New tree books mean Michelle Gauthier’s dream lives on


Trees along streets in San Francisco, California, USA. Photo by Hubert de Foresta, IRD

The reviews of two books, and an obituary to the passionate advocate for trees who helped bring them to life, have been recently published in the journal Forests, Trees and Livelihoods.

The first review is by Professor Roger Leakey, senior fellow at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and professor at James Cook University, Australia. Leakey analyses a comprehensive and beautifully illustrated technical report on a keenly important but hirtherto under-measured and insufficiently valued natural resource—trees outside forests.

The entire resource of trees outside forests, the review says, has to take into account (i) trees on agricultural land (including trees in agroforestry systems and non-forest tree plantations),  and (ii) trees on urban landscapes, such as those found in private gardens, public parks, parking lots, streets and along waterways.

The volume provides “excellent and really useful examples of how to recognize, classify and quantify different types of tree resource depending on their position and configuration in the landscape.”

Download the full report, 335 pp.


Hubert de Foresta, Eduardo Somarriba, August Temu, Désirée Boulanger, Hélène Feuilly and Michelle Gauthier. 2013. Towards the Assessment of Trees Outside Forests. Resources Assessment Working Paper 183. FAO Rome.

The second review,  by Dr. Hubert de Foresta, senior scientist at IRD (France) and editor of Forests, Trees and Livelihoods, deals with a publication that seeks to raise agroforestry’s profile on the policy agenda.

“This well-written and easily accessible guide is a tool for change, a tool for relieving the policy constraints on agroforestry, and a tool for creating a favorable policy environment that will promote the benefits of agroforestry. This is new, this is much needed, and this is why this guide is important,” writes de Foresta.

The guide, designed as the first in an “Agroforestry Working Paper” series, presents 10 principles for developing national agroforestry policy strategies, and is presented in an accessible and generally non-technical format and style.

Af-policy-FAODownload the full report,  36 pp.

Buttoud G, Place F, Gauthier M, Gallopin K, Gauthier M, Detlefsen G, Torquebiau E, Ajayi O. 2013 Advancing agroforestry on the policy agenda: Guide for decision-makers. Agroforestry Working Paper no. 1. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

The two books are united by the work of Ms. Michelle Gauthier who was, until her demise, a Forestry Officer with FAO. It was she who coordinated their synthesis over several years, and saw them through to publication in February 2013, just a few days before her untimely death.

At the time of her demise, a global online learning event on agroforestry, food security and climate change that Michelle had co-organized was also underway.

“Michelle was responsible for the agroforestry and urban and peri-urban forestry programmes, areas of work in which she believed passionately, [championing them] as important means for improving the livelihoods of millions of people,” says the tribute.

A tribute to Michelle Gauthier (1957–2013)

See also Memoriam Michelle Gauthier on FAO website

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Daisy Ouya

Daisy Ouya is a science writer and communications specialist with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). Over the past 15 years she has been packaging and disseminating scientific knowledge in the fields of entomology, agriculture, health, HIV/AIDS research, and marine science. Daisy is a Board-certified Editor in the Life Sciences ( and has a Masters’ degree in chemistry from the University of Connecticut, USA. Her BSc is from the University of Nairobi in her native Kenya. She has worked as a journal editor, science writer, publisher, and communications strategist with various organizations. She joined ICRAF in July 2012. Twitter: @daisyouya

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