Chair of the Board of Trustees
Managing Director, CIFOR-ICRAF
Director General, CIFOR
At the start of 2020, few people predicted that a pandemic would soon transform daily life around the globe. But while COVID-19 has impacted every country, it has been experienced by people in many different ways.
CIFOR-ICRAF was uniquely equipped to address questions surrounding the source of COVID-19. Our wild meat experts were quick to respond to cries for the wholesale ban on wild meat with evidence-based perspective on the needs of those who rely on wild game as a source of protein and nutrients. This story and the others in this report – on improved tree seed and restoration work in Ethiopia, agroforestry in Southeast Asia, and a new model for sustainable use of woodfuel in refugee camps – demonstrate how, despite the pandemic restrictions, our researchers continued to deliver world-class science on forests and landscapes and to maintain our scientific record.
When key global meetings on climate change and biodiversity were postponed, we kept the conversation going through various online events, sharing the latest transformative science and innovation to help shape national policies and provide evidence for decision making on sustainable land and forest use across the Global South.
At the same time, we continued charting our path as a merged organization, harmonizing our internal processes and refining our vision and mission. Our new 10-year strategy builds the business case for how trees, agroforestry and forests can help to address five major challenges: deforestation and biodiversity loss, accelerating climate change, unsustainable supply and value chains, the need to transform food systems, and extreme inequality for women, Indigenous Peoples and vulnerable rural communities.
New holistic approaches to delivering relevant and actionable solutions for both people and the planet include: Transformative Partnership Platforms; Engagement Landscapes; and Flagship Products, which we have launched in the course of 2020. These are unique approaches that bring partners together to design and facilitate the implementation of transformative solutions aimed at achieving impact ‘on the ground’. In 2020, we also launched Resilient Landscapes, an innovative venture to radically transform land use and agricultural supply chains by serving as the nexus between science and businesses, finance, governments and civil society across forest and agroforestry landscapes.
Despite a challenging year in 2020, CIFOR-ICRAF staff have done a fantastic job of staying productive and impactful, and being supportive and empathic with our partners, beneficiaries and each other.
As 2020 ends with the promise of new vaccines and renewed hope on the horizon, we look ahead with both optimism and the determination to help ‘build forward better’ during the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration – and beyond. We look to a more resilient future in which healthy trees, forests and landscapes prevent the outbreak of zoonotic diseases, mitigate climate change, boost biodiversity and agricultural productivity, and promote health and well-being.
CIFOR-ICRAF Board of Trustees 2020
Chair of the Board of Trustees
Vice chair of the Board of Trustees