CIFOR and CGIAR
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, the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), the International Organization for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), Tropenbos International (TBI), and World Agroforestry (ICRAF). CIFOR’s work is closely aligned with FTA.
CIFOR contributes to many areas of FTA and leads two of the program’s five flagships:
- Flagship 3 on sustainable value chains and investments
- Flagship 5 on climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Highlights from 2018
- Scientists from flagship 3 completed a report on the European Union’s FLEGT legality approaches available for Cameroon.
- As part of flagship 5, scientists completed a major analysis of REDD+, based on evidence from FTA’s Global Comparative Study on REDD+ and other research into REDD+. The results have been published in the book Transforming REDD+.
- An empirical study on gendered opportunities and challenges in Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) in Kenya was conducted and shared with the Kenyan government to inform its national FLR strategy, with findings synthesized into a brief. CIFOR participated in Kenya’s national technical working group on FLR to contribute a gender perspective.
- FTA recommendations on gender indicators for SDG13 on climate change were incorporated in the “Equal Measures 2030” global report. The report referenced FTA’s submission to the UNFCCC’s Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and several FTA studies.
- A series of four videos and associated articles highlighted key issues related to migration in Nepal.
- Based on an FTA submission on gender and climate change to the UNFCCC’s SBI, the IPCC Gender Task Group invited FTA to present at an in-session workshop on gender mainstreaming at the 48th session of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Implementation (UNFCCC SBI).
- FTA published a manual on intersectionality to support scientists in pursuing a deeper and more meaningful analysis of how power relations operate to maintain the marginalization of certain groups of women and men, and of the role research can play in promoting gender and social justice. An FTA webinar on intersectionality, hosted by the Gender Platform, is available as a companion to the manual.
- FTA – Policies, Institutions and Markets (PIM) research (in Uganda, Peru and Indonesia) highlighted in a set of briefs the need to address social differentiation in reforms recognizing collective rights in forestlands, and the relevance of disaggregating results to analyze how formalization processes influence changes in rights for vulnerable groups.
- In response to net-zero deforestation efforts by the world’s largest chocolate companies, CIFOR and partners profiled carbon stocks in cocoa agroforests, finding that cocoa agroforests with a high density of high-economic value industrial timber and non-timber forest products stored 2–3 times more carbon than other management systems.
CIFOR is also a member of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), which addresses the critically important issues of global climate change, agriculture and food security. Led by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), CCAFS is a collaboration among all 15 CGIAR research centers and coordinates with the other CGIAR research programs.
Highlights from 2018
- CIFOR and partners conducted the first in-depth study of the links between the intensification of dairy farming and forest disturbance in the Mau Forest – the country’s largest mountain forest. They found that sustainable intensification of dairy farms in Kenya can help meet the country’s increasing demand for milk on less land, while reducing landscape degradation and enhancing livelihoods. The study is part of the Greening Livestock project led by the International Livestock Research Institute on mitigation of climate change in the livestock sector.
The CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions and Markets (PIM) conducts action-oriented research to provide support for policies that help poor farmers, both men and women, improve their lives. CIFOR’s work contributes to Flagship 5 of PIM, which focuses on enhancing tenure security and governing shared landscapes.
Highlights from 2018
- Based on a review of whether – and how – tenure was considered in the Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM) reports for several tropical countries, researchers recommended creating a tenure-specific diagnostic add-on for the ROAM handbook and for the World Wildlife Fund’s Restoration Diagnostic to help planners identify ways in which a lack rights could undermine the success of restoration efforts.
- Using fisheries as a lens to examine how sustainability can be promoted in complex socio-ecological systems around the world, researchers used a ‘realist synthesis’ approach in a systematic review of marine protected areas to find out what influences people’s willingness to engage in conservation.
- Looking at the profitability side of conservation, researchers explored whether strengthened collective rights is helping communities to overcome barriers to investment in sustainable development enterprises in Nepal, Guatemala, Mexico and Namibia.
- And in Nepal, a country with a long history of forest rights devolution, researchers found that women have stepped into important roles in both community forest user groups and their enterprises – to the benefit of both themselves and to conservation efforts. Forests News documented their stories in a video.
Cows and goats, it turns out, are highly efficient nutrient redistributors in mixed farm-forest landscapes. As part of the Agrarian Change Project, scientists from International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and CIFOR studied a landscape in southern Ethiopia of wheat farms bordered by mountain forests, comparing the productivity of farms based on their distance from the trees.
What they found surprised them. While total productivity was about the same for all farms, those closer to the forest benefited from both crops and livestock. By releasing cows and goats among the trees to graze, farmers gained access to natural fertilizer as the animals brought back nutrients from the forest in the form of manure.
The findings add to a growing body of evidence on how forests and trees contribute to sustainable agricultural production, and can help to boost productivity, resilience, sustainability and social equality.
CIFOR is among the core partners undertaking research for the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE), which aims to help make agri-food systems environmentally and socially sustainable while increasing the resilience of communities and farmers who are part of these systems.