How to reach global goals while meeting local needs
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Sloping Lands in Transition (SLANT)
China, Ethiopia, Nepal
Knowledge and Tools for Forest Landscape Restoration project (Know-for-FLR)
Partners in China
Forestry Economics and Development Research of People’s Republic of China (FEDRC)
How to reach global goals while meeting local needs
Lessons from forest landscape restoration in Asia and Africa
Nearly 20 years after devastating floods hit China’s Yangtze and Yellow River basins, the landscape has been transformed. Deforestation on the steep hillsides set in train a perfect storm of events in 1998 when drought was followed by heavy rains. Thousands of people lost their lives and at least 13.2 million people were displaced, amid widespread erosion damage.
The Chinese Government responded swiftly, setting up the Conversion of Cropland to Forests Program (CCFP), the world’s largest payment for ecosystem services reforestation initiative. Since 1999, upstream farmers have restored 30 million hectares of sloping lands with trees and grasses in 25 Chinese provinces, in exchange for seeds, training and subsidies to cover lost farm income.
As countries around the world rise to the Bonn Challenge of restoring 150 million hectares of forest by 2020, China’s experience holds valuable lessons on how to attain global targets while safeguarding rural livelihoods.
In 2016, as part of the DfID KNOWFOR-funded Sloping Lands in Transition (SLANT) project on forest landscape restoration, CIFOR brought together Chinese, Nepali, Ethiopian and global researchers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Beijing, China to share insights from the CCFP, Nepal’s community forestry initiatives, and Ethiopia’s experiences with exclosures and participatory restoration models.
Restoration is learning by practice. You can’t define it from the start, but need to learn it step by step. To learn that you need to monitor, and document it for the next generation.
Emiru Birhane, PhD, Professor at Mekelle University, Ethiopia, on drawing lessons from China’s experience
Applying a gender lens
Ensuring that agencies have clear, useful data is the first step to creating programs that are balanced and fair. CIFOR’s gender team helped develop new questions and methods for China’s national monitoring surveys to paint a clearer picture of what helps or hinders access to benefits for women, youth and minority groups.
Spreading the word
CIFOR scientists shared insights from their research on the CCFP and from the meetings in Ethiopia and China at global conferences throughout 2016.
It is really time for developing countries to learn from each other‘s experiences in forest landscape restoration... and discuss their cooperation.
Xie Chen, PhD, FEDRC, on a IUFRO Asia-Oceania conference panel
In 2013, CIFOR was invited to partner with the China National Forest Economics and Development Research Center (FEDRC), the think tank responsible for monitoring and evaluating the program’s impacts, to support the analysis of their nationwide dataset and offer policy recommendations. Results from this collaborative effort are summed up in a systematic review published under CIFOR’s Evidence-based Forestry Initiative.
More information is needed about factors that may affect smallholders’ willingness to abandon farming on cleared slopes and instead gain their livelihood through trees over the long term. Policy makers are also keen to know more about the effects of CCFP on climate change mitigation and adaptation, conservation and ecosystem services.
With support from FEDRC and the State Forestry Administration, CIFOR established a partnership with the National Science Foundation of China. In 2016, the Foundation created a new funding instrument for Chinese scientists to collaborate with CIFOR on research related to forest landscape restoration, through an annual call for proposals for up to $500,000 per project.
The world is gearing up for action on climate change and sustainable
2016, CIFOR research showed how putting landscapes and forests at the fore can
promote integrated action with better outcomes for human well-being, equity and
Stepping up to the new climate and development agenda
Our new ten-year strategy evolved from a deep understanding of the many ways
contributes to sustainable development. Our work is grounded by a three-pillar approach that
spans six thematic work areas, which are aligned with the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development
CIFOR and the SDGs
FOREST & HUMAN WELL-BEING
SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPES & FOOD
EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES, GENDER, JUSTICE & TENURE
CLIMATE CHANGE, ENERGY & LCD
VALUE CHAINS, FINANCE & INVESTMENTS
FOREST MANAGEMENT & RESTORATION
GLOBAL LANDSCAPES FORUM
CIFOR by the numbers
Pillar 1. Research for impact
204 Journal articles: 60% in Open Access journals
Visit through Google Books:
25% increase from 2015
Pillar 2. Capacity development
Pillar 3. Outreach and engagement
Memoranda of understanding
Letters of agreement
with strong gender focus
events organized or supported, with
times on Forests News
times on Forests News
CIFOR’s contribution to the global policy dialogue gained more international recognition this year.
out of 100 top Climate Think Tanks
International Center for Climate Governance
out of 95 top Environment Policy Think Tanks
Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program: Global Go To Think Tank Index Report
CIFOR and its partners contribute to the following global processes, frameworks, panels and conventions:
CIFOR launched a set of key performance indicators in 2016 to chart our impact through research, capacity development and engagement, and to measure our operational performance.
Where we work
Climate change, energy and low carbon development
Sustainable landscapes & food
Forest management & restoration
Forest and human well-being
Equal opportunities, gender, justice and tenure
Value chains, finance and investments
Gender across CIFOR’s work
CIFOR takes a rights-based approach to gender equality. Beyond the simple recognition that failing to understand local-level gender dynamics can skew research findings, we ground our work in the idea that all humans deserve an equal opportunity to thrive. Understanding gender dynamics is both a focus of specific research projects and a key aspect in all of CIFOR’s activities.
Things are still framed in terms of women as victims of climate change. This whole stereotyping needs to shift, and we should really focus on gender quality and women's' empowerment as a goal in their own right, not because victims need to be saved
Under the Paris Agreement, countries are ramping up to meet their climate change commitments while also moving toward their Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets. CIFOR is working at the nexus of climate change, energy and low-carbon development to deliver integrated ecological, social and economic information to policy makers and practitioner communities in these countries. We also support, with information, analysis and tools, actors working in the international climate policy arena.
Forest communities have an intimate understanding of their natural resources and can manage them effectively – if they have the rights to their land and gain benefit from forests and trees. Women hold much of this knowledge and, when they are free to make key decisions, can help transform the physical and cultural landscape. And when land and forest tenure laws are clear, local and international investors will help sustainable forest-based enterprises grow.
CIFOR is working to help countries meet their restoration targets, as momentum builds for the Bonn Challenge, the World Resources Institute Initiative 20×20 and other global plans to restore millions of hectares of forest by 2020. Focusing on two main areas, diversified forest management and forest landscape restoration, this work aims to address factors that help or hinder rural people’s access to forest resources and to find more equitable ways to manage forests for better productivity.
Tens of millions of rural households in tropical countries gain significant income, food, fuel and shelter from forests. But this fact is often underappreciated or ignored by strict conservation approaches and poverty-reduction policies. This can lead to missed opportunities and unintended consequences that further drive forest loss and undercut rural livelihoods. A better understanding of how forests contribute to human well-being will give policy makers the evidence base they need to make effective decisions that support both forests and people.
One billion people worldwide rely to varying degrees on forests for food and income. Wild meat and freshwater fish are essential to the diets of some vulnerable rural communities. And both subsistence and industrial farming systems depend on trees and forests for water and climate regulation, pollination and pest control. As competition for land grows, countries are looking for strategies to lower poverty while building environmental resilience. Landscape approaches have the potential to resolve local challenges and meet national commitments.
The current push by private sector companies, governments and financial services providers to promote and invest in activities that contribute to sustainable development and reduce pressures on forests is driving a transformation in how timber, palm oil, soy, sugar and beef are produced. CIFOR aims to facilitate innovations in public policy, business models, private investments and finance to stimulate the sustainable and inclusive supply of timber from natural and planted forests, enhance sustainable production of high-value tree crops and reduce the impacts of agricultural expansion in forests.
CIFOR advances human well-being, equity and environmental integrity by conducting innovative research, developing partners’ capacity, and actively engaging in dialogue with all stakeholders to inform policies and practices that affect forests and people. CIFOR is a CGIAR Research Center, and leads the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA). Our headquarters are in Bogor, Indonesia, with offices in Nairobi, Kenya, Yaounde, Cameroon, and Lima, Peru.
CIFOR leads the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry
CIFOR is currently a member of these CGIAR Research Programs:
CIFOR’s work is possible thanks to the financial support of our Funding Partners and the collaboration
of our Strategic Partners. We work closely with a range of local and international organizations
and institutions to deliver research projects with the greatest potential impact.