Category: SD1-Systems Science

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.

Mars and ICRAF: Illuminating the ‘dark box’ of agroforestry

David and Molly Achiando stand among a panoply of trees on their farm. “When it is dry, I have shade,” says Molly, listing the services and products that the trees provide. “I can now give fruit to the...

swidden, landscape

Key lessons for REDD+ schemes in swidden landscapes

Most forests are rich in ‘natural’ resources but they are also rich because local people have enriched forests through their knowledge and practice, such as in shifting cultivation, or swidden. Understanding how this works is critical for any...

researchers, systematic review of long-fallow swidden systems in Southeast Asia, SEARCA, seminar

‘Is it good or bad?’ Challenging views about swidden agriculture

Swidden agriculture is often viewed as a highly destructive practice. However, researchers have found that swidden may offer benefits to both resource-poor farmers and the global community.     Part 3 of the changing story of swidden. Read...

farmer's nursery, AFLI, Northwest Viet Nam

Participatory, on-farm research in Viet Nam is a challenge!

Participatory, on-farm research has long been acknowledged as an approach with great potential for increasing the adoption of research results for development purposes. However, sometimes there can be unexpected obstacles, including the farmers themselves.   In participatory, on-farm...

Dr Rob Cramb, SEARCA, Agriculture and Development Seminar

The past, present and future of swidden agriculture

Swidden practices have often been viewed as highly destructive and only used by poor, upland farmers. However, that perception is changing as the practice itself changes.   Part 2 of the changing story of swidden agriculture. Read parts...

agroforestry trial, Northwest Viet Nam

Agroforests set to replace monocrops in Northwest Viet Nam

Land degradation owing to monocropping is the main reason for reduced agricultural productivity in Northwest Viet Nam. But after four years of agroforestry research, results show positive signs for farmers.   Monocropping of annuals—such as maize, rice and...