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...

Riparian vegetation and landscape in Mongolia, a country where freshwater resources are scarce. © Alexander Buck.Riparian vegetation and landscape in Mongolia, a country where freshwater resources are scarce. © Alexander Buck.

Pay more attention to forests to avert global water crisis, researchers urge

According to a new report, the growing human population and climate change are exacerbating a looming global water crisis that has already hit home in places like Australia’s Murray Darling basin — but the crisis could potentially be...

Mekong Expert Group on Agroforestry

A new network of agroforestry experts is forming in the Mekong region to share knowledge about agroforestry for food and nutrition security, sustainable agriculture and land restoration. The establishment of the Expert Group is timely, coming as the...

Agroforest landscapes to reduce the risk of floods?

There is a lack of evidence of the effects of trees on reducing, or worsening, floods. Arguments continue about whether the research results that do exist from small-scale studies also apply at larger scales. A new technique is...

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...

Connecting the dots between forests, water and climate

More than 500 people from around the world tuned in on 21 and 22 March 2017 to Cool Insights for a Hot World, a virtual symposium to engage with scientists in a discussion about the links between forests,...

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...

Success factors for land and water management in Africa

At present, large expanses of land in rural Africa are degraded as a result of over extraction of trees for timber, firewood and charcoal. The problem is exacerbated by poor crop and animal husbandry practices, such as growing...

From Sumba to Sulawesi: farmers learn from success

Ever wondered what farmers get out of talking with other farmers? Two projects in eastern Indonesia have brought farmers together to learn and inspire.   A group of farmers from the dry island of Sumba, Indonesia visited neighbouring...

Agroforests expanding across landscapes in Northwest Viet Nam

After five years, the proven benefits of agroforestry have inspired farmers to expand from plots to entire landscapes.   By Nguyen Anh Thu and Tran Ha My   A project in the harsh environment of Northwest Viet Nam,...

An agroforestry view on crop modelling

Global food and development policies are increasingly being supported by crop models, but current modelling approaches are unfit for this purpose. The models in use, many of which were developed in the 1970s and 1980s for high-input monoculture...