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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.

Engaging marginalized groups in the Greater Mekong region through action research

A new publication offers researchers guidelines on how best to engage with marginalized, ethnic-minority farming communities in the Greater Mekong region, so that research innovations reach and benefit their lives and livelihoods. Titled “Guidelines to engage with marginalized...

World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) Statement to High Level Segment at COP22, Marrakech, November 2016

The Paris climate change agreement came into force on 4 November 2016—an unprecedented event. And the COP22 climate talks here in Marrakech have been all about turning that agreement into action on the ground. The big question for all,...

Save China’s wild bees to safeguard global food supply: New study calls for more trees and fewer chemicals on China’s farms

China has so far avoided the massive losses of bees seen in the West, but the country’s diverse range of native bees face their own set of growing threats. The authors of a new study, titled “Is China’s...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Don’t trade away the climate

Trade, environment and development featured on the agenda at the just concluded UN climate talks held in Paris. The convention talked of ensuring global benefits at lowest possible costs. Climate policies influence how trade is conducted among countries,...

Private companies partner with small producers to create sustainable supply chains of the future

Leveraging their buying power and financial resources, companies are working to create the sustainable supply chains we need in a changing climate. Ones in which farmers and companies prosper together. Where farmers will produce more using ecologically sound...

“It’s time to stop talking and start acting” : Agroecological farming for people and the planet

Back in 2009, the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) issued a clarion call for a deep reform of agriculture globally. “Business as usual is not an option,” the comprehensive, evidence-based global series...

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