Category: Livelihoods

Cathy Watson

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 almost 30 years of work experience in Africa with a focus on trees, youth, HIV, families, and communication for social change. She holds a certificate in agroforestry from the University of Missouri.

The shea tree. Inset: Dr Sam Gwali of the National Agricultural Research Organization, Uganda. Photos by C. Watson/ICRAF

Promoting early-maturing, oil-rich shea trees and holding off the charcoal threat

In Europe and the US, shea butter or oil is a famous skin cream. But shea is even more important as the main cooking oil for the band of 21 African countries that stretches West to East from...

Faidherbia parkland, Karonga District, Malawi. Photo by Tracy Beedy/ICRAF

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...

Farmers used a game to help select the trees they wanted the most. Photo: World Agroforestry Centre/Dienda Citasyari Putri Hendrawan

Growing hope with trees: farmers’ learning groups in Buol, Indonesia

Farmers in the district of Buol in Central Sulawesi Province have formed learning groups to better understand tree management to improve their livelihoods in the face of climate change.   By Dienda Citasyari Putri Hendrawan   ‘We don’t...

Robusta coffee seedlings. Photo: World Agroforestry Centre/Heru Maulana

Coffee-based agroforestry: a new way to increase farmers’ income in Hulu Lambuya Forest in Southeast Sulawesi

Farmers in Indonesia are learning how to grow coffee to improve their livelihoods and ensure their household needs. By Hendra Gunawan and Endri Martini A few years ago, a mixed orchard based on coffee trees was hard to...

Possible useful species for restoration in rubber plantations. Photo by Francis Commercon

Local knowledge for restoration in a rubber-dominated landscape in SW China

How local communities in SW China are contributing to the design of a restoration program for rubber-dominated landscapes By Francis Commercon The most interesting study sites for a student of conservation biology are often those places where environmental...

bee-coffee

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...