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Land restoration in Africa builds momentum

Hundreds of delegates from across Africa and the world met recently at the Global Landscapes Forum in Nairobi, intent on working together to help restore land. During 29–30 August 2018, delegates from governments, donor agencies, development organizations, research...

Agroforestry could make agriculture emissions-neutral by 2050

At a defining conference centred around the forthcoming ASEAN Guidelines for Agroforestry Development, participants heard that integrating more trees into farming systems will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help farmers adapt to climate change.   Agroforestry is a...

Restoring degraded tropical dryland in extreme conditions: the case of Sumba Island

Sumba in eastern Indonesia has been almost totally deforested, has only patches of thin soil on limestone savannahs and a wet season that has contracted to three months a year. Farmers have been struggling to survive yet nonetheless...

Empowering farmers, sustaining changes

  Farmers on Sumba Island struggle through a nine-month dry season on degraded land. But they are committed to learning how to restore their island to its once verdant and productive state.  Sumba Island in East Nusa Tenggara...

Women in Kenya improve their families’ food security through simple land-restoration technology

Despite challenges from both the land and society, women in Kenya are taking control of their farms, with impressive results. Following a previous article on the topic, we delve deeper into a farming technique that is alleviating food...

Researchers sharing results of discussions at Humidtropics Central Mekong Action Area 2016 planning meeting in Hanoi, Viet Nam, November 2015. Photo by Lisa Hiwasaki/ICRAF

Lessons from an integrated systems research program in Central Mekong

A new book offers insights and recommendations to support researchers targeting smallholder farmers with integrated agricultural systems innovations. Innovations for agricultural intensification—for instance adding fruit trees to farms and intercropping—can sustainably increase smallholder farmers’ production. But for greater...

Engaging marginalized groups in the Greater Mekong region through action research

A new publication offers researchers guidelines on how best to engage with marginalized, ethnic-minority farming communities in the Greater Mekong region, so that research innovations reach and benefit their lives and livelihoods. Titled “Guidelines to engage with marginalized...

‘Tis the season for frankincense, a suitable restoration tree for the Horn of Africa

There’s one more reason to be jolly this season: the frankincense tree—source of one of the precious gifts of the Magi in the Christmas story—is being called “a suitable tree species for use in dryland restoration under a...

While raising crop yields, African thorn tree Faidherbia albida captures large amounts of carbon

A large, old Faidherbia albida tree with a metre-plus diameter stored the equivalent of the CO2 emitted by 8 cars over one year. These useful trees play an important role in carbon sequestration, a critical part of the...

The ‘hidden’ biodiversity sustaining our agricultural systems

The term ‘biodiversity’ conjures up images of trees, plants, insects and mammals, which are increasingly recognized as important in sustaining agricultural landscapes. But what of the biodiversity which exists under the ground? How important is this to agricultural...

Success in thirsty Sumba a challenge for researchers

Dryland tropical agroforestry is a little-researched area that is likely to be increasingly in demand as climate patterns change. Researchers on the island of Sumba in Indonesia are working hard and fast to meet the challenges.   Sumba’s...

Of Trees and Banks

by Catherine Ky-Dembele and Ake Mamo In the drylands of Mali, adoption of tree based food banks is creating big impressions in farmers’ lives. When we think of food security, it is specters of food shortage and bags...

For more and better-quality food production, take care of pollinators

The evidence is clear: For big gains in crop production, our landscapes must become more hospitable to some of the planet’s littlest creatures— its pollinators. Bees, birds, butterflies, moths and some small mammals transfer pollen from flower to...

Reaching the ‘how’ of landscape restoration: experts from ICRAF, IUCN discuss in Paris

As climate negotiators wrangled in Paris towards the historic agreement this December, scientists and policy makers elsewhere in the city were equally fixated on landscapes and how to restore them. Landscape restoration locks up carbon in the soil...