Addressing five global challenges

As the world reels from concurrent and successive crises, so much is clear: food, agricultural and forestry systems will need to change if we are to ensure a future worth living for succeeding generations. CIFOR-ICRAF provides actionable, game-changing solutions to five major global challenges:

CIFOR-ICRAF Strategy 2020–2030

This year we launched a new 10-year Institutional strategy, which outlines our approach to solving the five global challenges in a way that harnesses lessons learned from our nearly seven decades of combined experience and channels them into new ways of working.

CIFOR-ICRAF has a unique way of developing actionable solutions, from our focus on partnerships to our holistic systems approach to research, to our groundbreaking knowledge-led digital engagement. Through demand-driven and innovative research, capacity building and stakeholder engagement, our scientists promote the deep transformation needed for ambitious policies and practices that can contribute to solving the five challenges.

Three new elements are designed to deliver timely, relevant solutions to global and national challenges:

  • Transformative Partnership Platforms – Alliances focused on one critically important issue

  • Engagement Landscapes – Geographic locations where we carry out concentrated, long-term work with diverse and committed partners

  • Flagship Products – Initiatives that provide action-oriented insights into key global issues.

Read the full strategy


This year, a new Quality for Impact (Q4I) team was created to accelerate, intensify and provide evidence for how CIFOR-ICRAF is translating quality research and development (R&D) interventions into sustainable and inclusive development impact. Q4I is capturing, tracking and communicating CIFOR-ICRAF’s performance, supporting research quality reviews, and providing monitoring, evaluation, learning and impact assessment (MELIA) support to R&D initiatives. The team is also developing an integrated portfolio of ‘fit-for-purpose’ impact assessment and research methods to accelerate CIFOR-ICRAF's efforts to nudge human development onto a more inclusive and sustainable path.

The CIFOR-ICRAF network

Experience has taught us that turning scientific evidence into transformative action requires creative partnerships and clear communication channels. The entities of the CIFOR-ICRAF network reinforce and advance our collective aim to unlock the potential of trees and forests to combat climate change, biodiversity loss and land degradation.

Resilient Landscapes aims to radically transform land use and agricultural supply chains by serving as the nexus between science and businesses, finance, government and civil society across forest and agroforestry landscapes. resilient-landscapes.org

The Global Landscapes Forum is the world’s largest knowledge forum on integrated and sustainable land use; since its creation, it has reached more than 995 million people from 185 countries – including many youth, Indigenous, rural and women’s groups. globallandscapesforum.org

The CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) is the world’s largest research for development programme to enhance the role of forests, trees and agroforestry in sustainable development and food security and to address climate change. CIFOR leads FTA in partnership with ICRAF, the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, CATIE, CIRAD, INBAR and TBI. foreststreesagroforestry.org

Resource mobilization

The new, harmonized CIFOR-ICRAF Resource Mobilization (RM) Unit made major progress in identifying and disseminating funding opportunities through the new CIFOR-ICRAF RM Opportunities portal, including dedicated ‘cradle-to-grave’ support for submissions development and due diligence. The joint Resource Mobilization and Partnerships Committee was also established and is supporting the RM and Partnerships teams. Harmonization is ongoing between RM and other corporate support units to ensure further effective support to institutional delivery, and a draft joint RM Strategy and related policies are in the works.

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.