Letter from the Board and Management
For the world’s trees and forests – and for those who steward them – 2022 offered several glimmers of hope, with eleventh-hour United Nations agreements to protect biodiversity and to compensate nations for climate change-related losses and damages. And a new Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP) will focus efforts to implement commitments by 140 nations to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030.
It was also the first year in which CIFOR-ICRAF operated as one fully merged organization, with harmonized internal management. As the year concluded, we celebrated the creation of a new leadership structure. Our new Chief Executive Officer Éliane Ubalijoro will lead the organization into an exciting era of growth, supported by Chief Operating Officer Dr Robert Nasi, who skilfully led the merger process and brings over two decades of experience at CIFOR as a scientist focusing on tropical forestry and ecology.
As the world emerged from pandemic restrictions, our researchers happily returned to the field, renewing bonds with partners on the ground while also forging new collaborations. And as some conferences resumed physical meetings, many CIFOR-ICRAF and partner-led hybrid events thrived on the more inclusive discussions that lit up our well-developed virtual streams, while continuing to avoid travel-related carbon emissions. Our scientists brought the latest research findings and analysis on forests, trees and agroforestry to these events, from the 15th Conference of the Parties of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP15) in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, to the UN climate conference (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, to the UN biodiversity summit (COP15) in Montreal, Canada. Our message was well received. For COP27 alone, where CIFOR-ICRAF took part in 48 events with 60 partner organizations, website views shot up by 440% from COP26, with 120 million impressions of our social media posts, reaching 429 million people.
The Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) brought together thousands of people worldwide to several hybrid and virtual events featuring leading scientists, Indigenous leaders, financiers, activists, and youth and government leaders, who tackled the most pressing issues surrounding restoration, agri-food systems, the climate emergency and biodiversity finance. Resilient Landscapes and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg launched a new partnership that will focus on strengthening finance for nature-based solutions building on CIFOR-ICRAF science.
This report features milestones towards our solutions to five global challenges – deforestation and biodiversity loss, climate change, dysfunctional food systems, unsustainable supply and value chains, and inequity – illustrated in specific landscapes. Our work on agroforestry concessions in Peru supported the government’s adoption of an official definition of agroforestry as a precursor for policy frameworks and incentives. Under the EU-funded Regreening Africa programme, over 95% of households introduced to agroforestry adopted the approach across 184,000 hectares. We scaled soil and land health assessments in six African countries, and in collaboration with the Sustainable Wildlife Management Programme, we launched the MIZE Community Conservancy in Zambia. CIFOR-ICRAF technical inputs were adopted in the second Indonesian Forest Reference Emission Level, which includes emissions from both peat fires and conversion of mangroves. And in India, we are catalysing the expansion of area under trees outside forests to enhance livelihoods and ecosystem services.
We now have offices in 26 countries – including a new Host Country Agreement with Sri Lanka signed in September 2022 – and over 700 CIFOR-ICRAF staff working in 60 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America. Their dedication, along with the generous support of our 187 funding partners and 270 strategic partners, is what makes our vision of resilient, productive and healthy forest and tree landscapes an achievable reality.