Twenty-five years of transformations for impact in Southeast Asia
The Southeast Asia region of the World Agroforestry Centre celebrated its 25th anniversary with a knowledge-sharing seminar in Bogor, Indonesia
The largest region of ICRAF The World Agroforestry Centre, Southeast Asia, was established in 1993 and has worked diligently ever since to support countries in the region achieve their national development targets in sustainable landscape and natural resources management across agriculture and forestry sectors, deploying its skilled staff to address critical challenges through research in development.
To celebrate its 25th anniversary, 150 friends and supporters gathered at the regional office in Bogor, Indonesia on 24 May 2017 to share past, present and future topics on research in development and learn more about ICRAF’s achievements, particularly in Indonesia, the region’s largest country program.
The Government of Indonesia has been the generous host of the Centre’s regional office through its Forestry and Environmental Research, Development and Innovation Agency of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. The director-general of the Agency, Henry Bastaman, said through his representative, Agus Fahmuddin, that ICRAF staff were ‘experts at taking research into action’. He noted the importance of ICRAF’s distinction between ‘land sparing’ and ‘land sharing’, that is, providing research results that showed that integrated, multifunctional landscapes were more likely to achieve multiple goals of forest conservation, increased agricultural productivity and improved livelihoods for farmers as opposed to ‘spared’ landscapes that attempted to conserve natural resources through exclusion. Further, he said, ICRAF had enabled the Agency to understand that the benefits of agroforestry were much greater than the costs of establishment, so much so that agroforestry was now a feature of the Government’s allocation of 12.7 million hectares of state forest land to community management. He also noted the Agency’s active partnership with ICRAF on the Development of Timber and Non-timber Forest Products’ Production and Market Strategies for Improvement of Smallholders’ Livelihoods in Indonesia project, funded by the Australian Centre for Agricultural Research. The project has sites in Sumbawa, West Timor and Central Java.
‘We must work and learn together through an integrated process’, quoted Fahmuddin. ‘Together everyone achieves more. ICRAF has supported the development of our national agroforestry research policy, land assessments, multi-scale spatial analyses, negotiation-support tools, payments for environmental services’ regulations, climate-change adaptation, bioenergy research and improved watershed functions’.
The renewed memorandum of understanding between the Government of Indonesia and ICRAF was formally handed to Ravi Prabhu, deputy director of research for ICRAF, for signature by the director general, Tony Simons.
The seminar featured division into three separate but intimately linked sessions based around the paradigms of agroforestry: 1) Enhancing plot productivity and livelihoods’ benefits through agroforestry; 2) Landscapes and ecosystem services; and 3) Policy interface. All sessions began with presentations on the topic by researchers followed by a panel discussion.
Session 1 saw presentations on the topics of maintaining soil health and increasing the productivity of agroforestry systems by Kurniatun Hairiah of Brawijaya University in Malang; simulation models to assess interactions in agroforestry systems by Rachmat Mulia from ICRAF Viet Nam; enhancing the capacity of agroforestry farmers through nurseries of excellence and entrepreneurship by Aulia Perdana of ICRAF Indonesia; and smallholder agroforestry for livelihoods and markets by Delia Catacutan of ICRAF Viet Nam. The session was immediately followed by the launch of Agroforestry in rice-production landscapes: a practical manual, co-published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and ICRAF. A panel discussion followed on the topic of ‘enhancing plot productivity and livelihoods benefits of agroforestry’ with Achmad Muzakir Fagi, former director of the Food Crops Research Institute and ASB Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins Indonesia, Didik Suprayogo of Brawijaya University, and Gede Wibawa, director of research at the Tree Crops Research Institute.
The second session, on landscapes and ecosystem services, featured presentations on the topics of indicators of watershed function by Lisa Tanika from ICRAF Indonesia; carbon footprints of biofuel from oil-palm systems by Ni’matul Khasanah, also from ICRAF Indonesia; peatland restoration with paludiculture by Hesti Tata Lestari of the Forestry and Environmental Research, Development and Innovation Agency; and land-use planning for multiple environmental services by Andree Ekadinata, ICRAF Indonesia. This was also followed by a panel discussion on the topic of ‘agroforestry policy interface’, featuring NP Rahadian of Rekonvasi Bhumi, Desi Kusumadewi of IDH the sustainable trade initiative, Fainta Negoro of Danone, and Medrilzam of the Ministry of National Development Planning.
The third session addressed the policy interface, with presentations on the topics of social forestry for conflict resolution by Gamma Galudra, ICRAF Indonesia; strategic environmental assessments by Laksmi Wijayanti, Ministry of Environment and Forestry; co-investment in ecosystem services and learning landscapes by Peter Minang, ASB Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins; and lessons learned from green-growth planning in South Sumatra by Sonya Dewi, Country Coordinator ICRAF Indonesia.
Finally, the day’s discussions were summarized by Meine van Noordwijk, Chief Science Advisor for ICRAF globally followed by a closing discussing on agroforestry’s contribution to Agenda 2030 SDG agenda with partners Wiratno and Sagita Arhidani from the ASEAN Working Group on Social Forestry, Steven Lawry from the Center for International Forestry Research, Edi Purwanto from Tropenbos Indonesia, Bustanul Arifi from the University of Lampung and Retno Maryani from the Forestry and Environmental Research, Development and Innovation Agency.
ICRAF The World Agroforestry Centre is one of the 15 members of the CGIAR, a global partnership for a food-secure future. We thank all donors who support research in development through their contributions to the CGIAR Fund.