Focus on forest and tree resources: management, conservation, gender & monitoring, and more
Welcometo this March-April 2015 edition of the FTA newsletter, with a focus on “management and conservation of forest and tree resources” (which we call Flagship 2). This research involves over 25 scientists across our 6 partner centers and around the world. We are addressing issues such as strategies for tree population management, conserving germplasm of high-value species, dynamics of managed forests, silviculture and monitoring practices, and equitable access and rights in the use of forest and tree resources. We open this newsletter with the transcript of a conversation between our key scientists, as an exciting way to engage our colleagues in the program and help them share knowledge and insight with each other, and with our readers. Read on for more posts about the dynamics of landscape restoration, new articles and guidelines on genetic resources and diversity, watershed conservation, carbon sequestration in the Amazon, and our centers’ special focus on International Women’s Day and International Day of Forests.
What incentives work to keep trees in agroforestry systems? Does forest certification help to slow down deforestation? What will climate change do to different tree species? How can researchers ensure diversity in gene banks? These are only a few of the topics raised in a discussion by Laura Snook (Bioversity International), Manuel Guariguata (CIFOR), Jenny Ordonez (ICRAF), Jonathan Cornelius (ICRAF), Alice Muchugi (ICRAF), and Evert Thomas (Bioversity International).
How countries govern their farmland and forests plays a large role in the success or failure of land restoration programs. By bringing together the results of studies of forest restoration from around the world, a special issue of the journal Forests provides insight into successes, bottlenecks, and the principles of governance necessary to make reforestation work for nature and for people.
Rather than being confined to the lab, researchers are increasingly aware of the social context within which they work. For this purpose, collecting and analyzing data from both men and women – in combination with qualitative data on men and women’s perspectives – is important to clarify who, what, when, where and why for research programs. Read more about how CIAT has been dealing with social context, gender and politics and women as drivers of positive change.
David Boshier and Judy Loo invite university lecturers and students to put knowledge on forest genetic resources into action with their Forest Genetic Resources Training Guide. They hope that this guide will help bring genetic considerations into mainstream management and conservation of trees, ensuring that treed ecosystems maintain the resilience needed to adapt to changing climates and that forest resources will be sustained for future generations.
The Way Besai watershed in Sumatra, previously the target of disagreement over ownership and management, is now harmonious thanks to an initiative by FTA scientists from the World Agroforestry Centre. The Way Besai watershed is one of the learning landscapes of FTA, a benchmark for best-practice ecosystem services’ co-investment schemes in Indonesia and globally.
With the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) being decided this year, CIFOR took the opportunity on International Day of Forests (21 March) to highlight the importance of forests in this context. Blogs on sustainability in the tropics and lessons from Peru as well as an expert discussion draw attention to the crucial role that forests play in tackling climate change and implementing the SDGs.
A worrying trend has been revealed by a recent study involving 100 researchers, including from CIRAD: the Amazon is losing its capacity to sequester atmospheric carbon. The analysis, described here in French, found that tree mortality rate has increased by more than a third since the mid-1980s. A related article published in Nature shows how the intensity of the carbon sink in Amazonia declined hand-in-hand with the increase in mortality.
CATIE has organized the first training for professionals in Latin America on how to work with the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems. This will help assess the impact of climate change and human development on ecosystems and their various services. This blog in Spanish explains more about the course, co-organized by IUCN and PROVITA.
A monitoring instrument meant to efficiently track changes in resilience in agricultural initiatives for CGIAR Research Programs (especially CCAFS, WLE and FTA) has been freshly updated. Operationalizing the concept of resilience (i.e. the ability to withstand change, stresses and shocks) poses significant challenges for project managers, particularly when required for performance reporting. This instrument aims to balance the demands for tracking and reporting changes in resilience with the scarcity of time and information typical of development initiatives.
FTA scientists also worked on environmental gap analysis to prioritize conservation efforts in eastern Africa. In an article just published in the journal PLoS ONE, they looked at conservation areas and whether these are really representative of the diverse range of species and habitats found in the region. The researchers found considerable differences in the conservation status of potential natural vegetation. The complete datasets are available at VegetationMap4Africa.
CGIAR Research Program – Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (CRP-FTA)
CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry
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.