Holding back the desert: CIFOR-ICRAF at UNCCD COP16

Our planet’s drylands don’t have the lush abundance of a rainforest, but they’re quietly teeming with species that have evolved to handle their extremes, and providing homes, food, and livelihoods for billions of people, too. Yet these ecosystems are also particularly vulnerable to disruption and desertification—and such changes can be permanent.

The UN passed its Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in 1994; to this day, it’s the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management.

Thirty years on, the UNCCD will gather in December of 2024 to reflect on the progress made so far—and the challenges that lie ahead – under the three focus areas of land restoration; women’s land rights; and land at the heart of the SDGs. As a global centre of excellence for soil and land restoration, integrated soil information, and soil organic carbon accounting, CIFOR-ICRAF will have a powerful presence at UNCCD COP16.

Join us in Riyadh or online to be part of this critical global conversation.

Array ( [0] => Asia/Riyadh )

Trees, Forests & Climate: CIFOR-ICRAF at COP29

As the 29th Conference of the Parties to the landmark UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) whirs into gear, the role of forests and trees in mitigating both anthropogenic climate change and its most disastrous impacts – and helping people and ecosystems adapt to the changes that are already happening – is more critical than ever.

CIFOR-ICRAF’s diverse international team of researchers and practitioners has worked on forest and climate policies for over 15 years, including through its Global Comparative Study on REDD+. This team also has its ‘ear to the ground’ in many of the locations worst hit by the climate crisis. As the clock ticks and the challenges multiply, we’re carrying out cutting-edge research to inform the implementation of climate action, and advocating for greater ambitions – and finance – in this arena.

On the frontlines to learn all we can about how forests and trees might help us to mitigate and adapt – and how we can best catalyze, support, and sustain action to protect and restore them into the future.

Join our experts in Baku, Azerbaijan, or online to hear the latest on forests and trees at UNFCCC COP-29!

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FLARE 2024 Annual Meeting

The 10th Annual Meeting will take place in Rome, Italy from October 3-7. The opening reception will be held on the 3rd, parallel sessions and plenary events will be held on the 4th, 5th and 6th, and optional workshops on the 7th. As FLARE celebrates its 10th Anniversary, we will assess the past while looking to the future of forests and livelihoods, as we invite reflections on the theme of the event, “Imagination and Innovation.”

Other sub-themes include forest landscape restoration: challenges and opportunities,
social justice in the forest: Rights, power, and collaboration, and data and methods for understanding forests and human well-being.

The meeting will be held at the Auditorium Antonianum and the University of Notre Dame Rome Global Gateway. Register below to attend!

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Webinar: Knowledge Sharing and Practical Guidance on the use of the CRISP Tool

Agricultural, land use and food system development practitioners are increasingly seeking to mainstream climate change adaptation into their sectoral policies, programs and projects. The Climate Risk Planning & Managing Tool for Development Programmes in Agri-Food Systems (CRISP) aims at supporting this endeavor. CRISP is a free, quick and simple to use, interactive web-based tool that guides users through a process to understand climate related risks of specific agricultural systems, articulate science-based adaptation hypotheses, identify cascading impacts and review relevant adaptation options.

CRISP has been developed in collaboration with the GIZ by the Alliance of Bioversity International, the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), and Eurac Research, commissioned by BMZ. Following up of the virtual launching event held in October 2023 attended by over 140 participants from a variety of institutions, including IISD, BMGF, IFPRI, World Bank, Catholic Relief Services, Free University of Bozen, Mitigation Action Facility, Welthungerhilfe, CIMMYT, Mercy Corps, and Adapt 40, we aim to organize a Knowledge Sharing Event focused on providing Practical Guidance on plausible CRISP applications to a wide range of practitioners and experts.

Register here before 17 June

Array ( [0] => Europe/Berlin )

Being Good Ancestors: Navigating Nature-Based Leadership Challenges with Dr Éliane Ubalijoro

In this conversation, Small Giants Academy’s Head of Programs Tamsin Jones will be talking with the CEO of the Center for International Forestry Research and World Agroforestry (CIFOR-ICRAF) Éliane Ubalijoro, delving into the ways we can find agency within complexity.

Inspired by the ecological dynamics of nature-based systems, they will discuss how we can break out of our islands of knowledge and embrace collective wisdom. Together, they will touch on how we feed the world, sustainable living within planetary boundaries, and reshaping the relationship between biodiversity and human health.

Sign up for free tickets.

Array ( [0] => Australia/Melbourne )

Bioeconomy Innovation Day 2024

The development and uptake of renewable, circular solutions are essential for achieving the green transition – and a stronger reliance on bio-based products and materials is key to this.

Today, construction, food packaging, and industrial manufacturing are highly material-intensive sectors that must be transformed into circular and increasingly bio-based sectors.

The Bioregions Facility has adopted this vision. Its implementation requires us to bridge the knowledge-innovation divide, speed up the uptake of new solutions, and strengthen cross-sectoral collaboration. We are all in this together.

The Bioeconomy Innovation Day 2024, 5 June 2024, in Lemgo, North Rhine-Westphalia, will provide a unique platform for learning, sharing, and growing in this direction. The event will gather forest innovators and leaders from industry, government, research, and other key stakeholders in the forest bioeconomy.

Array ( [0] => Europe/Berlin )

ThinkForest webinar: Sustainable Finance, Forests & Biodiversity

You are warmly welcome to our next ThinkForest webinar, which explores the issue of sustainable finance, forests and biodiversity.

Biodiversity is heavily threatened both in Europe and globally. Immediate action to stop further loss and to maintain and enhance biodiversity, especially in forests is needed. Public finance plays an important role, but privately financed activities are becoming more and more important.

The European Union addresses the challenges above in its Green Deal which aims to reverse biodiversity loss coupled with bioeconomy development, and by having economic growth decoupled from resource use. Accordingly, sustainable finance should aim to channel more investments towards this transition. The EU Taxonomy aims to create a common way to classify sustainable economic activities for investors. To be considered environmentally sustainable, economic activities and investments must meet certain minimum requirements and adhere to screening criteria that are defined by delegated acts from the European Commission. However, biodiversity-related criteria/indicators for forests are not defined yet.

Our ThinkForest event asks:

  • How can we define criteria and indicators for biodiversity maintenance as well as improvement for forest ecosystems?
  • How can we make sure and monitor that these biodiversity-related criteria and indicators are met (e.g. in forest restoration)?
  • How can private finance support biodiversity protection and enhancement and make it their business case?

Speakers include Professor Gert-Jan Nabuurs, Wageningen University and Research

Full programme and speakers:

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Forests & People: CIFOR-ICRAF at IUFRO 2024

As the global food, biodiversity, and climate crises begin to crunch, the fundamental role of forests in humanity’s future is increasingly difficult to deny. In June 2024, the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) will gather its global network in Stockholm, Sweden; under this year’s theme, Forests & Society towards 2050, delegates will grapple with the drastic changes expected over the coming 25 years, and seek to share knowledge and co-create solutions for a sustainable future.

CIFOR-ICRAF is an organizational partner for the event and will be a co-host to IUFRO in Nairobi, Kenya in 2029. As a global leader using trees, forests, and agroforestry to address the greatest global challenges of our time, CIFOR-ICRAF is well-placed to contribute to these critical conversations with its cutting-edge research and decades of global experience.

Array ( [0] => Africa/Abidjan )

GCRF TRADE Hub project closing in Indonesia

Since 2019, CIFOR-ICRAF and partners have been conducting research to help address intractable challenges in the trade of sustainable palm oil, coffee, and wildlife in Indonesia. This research, which has included studies on green trade initiatives to benefit forest landscapes and surrounding communities, was conducted under the Trade, Development, and the Environment Hub (TRADE Hub) – a global research consortium led by the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP WCMC) and supported by the UK Research and Innovation Global Challenges Research Fund (UKRI GCRF). Following five years of activities, this research will come to an end in March 2024.

The TRADE Hub research team in Indonesia has produced scientific publications, technical guidelines, and an Android-based game to disseminate its research findings. In addition to conducting conventional research, the team has implemented action research on the ground with CIFOR leading the facilitation of independent oil palm smallholders in Segati Village, Pelalawan Regency, Riau; and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) with coffee smallholders in Lampung. The University of Indonesia has conducted further studies into sustainable financing, while IPB University has led capacity building activities for the science community and beyond. Other key publications have been on sustainable palm oil trade pathways from participatory science-policy interface activities implemented with key stakeholders in Indonesia, and a study into the online trade in songbirds in Indonesia.

Further information on TRADE Hub activities and outputs in Indonesia can be accessed at cifor.org/tradehub.


The objectives of this closing event are to disseminate key results from TRADE Hub research and provide a platform for relevant stakeholders to share information and experiences on issues surrounding the use of landscape approaches in supporting sustainable palm oil, coffee, and wildlife trade in Indonesia.


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Kenya interuniversity debate on food security and nutrition

Are you ready to fight for a more secure food future? Join the Policy Action Initiative for an Interuniversity Debate on Food Security and Nutrition at Kenyatta University on 15 and 16 March, to hear from the brightest minds from across 30 universities about sustainable agricultural practices and environmental policies.

For more information, get in touch with Brian Kithinji: brian@policyactioninitiative.org 

Concept Note

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