Multifunctional Agriculture: Achieving Sustainable Development in Africa

A practical, appropriate and effective solution to Africa’s food and nutritional insecurity has alluded everyone for over 100 years1. Since colonial days, conventional thinking has been based on the misconception that what works in temperate latitudes must work...

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...

What stories can a pixel tell?: monitoring landscape changes through remote sensing

A monitoring system has the potential to help governments, research organizations and other groups detect changes in landscapes, such as deforestation and establishment of oil palm plantations.   Representatives from government agencies, research organizations and academe in the...

Cool insights for a hot world: trees and forests recycle water

Anyone who has walked outside on a sunny day knows that forests and trees matter for temperature, humidity and wind speed. Planting trees speaks to concerns about climate change, but the directly important aspects of the tree-climate relationships...

Latest Agroforestry Species Switchboard offers additional plant databases

By Roeland Kindt and Ian Dawson The Agroforestry Species Switchboard is a “one-stop-shop” to retrieve data about a particular plant species across a wide range of information sources. Its objective is to provide information that supports research on...

From Paris to Marrakech: forests, climate change and REDD+ in Southeast Asia

The implications of international agreements on the ten countries that make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and their extensive forests was explained at an Experts Dialogue in Indonesia   The Paris Agreement is a global deal...

Research cuts a potential new path to faster, cheaper tropical forest restoration: Thinning

[dropcap]A[/dropcap] common way to restore a degraded forest is to plant seedlings and nurture these into full trees. Indeed, to most people restoration and tree-planting (with native species) are virtually synonymous. Planting and nurturing tree seedlings over a...

Nipa-Nipa reserve saved by multilateral alliance of government, farmers and NGOs

  Nearly 18 years after the establishment of the Nipa-Nipa Grand Forest Park conservation area in Southeast Sulawesi Province, Indonesia, new, broadly-supported legislation marks the beginning of its collaborative management and the end of a lengthy democratic process....

Dr Happiness Osebele, geneticist and mother of five, one of 29 senior plant breeders from around Africa attending the African Plant Breeding Academy in July 2016 at ICRAF. Photo: World Agroforestry Centre/Catharine Watson

How Happiness is breeding plants for Africa’s future

  Plant breeders are improving food plants and building a more food-secure future for Africa. One has been working at it all her life despite early challenges.   A plant breeder called Happiness spent 17 months trying to...

Seeing swidden

Swidden aka shifting cultivation has long been criticised as an unsustainable agricultural practice in Southeast Asia. Research is revealing its complexities and benefits   Swiddening, that is, the practice of clearing forest for annual crops and then managing...

Coffee growing under forest remnants in Ladalia. Dispersed in crop fields and pastures or planted in lines, trees are a conspicuous element in agricultural landscapes. Photo C Watson/ICRAF

In Nicaragua, a staggering diversity and density of trees on farms

Nicaragua is making progress. Although it is among the poorest countries in Latin America by GDP, its economy has grown by 4% a year for a decade. It is also ranked the sixth-safest country on the sub-continent. To...

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