c.watson@cgiar.org'

Cathy Watson

Cathy Watson is chief of programme development at the World Agroforestry Centre in Nairobi. Before joining ICRAF in November 2012, she founded and ran two NGOs in Uganda -- Straight Talk Foundation and Mvule Trust. She was made a senior Ashoka fellow for social entrepreneurship in 2006. She has also been a foreign correspondent, working for The Guardian and the BBC, among others. A graduate in biology and Latin American Studies from Princeton, she has over 30 years of work experience in Africa with a focus on trees, youth, HIV, families, and communication for social change. She holds a graduate certificate in agroforestry from the University of Missouri.

‘Income that surpasses the waiting’: in dire need of trees, Malawi tries woodlots, bees, bamboo

Success in rejuvenating land through forest-based enterprises has had dramatic outcomes for farmers. In the late afternoon in the highlands of Malawi, the air is chilly as the sun descends. But the welcome is warm. A group of...

Agroforestry at 40: how tree-farm science has changed the world

“Agroforestry” – the practice of having trees as part of farms – is as old as agriculture itself. But as a field of scientific enquiry and policy making, it’s now marking its 40th birthday.

Agroforestry at 40: The institutional evolution of World Agroforestry in research, development, policy and delivery

The institutional evolution of World Agroforestry for the two thousand and tens decade is a combined outcome of sound planning and serendipity.

Why planting trees on farms benefits farmers under a changing climate

Shifting from conventional farms to agroforestry farms brings various benefits to communities as they face the threat of a changing climate. Agroforestry, the practice of planting trees and crops in the same area, may serve as a sustainable...

Trees on farms contributing to post-2020 biodiversity framework

  As countries wrapped up discussion at CBD COP 14 in Sharm el Sheik, Egypt, the Trees on Farms for Biodiversity team reflected on what was needed to accelerate action towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and to contribute...

Refining honey production through investing in bee houses

  Farmers in Uganda are learning new ways of managing their bees, avoiding conflict and making more money thanks to the help of an ‘innovation platform’   “When we decided to build a bee house, fellow community members...

How to grow a bamboo industry

The Indonesian bamboo industry is underdeveloped and missing opportunities. More support is needed.

Cracking the candlenut challenge

Candlenut in West and East Nusa Tenggara provinces in Indonesia can potentially provide additional income for farmers but post-harvest handling is necessary.   If you visit the Indonesian provinces of West or East Nusa Tenggara (collectively called Nusa...

Forestry ministry calls for help to transfer 12.7 million hectares to communities

  The Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry has called on civil society organizations to help speed the handover of forest rights to communities. Despite valiant efforts in the last two years to overcome the complexities of community...

Winners and losers in tree domestication: the agarwood story

  A forest tree is being domesticated that produces a substance as valuable as gold. But it’s not as simple as it might seem.   Domestication of forest products that are overharvested in the wild is expected to...

ASEAN foresters need closer integration

Representatives of several ASEAN member states agreed that closer integration of community forestry across the region would help to improve farmers’ livelihoods, trade and environmental management. The representatives from Indonesia, Thailand and Viet Nam discussed the achievements and...

A world with trees but without the word forest – a thought experiment

The recent paper “China’s fight to halt tree cover loss” carefully avoided the word ‘forest’ in its title. It challenged the various definitions of forest that may cause more confusion than necessary, and preferred the more objectively observable...