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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.

Humanitarians struggle to address environment: ‘It’s nice but it’s not crucial’

  With growing stress on natural resources, emergency workers have begun to examine their interventions. Environmental mismanagement can be fatal. Focusing on approaches that are built on the Sustainable Development Goals and with the assistance of organizations, like...

SHARED knowledge to promote sustainable woodfuel

Workshops in Tanzania to better understand the context of woodfuel (charcoal and firewood) systems and plan for sustainable interventions brought together communities, governments, NGOs and businesses in three regions. We have just returned from Tanzania where we witnessed...

Biodiesel from palm oil: finding the sweet spot between ecology and economy

Scientists at ICRAF The World Agroforestry Centre have struck the golden mean between intensification and environmental health for oil-palm plantations. Their analysis shows that sustainable systems can significantly boost production but not as high as some analysts believed....

It only takes prunings from trees on farms and efficient stoves for smallholder farmers to meet their cooking energy needs

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), about 2.5 billion people in the world, mostly in developing countries, depend on biomass energy for cooking and heating. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, over 90% of the population rely on wood...

Making the most of mangroves

The overlooked potential of a mangrove palm, Nypa fruticans, is beginning to get the attention researchers think it deserves. It was recently showcased at the Bali Clean Energy Forum.   ‘Nypa is very productive as ethanol feedstock’, said...

Bioenergy can bring clean power to remote areas of Indonesia

Areas of the archipelagic nation are under-serviced by public energy suppliers. Tree-based bioenergy offers the chance to not only provide power but also a source of livelihoods to these remote communities that is also environmentally friendly.   The...

Indonesia set to expand use of bioenergy

The need for clearer policies, more trees and other plants for biomass and fuel, and use of organic waste from agriculture were some of the topics discussed at an international clean-energy forum for Indonesia that quickened the agenda...

Trees for wood energy and land restoration

True or false?: Extraction of wood energy is a threat to forested landscapes. Extraction of wood energy is an opportunity for forested landscapes. That was the opening statement at a discussion forum on sustainable wood energy at the...

ICRAF/IASS Conference on Bioenergy and Development: Statement of the co-chairs

Statement of the Co-Chairs Conference on Bioenergy and Development The Investment Case for Sustainable Production Systems 19 – 20 October 2015, Berlin, Germany Less than a month after the endorsement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at...

Bioenergy boosted through international agreement in Bali

A partnership for developing sustainable bioenergy in Indonesia has been formalised between the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and the World Agroforestry Centre.   His Excellency Mr Sudirman Said, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources of the...

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