Annual Report

Changing the trajectory

Climate change researchers at CIFOR-ICRAF provide critical evidence on nature-based solutions to the climate crisis, such as sustainable forest and wetland management, agroforestry and landscape restoration, to support country efforts to meet their climate commitments under the Paris Agreement – while also helping communities adapt to a rapidly shifting climate.

CIFOR-ICRAF research findings helped the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to refine the emission factor for direct N2O emissions from nitrogen inputs to managed soils, which improves the accuracy of national greenhouse gas inventories. We also helped identify default values for aboveground biomass in tropical and subtropical forests across continents, ecological zones and successional stages, explored the integration of national forest inventories with global space-based forest biomass data, and built scientific consensus on which peatland core domains should be measured in research and monitoring.

We co-led two chapters in the Global Peatlands Assessment, which aims to provide evidence for actions towards the conservation, restoration, and sustainable management of peatlands.  This research supported countries’ Measurement, Reporting, and Verification to track progress under the Paris Agreement for mitigation targets outlined in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and to develop robust and transparent national forest monitoring systems to track emissions and emissions reductions from Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry.

In Peru, our research on peatland mapping, degradation and carbon stocks supported the government in including peatlands in its national FREL and in evaluating the potential to implement a measure in its NDCs related to avoided deforestation in Amazonian peatlands.

Despite the number of projects worldwide aimed at reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+), clear evidence on their effectiveness is hard to come by. By hosting and updating the largest and freely downloadable global database of REDD+ projects (ID-RECCO) – which has been accessed by more than 193,000 users globally – CIFOR-ICRAF is filling information gaps on carbon certification, sources of financing, benefit-sharing mechanisms, buyers and sellers, and community-level interventions. The database also provides real-time monitoring of REDD+ on the ground and assesses how REDD+ projects can contribute to Paris Agreement goals.

What do you get when you share ongoing research with decision-makers? Conversation and the co-creation of actionable knowledge. This was the result of a series of science-policy dialogues launched by CIFOR-ICRAF in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Brazil, Peru, Indonesia and Viet Nam, to discuss policy options for implementing REDD+ and forest carbon markets. An impact evaluation revealed that participants – policymakers, practitioners, the private sector and representatives from Indigenous Peoples and local communities highly appreciated these events.

At the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 56th session of subsidiary bodies and COP27, and at the Global Landscape Forum Climate 2022, CIFOR-ICRAF continued to further the global discussion on forests, trees and agroforestry by leading high-profile events promoting information exchange across hemispheres and by supporting country negotiators to effectively engage in discussions.

Indonesia’s wetland and mangrove landscapes

Critical to the global climate, but fragile and still under-researched, wetland ecosystems have long been a focus of our work in Indonesia. As the world’s most mangrove-rich nation, Indonesia aims to rehabilitate 600,000 hectares of its mangroves by 2024 as part of its efforts to meet its climate and development goals.

In 2022, CIFOR-ICRAF technical inputs were adopted in the second Indonesian Forest Reference Emission Level (FREL), which includes emissions from both peat fires and conversion of mangroves. We also supported the Government of Indonesia to improve carbon stocks and peat CO2 and N2O emission factors for forests and oil palm plantations – including through a new approach that considers the change over time in emission factors over a plantation rotation.

Other work in wetland ecosystems promoted evidence-based mangrove restoration for improved livelihoods, food security, and nutrition benefits for vulnerable coastal communities, including gender-sensitive research that revealed the critical role of shellfish in preventing malnutrition.

© Nandhu Kumar/Pexels

This work has been supported by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS); David and Lucile Packard Foundation; International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV); Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation; United States Agency for International Development (USAID); and the USDA Forest Service (USFS).