CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA)

In 2020, FTA put in place a proactive management plan to adapt its plan of work and maximize delivery despite the Covid-19 context. Flagships 1 and 2 (FP1-2) initiated Transformative Partnership Platforms respectively on Transforming the Quality of Tree Planting (TQTP) and on Agroecological Approaches to Building Resilience of Livelihoods and Landscapes. FP3 developed, with its partner Tropenbos, the Inclusive Method for Landscape Analysis of Financial Flows (IMLAFF), piloted in key landscapes in Indonesia, Ghana and Uganda. FP4 influenced the restoration discourse globally through its “from tree planting to tree growing” paradigm, which was adopted by The Gambia and contributed to a national agroforestry policy development process. FP5 initiated a biocircular economy stakeholder consultation process, paving the way for another Transformative Partnership Platform. FTA’s gender research informed multistakeholder low-emissions development workshops organized by the Governors’ Climate and Forest (GCF) Task Force and UNDP, covering 30 jurisdictions in Mexico, Peru, Brazil and Indonesia.

FTA’s Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning and Impact Assessment team documented FTA’s progress in addressing key global challenges for which FTA is expected to deliver development outcomes.

2020 also marked the organization of FTA’s decadal conference, gathering more than 520 participants, with 200 scientific outputs (conference). FTA strengthened collaborations with the International Regulatory Strategy Group (IRSG) and FAO on adaptation to climate change (e.g., international workshop on rubber and climate change, co-publication with FAO on forests and trees in National Adaptation Plans).

An independent review, commissioned by CGIAR outlined FTA’s “high scientific productivity and strong implementation performance”, and stated that the programme was “likely to make significant progress toward most planned end-of-program targets". The review also highlighted the “close collaboration between FTA partners, and between universities and research institutions”. According to the review, FTA’s “efficient governance, and the effective prioritization and management of resources resulted in a high level of programmatic value-added”.

FTA stood out of the 12 reviews of CRPs by ranking first in terms of collaboration and by being in the top 3 for policy innovations and progress against programmatic outcomes.

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.