New steps to protect Central Africa’s forests

National and regional timber markets are booming in Central Africa, but since most local demand is met by the informal logging sector, producers lack the incentives to become more sustainable and profitable – and governments are missing out on revenues.

A new project funded by the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM), PROFEAAC takes an integrated approach to the formalization of artisanal logging in Cameroon and the DRC by linking the sustainable management of wood resources to the promotion of demand for legal sawnwood in private and public markets.

In other research, CIFOR-ICRAF published an analysis on the negotiation and monitoring of social clauses in the context of the WWF forest governance programme in the DRC.

And the new Central African Forests Observatory (OFAC) online platform serves as a single-entry point for researchers and decision makers to find information on policies and trends to inform decisions on the conservation and sustainable use of ecosystems.

“Long-term engagement is a promise we make to our partners, including entrepreneurs and local populations in the landscapes where we work. We have no magic recipes to immediately make the unsustainable sustainable, but being part of the local social fabric allows us to work together towards common, more sustainable goals.”

Paolo Cerutti, Senior Scientist and Interim Hub Leader for Nairobi

Interventions in the Yangambi landscape continued to break ground in the DRC’s Tshopo Province, with a new state-of-the-art CongoFlux tower to measure carbon in the Congo Basin and the establishment of the Yangambi Engagement Landscape – a flagship model for the engagement landscape concept, which forms a central part of CIFOR-ICRAF’s new 10-year strategy. cifor.org/yangambi

forward better


In 2020 – a year like no other – CIFOR-ICRAF continued to deliver the world’s best science on forests and trees in agricultural landscapes, shifting the conversation online as the Covid-19 pandemic evolved.

This annual report features stories about expertise, dedication and perseverance. When people responded to the pandemic with calls to ban wild meat, CIFOR-ICRAF experts stepped forward with recent, highly relevant evidence in hand, highlighting the needs of communities who rely on wild game for nutrition. Other scientists forged ahead to deliver compelling research findings 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 – among many other topics.

CIFOR-ICRAF continued to chart its path as one organization, with a new 10-year strategy that outlines game-changing solutions to five global challenges: deforestation and biodiversity loss, the climate crisis, unsustainable supply and value chains, the need to transform food systems, and extreme inequality for women, Indigenous Peoples and vulnerable rural communities.

Three new holistic approaches will deliver actionable solutions to these challenges: Transformative Partnership Platforms, Engagement Landscapes and Flagship Products. And the newly launched Resilient Landscapes aims to leverage the power of the private sector to spur greater investment in nature-based solutions.

The Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) held its first fully virtual conference in June and didn’t stop there, seeing unprecedented digital growth during the year. And the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) marked its 10th science conference – also virtual – while continuing to demonstrate the power of partnership.