate change, protecting natural resources and ecosystem services, and achieving sustainable production and consumption are among the greatest challenges of our time, from the local level to a global scale. The CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) is the world’s largest research for development partnership recognizing that forests, trees and agroforestry are central to solving these challenges.

Partnerships are critical to achieving research outputs and outcomes at scale for FTA. Codesigning, implementing and delivering FTA research together with strategic partners enhances FTA’s internal capacity to generate demand-driven and relevant research results.

In carrying out its research, FTA is led by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), in partnership with Bioversity InternationalCATIE (the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center), the Agricultural Research Center for International Development (CIRAD), the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), Tropenbos International (TBI), and the World Agroforestry (ICRAF), and links with dozens of scientific and development institutions.

Strategic partners

  • Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)

    CIFOR is a non-profit, scientific institution that conducts research on the most pressing challenges of forest and landscape management around the world. Using a global, multidisciplinary approach, CIFOR aims to improve human wellbeing, protect the environment, and increase equity. To do so, CIFOR conducts innovative research, develops partners’ capacity, and actively engages in dialogue with all stakeholders to inform policies and practices that affect forests and people. CIFOR’s work falls into the six thematic areas of forests and human wellbeing; sustainable landscapes and food; equal opportunities, gender, justice and tenure; climate change, energy and low-carbon development; value chains, finance and investment; and forest management and restoration. CIFOR is the lead center of FTA, and its Board of Trustees (BoT) retains overall strategic and programmatic responsibility for FTA, as well as fiduciary responsibility regarding the use of its program-level resources. CIFOR’s headquarters are in Indonesia, with offices in Cameroon, Kenya and Peru, and conducts research in more than 50 countries.

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  • Bioversity International

    Bioversity International is a global research-for-development organization with a vision that agricultural biodiversity nourishes people and sustains the planet. Bioversity International delivers scientific evidence, management practices and policy options to use and safeguard agricultural and tree biodiversity to attain sustainable global food and nutrition security. In terms of its involvement with FTA, Bioversity International’s tree genetic resources research focuses on documenting the diversity within tree species that are important for people, analyzing the threats to trees and their genetic resources and learning how these threats can be addressed to achieve their conservation and sustainable use in protected areas, managed forests and woodlands. In addition, its participatory research on gender and forest genetic resources focuses on women’s and men’s distinct and complementary sets of knowledge, skills, practices and preferences related to forest management and conservation, and on gendered rights to access and benefit from trees and their products. Bioversity International works in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, Peru, Thailand and Vietnam. It is involved in a diversity of activities across all of FTA’s main priorities, with scientists involved in research across all flagships. Specifically, Bioversity International’s work focuses on flagships 1, 3 and 4, as well as the cross-cutting themes of gender equality and MELIA.

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  • CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center)

    CATIE, as an international entity with a unique combination of science, graduate education and innovation for development, has its bases well-covered and a clear action plan for creating professionals with distinct perspectives who can also contribute to the sustainable growth of communities. As a regional center, CATIE is dedicated to research and graduate education in agriculture, and the management, conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. CATIE works on food security, forest management, gender, agroforestry, value chains and agribusiness, sustainable livestock production, environmental economics, and the territorial approach. CATIE has the most valuable forest seed bank and most important germplasm collection of coffee, cocoa, fruits, flowers and vegetables in Central America. CATIE provides FTA with a solid science-based approach across the diverse communities in which it engages, and also the applicability and transfer of that knowledge to relevant countries and communities through the development of projects and pilot programs. Geographically, CATIE works across Central America, as well as in Bolivia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Mexico. CATIE is involved in FTA flagships 3, 4 and 5.

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  • Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD)

    CIRAD is the French agricultural research and international cooperation organization working for the sustainable development of tropical and Mediterranean regions. CIRAD works with its partners in Southern countries to generate and pass on new knowledge to support agricultural development. It puts its scientific and institutional expertise at the disposal of policymakers in those countries and in global debates on the main issues concerning agriculture. It also supports French scientific diplomacy operations. Currently, CIRAD’s activities with FTA include understanding the impact of human activities and particularly logging on forest ecology and dynamics; the promotion of zero deforestation policies and guidelines particularly in the Brazilian Amazon; agroforestry; forest governance and policy; and forest landscape restoration. CIRAD works in the three main continents where tropical forests occur: tropical Latin America (Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, French Guiana, Peru), tropical Africa (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Republic of Congo) and Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam). CIRAD is involved in all FTA flagships, and particularly in flagships 2, 3 and 5.

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  • International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation (INBAR)

    INBAR is a multilateral development organization which promotes environmentally sustainable development using bamboo and rattan. It supports its members to include bamboo and rattan in their sustainable development action plans and green economy strategies. INBAR connects a global network of partners from government, the private sector and non-governmental organizations to promote a global agenda for sustainable development using bamboo and rattan. INBAR strongly promotes South-South cooperation for research, technology and knowledge transfer, making a real difference to the lives of millions of people and to environments around the world, with a focus on areas such as improving smallholder livelihoods; climate change mitigation and adaptation; environmental security and landscape restoration; national economic development in the public and private sectors; capacity building at local, national and international levels; value-chain, market, trade and industry development; and supporting national policy and strategy development. INBAR has over 40 member countries, and offices in China, Ethiopia, Ecuador, India, and Ghana. It is currently implementing bamboo development activities in Cameroon, China, Ecuador, Ethiopia, India, Ghana, Liberia, Madagascar, Nepal, Peru, the Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam and Kenya. Its activities have direct relevance to all five FTA flagships, and INBAR is currently involved in flagships 4 and 5.

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  • Tropenbos International (TBI)

    TBI positions itself as a boundary organization and knowledge broker. It links policy with knowledge, policymakers with corporate and community practitioners, and Northern with Southern actors and agendas. TBI’s theory of change emphasizes the role of evidence-based multistakeholder dialogue in making knowledge work toward achieving sustainable and equitable governance and management of forested landscapes in the global South. TBI sees forested landscapes as the level of scale where competing claims for land and resources from outsiders intersect with the interests and livelihoods of local people. TBI enhances the linkages between high-level research with national-level policies and landscape-level practices and supports collaborative action for that purpose, utilizing its national programs and networks. Through building bridges, creating spaces for dialogue between policymakers, local businesses, civil society organizations and scientists, TBI aims to support the uptake and impact of the cutting-edge research of FTA. TBI contributes to shaping the FTA research agenda by articulating the needs, wishes and demands from a wide range of actors at the national level, to ensure that research results have an impact at national and local levels. TBI works in South America (Bolivia, Colombia, Suriname), Africa (Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Uganda) and Asia (Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam). TBI works on sustainable land use, inclusive governance, and responsible business and finance within flagships 3, 4 and 5.

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  • World Agroforestry (ICRAF)

    ICRAF is a center of scientific excellence that harnesses the benefits of trees for people and the environment. Leveraging the world’s largest repository of agroforestry science and information, ICRAF develops knowledge and practices, from farmers’ fields to the global sphere, to ensure food security and environmental sustainability. ICRAF carries out research and activities such as:

    • Safeguarding genetic diversity, domestication and planting material delivery, in terms of tree genetic resources
    • Systems analysis, synthesis and scaling, smallholder timber, food and fuel production and marketing, tree-crop commodities and silvopastoral systems, in terms of smallholder livelihoods
    • Global value chain analysis
    • Forest or tree cover transition framework, spatial gradients and shared global drivers, and an ecosystem services and multiple capitals perspective on tradeoffs between provisioning services and the regulating, cultural and supportive services that tend to be externalities of decision-making, in terms of landscape dynamics, productivity and resilience
    • Community forests and financing to improve livelihoods and land use, climate information services, local governance and adaptation solutions to climate change, ecosystem resilience, reducing land-based emissions and greening the economy

    ICRAF’s work spans East and Southern Africa, West and Central Africa, South and Southeast Asia and Latin America. ICRAF is involved in FTA’s five flagships as well as the program’s cross-cutting themes of gender, MELIA and capacity development.

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