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CIFOR–ICRAF publishes over 750 publications every year on agroforestry, forests and climate change, landscape restoration, rights, forest policy and much more – in multiple languages.

CIFOR–ICRAF addresses local challenges and opportunities while providing solutions to global problems for forests, landscapes, people and the planet.

We deliver actionable evidence and solutions to transform how land is used and how food is produced: conserving and restoring ecosystems, responding to the global climate, malnutrition, biodiversity and desertification crises. In short, improving people’s lives.

Policy research for sustainable upland management

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In the first lecture note, a conceptual figure referred to the potential role of ‘policy’ in modifying farmers’ decision making, by affecting their access to resources, the constraints which affect their choice of land use systems and also the profitability of these systems (Figure 1). The figure suggests that some farmer choices can lead to unsustainable practices that degrade the resource base, whilst others can lead to increased and sustained production. The main issue in this lecture note is to clarify how ‘policy’ can influence the decisions made by farmers, and how research on the ways policies ‘work’ can help to adjust and improve these policies. The latter point is very important, as land use change is dynamic, and thus a ‘moving target’.

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