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Restoration of forest landscapes (Vol.2, Issue 6)

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One of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry’s (FTA) key operational priorities is the restoration of forests and landscapes, involving research on different dimensions and the integration of findings and emerging lessons into policy platforms and governance processes.

The last week of August was “restoration week” for FTA, with the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) in Nairobi, along with two FTA-organized workshops held at the World Agroforestry Centre’s (ICRAF) headquarters, the first of which enabled FTA to plan its activities on restoration for the next three years, while the second – in association with partners from the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE) and the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions and Markets (PIM) and participants from nine CGIAR centers – aimed to enhance synergies and plan joint activities.

GLF Nairobi highlighted how essential restoring the world’s degraded and deforested landscapes is for local communities and the environments they live in. Such work requires approaches that integrate diverse objectives within the forest landscape, including livelihoods, economic development and climate change mitigation and adaptation. FTA participated widely in the GLF, with discussion forums, launchpads and a side event involving partner institutions the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), ICRAF, Bioversity International and Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD).

In this edition, FTA also congratulates its partner institution CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) on 45 years of research and higher education in Latin America and the Caribbean, being celebrated throughout 2018. Other notable occurrences of late include the launch of a new reference book for scientists and producers of cocoa, as well as the Tropical Peatlands Exchange event. Read on to find out more and, while you’re at it, don’t miss FTA’s recently released Annual Report 2017!

Vincent Gitz, FTA Director

Special feature

FTA at GLF Nairobi: Faith in trees restored

imagethumb.jpgThe recent GLF conference, focusing on restoration in Africa, was attended by 800 people from the worlds of research, natural resource management and the private sector, and watched by thousands more online. FTA, for which restoration is a key priority, played major roles in the event, which was held in Nairobi, Kenya, on Aug. 29-30, including as a funding partner, as well as hosting discussions on social inclusion, the Eastern African Forest Observatory, rights and access, sustainable woodfuel, and the Trees for Seeds initiative. Leading into the two days of discussions, CIFOR Director General Robert Nasi gave a keynote speech that queried the limited implementation of restoration, despite landscape degradation bringing huge costs to society and restoration bringing impressive returns. He called for a paradigm change, moving away from seeing restoration as a high-cost activity with no financial returns to landowners and with only environmental benefits, and toward one that provides increased incomes to landowners, creates jobs, and results in ecosystem goods and services for society as a whole.


GLF session acknowledges difference between tree and land tenure, aims to enhance landscapes

imagethumb.jpgTenure rights to trees are entangled with, but different from, those to land, meaning both must be acknowledged to incentivize stewardship of the landscape by local communities. Thus, land tenure rights, which are widely recognized as being central to advancing sustainable development goals, are only one part of the picture, which was one of the main takeaways from the panel Rights, access, and values: trees in shifting economic and political contexts – new insights from sub-Saharan Africa, cohosted by FTA and PIM.

Local communities a driving force behind recovering Africa’s landscapes

imagethumb.jpgEvery year, Africa loses 2.8 million hectares of forest, which is an area roughly the size of Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, two-thirds of its land is degraded. However, as countries mobilize to restore 100 million hectares by 2030 in the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100), local communities are emerging as a driving force behind the movement to recover the continent’s landscapes, who took center stage at GLF Nairobi.

ICRAF works to create transformational change in land management

imagethumb.jpgAhead of GLF Nairobi, ICRAF Director General Tony Simons spoke about the potential he sees for policy change to help make forest landscape restoration work for ecosystems, people and profit across the African continent. Simons also spoke during the Policy Plenary just before the finale of the GLF, which explored how to create enabling environments for transformational change in landscape management in the region.

CATIE marks 45 years of putting knowledge into practice

imagethumb.jpgAs CATIE marks its 45th year, it is continuing to build on its reputation as a renowned research platform and internationally recognized education institution, as well as being a strategic partner of FTA. Remarking on the milestone, CATIE’s Director General Muhammad Ibrahim said the center’s vision over the coming years would focus on offering leadership in the generation of ‘agents of change’ and in search of solutions to challenges facing the region and the world that have been emphasized in the SDGs and by the UNFCCC.

Agricultural research and education combine for tangible results in Latin America

imagethumb.jpgIn light of its standing as a regional research platform and higher education institution, CATIE holds an undeniably important position in Latin America and the Caribbean. The work carried out by CATIE researchers is focused on generating and disseminating knowledge, putting it into practice and encouraging uptake. From restoration to climate change adaptation and mitigation, conservation strategies and silvopastoral systems, the center’s work spans not only numerous countries but also several decades.

Spilling the beans: FTA scientists contribute to new book about sustainable cocoa

imagethumb.jpgWith a distinguished editor and a variety of international experts as authors, including a number from FTA strategic partners CATIE, Bioversity International and CIRAD, the recently launched book Achieving sustainable cultivation of cocoa is considered a new standard reference for scientists and producers of cocoa, and discusses challenges standing in the way of making cocoa crops more efficient and sustainable.

New legislation advances community rights in forest management in Ethiopia

imagethumb.jpgThe Ethiopian government aims to restore 22 million hectares of degraded lands and forests by 2030, to increase tree cover and restore degraded forests, and also to significantly enhance the forestry sector’s contribution to agricultural production systems, water and energy; to improve food and nutritional security; and to create more opportunities for employment and household income. To this end, a new forest law was enacted in January this year that recognizes the rights of communities and acknowledges their role in managing natural forests and establishing plantations, without unduly compromising ecological services or biodiversity.

Hanging in the balance: Preservation, restoration and sustainable management in Indonesian peatlands

imagethumb.jpgThe need to protect remaining peatlands while restoring degraded lands resounded throughout the Tropical Peatlands Exchange. Though only 3 percent of the world’s land area is covered by peatlands, these areas hold high amounts of soil carbon, with a density that underscores their importance and the vested interest in their preservation. With Indonesia being home to some of the world’s largest peatland areas, the country can significantly impact both regional and global environments, markets and livelihoods through its peatland management decisions.

CIFOR now hosts comprehensive REDD+ tool

imagethumb.jpgAn innovative Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) monitoring tool, the International Database on REDD+ Projects and Programs Linking Economic, Carbon and Communities Data (ID-RECCO), is now hosted by CIFOR. Launched in 2013, ID-RECCO highlights 467 subnational REDD+ initiatives from around the world. ID-RECCO was the first tool to gather such a large amount of information on subnational REDD+ initiatives in a comprehensive way, and it continues to evolve.

Sharing risk of blue carbon investment in ‘era of SDGs’

imagethumb.jpgThe Blue Carbon Summit on July 16-17 in Jakarta, Indonesia, showed the importance of increased learning and disseminating new knowledge about coastal ecosystems. During the event, one of the discussion forums – Financing blue carbon development – honed in on these at-risk ecosystems, looking in particular at the payment mechanisms needed to keep blue carbon intact. The public and private sectors must join forces to finance blue carbon, in order to reap social, environmental and economic returns from the ecosystems, speakers concurred.

Banner photo by O. Girard/CIFOR. Special feature and news photos, from top, by: GLF; O. Girard/CIFOR; P. Shepherd/CIFOR; A. Mamo/ICRAF; CATIE; CATIE; O. Girard/CIFOR; O. Girard/CIFOR; A. Erlangga/CIFOR; I. Cooke Vieira/CIFOR; M. Edliadi/CIFOR.

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Annual Report


CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) Annual Report 2017



Achieving sustainable cultivation of cocoa


What is REDD+ achieving on the ground?


A global strategy for the conservation and use of coconut genetic resources 2018-2028

Certifying Environmental Social Responsibility: Special Issue


A personal take on forest landscapes restoration in Africa

What is the impact of out-migration for employment purposes on peoples and land?

Emergent dynamics of migration and their potential effects on forest and land use in North Kalimantan, Indonesia

Migration, property rights and livelihoods on Peruvian forest frontiers

Nature-based vs. technological approaches to adaptation to climate change in the Peruvian Andes

Conflict in collective land and forest formalization: a preliminary analysis


Robert Nasi’s opening remarks at GLF Nairobi 2018

Social inclusion, equity and rights in the context of restoration – lessons from the ground

Trees for Seeds, a foundation for resilient restoration

Peatlands and climate change at the Tropical Peatlands Exchange 2018


Peatlands and ecosystem services at the Tropical Peatlands Exchange 2018


Global Land Forum Conference
Sept. 22 – 29, 2018
Bandung, Indonesia

Science Forum 2018
Oct. 10-12, 2018
Stellenbosch, South Africa

4th International Conference on Planted Forests
Oct. 23-27, 2018
Beijing, China

The CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) is the world’s largest research for development program to enhance the role of forests, trees and agroforestry in sustainable development and food security and to address climate change. CIFOR leads FTA in partnership with Bioversity International, CATIE, CIRAD, ICRAF, INBAR and TBI.

FTA thanks all funders who supported this research through their contributions to the CGIAR Trust Fund.

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