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.

The role of basic sciences in addressing global challenges to sustainable development: Experiences from CIFOR-ICRAF

Export citation

Purpose –– This paper highlights the application of the basic sciences in tackling human-induced global challenges, including climate change, biodiversity loss, land degradation and broken food systems, that militate against the attainment of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Methods –– It adopted a secondary research approach involving a review of current literature. Findings –– It shows that basic studies in different branches of plant biology contribute to the conservation and management of tree and forest genetic resources while studies in soil biology and principles of chemistry and physics contribute to soil health assessment in landscape restoration efforts. Conclusion & Recommendation –– The paper argues that the success of sustainable development initiatives that leverage the ability of trees to provide ecological goods and ecosystem services could be constrained by the growing threat to botanical education and inadequate funding of basic science disciplines. Recommendations are made to improve funding and inclusion of the basic sciences, particularly in African universities, in sustainability focused research initiatives.

Altmetric score:
Dimensions Citation Count:

Related publications