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Towards a global centre of excellence for mining restoration

The scale of mining activities today is greater than ever but so are its environmental and social impacts. Over the past few decades mining has contributed to millions of hectares of land degradation worldwide. Open-pit mining transforms productive...

Put Soils First, African Soil Seminar concludes

For three days, the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) was abuzz with stakeholders concerned about the state and fate of Africa’s soils. Over 150 government, UN and NGO officials, researchers, agricultural technology providers and human rights advocates were attending...

Fresh water, the reward of land restoration, flows in Ethiopia’s dry zone

Success stories of how land restoration has transformed landscapes and livelihoods in four watersheds of Tigray, Northern Ethiopia Fresh water — its availability or lack thereof— is a powerful signal of the health of an ecosystem. On a...

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

A 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...

What will it take to restore 100 million hectares of land in Africa?

Never before in the history of mankind have we been challenged to shape our own survival —Wanjira Mathai The challenge is massive, but so is the promise. Healing 100 million hectares of degraded and deforested land in Africa...

Resilient productivity: growing enough safe food for a rising population in Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa has huge potential for food production, but factors including land degradation and unreliable rainfall mean that this potential remains largely underused. There is still a large gap between actual and potential annual yields, resulting in recurrent...

The banyan tree, Ficus benghalensis in Hawaii. Photo ©Mike Shanahan

Fig trees throw down a lifeline to a healthier planet

Fig trees were here when dinosaurs first roamed the planet. And today, just as they did 80 million years ago, Ficus species continue to bring nourishment, shade, water and numerous other gifts to people and plants. What’s more,...

ICRAF’s Landscape Portal: Data geeks building a global public good

Blog originally published on the website of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) It sounds like not only the CIA’s, but also a scientist’s worst nightmare: tons of datasets just “lying around” or rather...

What makes a farmer grow a tree? It depends.

Is it enough to recommend tree species to farmers? Or even to supply them with the right seedlings and advice on growing them? Across Africa bold campaigns, such as the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100), are underway to...

Soil inhabitants hold together the planet’s food system

At the launch of the Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas, experts shone a spotlight on the astonishing biodiversity in the soil, which supports food production, clean water, human health, and environmental sustainability. The Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas— the outstanding...

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...

The A to Z of soil biodiversity

The soil is the “living, breathing skin of our planet.” It is the basis of food production and essential for clean water, health, greenhouse gas capture and numerous other functions that support life on earth. Soil biodiversity is...

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...