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.

Tropical peatlands are one of the least understood and monitored ecosystems, but recent research shows they’re critical for climate change mitigation and adaptation. They also provide food, medicine, timber and habitat for endangered species.

CIFOR-ICRAF has led groundbreaking and award-winning research on wetlands, including a pivotal 2011 discovery that mangroves store 3–5 times more carbon than other tropical forests, most of it in the soil1. In 2017, research using the Global Wetlands Map2 revealed there is three times more peat worldwide than previously thought3. Now the team is ramping up research and engagement to put a global spotlight on the value of these critical but fragile ecosystems.

One exciting route to lowering emissions is ‘blue carbon’ – the organic carbon that mangroves, tidal marshes, seagrass, seaweed and other coastal and marine ecosystems capture and store. Since this could be a game-changer when it comes to meeting countries’ emissions targets, researchers are trying to fill in the blanks on blue carbon’s potential to tackle climate change.

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Daniel Murdiyarso

Principal Scientist

Kristell Hergoualc’h

Senior Scientist

Wetlands and blue carbon: Fast facts

In the last half century, over of wetlands have been lost4
Halting and reversing this loss through restoration could offer 14% of the nature-based solution to mitigate climate change5

 

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1 Donato DC et al. 2011. Mangroves among the most carbon-rich forests in the tropics. Nature Geoscience 4:293–297. DOI: 10.1038/NGEO1123; Murdiyarso D et al. 2015. The potential of Indonesian mangrove forests for global change mitigation. Nature Climate Change 5(12):1089–1092. DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE 2734.
2 http://www.cifor.org/global-wetlands
3 Murdiyarso D et al. 2017. New map reveals more peat in the tropics. Infobrief. Bogor, Indonesia: CIFOR.

Restoring degraded landscapes and depleted soils can help mitigate climate change, support sustainable livelihoods and maintain biodiversity – and is essential to supporting food security. But to effect real change on the ground, countries need more than technical solutions; they also need tools and approaches around finance, implementation, monitoring and conflict resolution. 

CIFOR-ICRAF is working to help countries meet their restoration targets as the world builds momentum to restore nearly 1 billion hectares of degraded land under commitments to the Rio Conventions and the Bonn Challenge1.

CONTACT

Manuel R. Guariguata

Head of CIFOR-ICRAF Peru

Forest and landscape restoration: Fast facts

150 million ha – area of degraded and deforested land to be restored by 2020 under the Bonn Challenge2
100 million ha – area of degraded forest landscapes in Africa to be restored by 2030 under AFR1003
20 million ha – area of degraded forest landscapes in Latin America and the Caribbean to be restored by 2020 under Initiative 20×204

 

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Consumer awareness of how commodities – such as timber, cocoa and palm oil – affect ecosystems, people and the climate is driving a transformation in these industries. Private companies, governments and financial services providers are investing more and more in sustainable activities that reduce pressure on forests and farm-forest landscapes.

CIFOR-ICRAF is supporting this transition through research on public policy, business models, private investments and finance to find solutions that support smallholder farmers, who depend more and more on global markets for their incomes. Scientists are documenting the conditions needed to make supply chains more sustainable and inclusive, as well as exploring ways to leverage public and private initiatives to address performance gaps, particularly in the oil palm and cocoa sectors. And work on the sustainable production and marketing of non-timber forest products aims to improve smallholder livelihoods while maintaining ecosystem services and biodiversity.

CONTACTS

Michael Allen Brady

Team Leader, Sustainable value chains and investments

George Schoneveld

Senior Scientist

Finance, trade and investment: Fast facts

50% of the world’s GDP is dependent on nature1
Every dollar invested in restoration creates up to USD 30 dollars in economic benefits2
The New York Declaration on Forests was endorsed by 36 national governments, 53 companies and 54 civil-society organizations3
The Consumer Goods Forum represents 400 companies across 70 countries, which collectively employ nearly 10 million people and have sales of more than USD 3 trillion4

 

Sources:
1 World Economic Forum [WEF] (2020). The Global Risks Report 2020. Geneva: World Economic Forum.
2 Ding, H., Faruqi, S., Wu, A., Altamirano, J-C., Ortega, A.A., Zamora-Cristales, R., et al. (2018). Roots of Prosperity: The Economics and Finance of Restoring Land. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute.
3, 4 Zero deforestation initiatives and their impacts on commodity supply chains

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Global heating is already leading to more and more destructive weather events and changes in weather and rainfall patterns that make planning for agriculture, forestry and resource management a serious challenge.

CIFOR-ICRAF and CIFOR Germany gGmbH aim to help mitigate climate change by helping to keep trees in the ground and to increase tree cover. Through our work on agroforestry, REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation), bioenergy, wetlands and blue carbon, we support the development and implementation of effective and equitable climate change policies and measures that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Forests and trees are important safety nets for communities: many forest products are more resilient to climate variability and extremes than crops, and mangroves help reduce risks from cyclones and sea-level rise. Critically, trees on farms reduce local temperatures, modulate water flow and continue to yield products during times of scarcity. Our approach to climate change adaptation focuses on nature-based solutions, as well as risk management to support decision making that increases the resilience of land and development investments.

We are also researching ways to promote win-win outcomes for climate-smart agriculture and forests, to strengthen both our food systems and forest landscapes in the face of climate change. Through techniques like mulching, intercropping, agroforestry and better water management, along with better weather forecasting, climate-smart agriculture aims to increase food security and farm incomes, lower agricultural emissions and build resilience to climate stress and shocks.

Finally, we have started working on bioeconomy solutions. Leveraging multi-sector collaboration for creating bioeconomy solutions represents an ‘overlooked’ pathway to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve biodiversity, and create equitable jobs and prosperity at global scale. Our Transformative Partnership Platform brings together key stakeholders from public and private sectors and civil society to achieve such transformational change (https://www.cifor.org/cbe). 

CONTACTS

Christopher Martius

Managing Director, CIFOR Germany gGmbH

Pham Thu Thuy

Team Leader, Climate change, energy & low-carbon development

Anne Larson

Team Leader, Governance, equity and well-being

Houria Djoudi

Senior Scientist

Bruno Locatelli

Seconded Scientist

Denis Sonwa

Senior Scientist

Climate change: Fast facts

Trees absorb nearly 1/3 of all global annual CO2 released from burning fossil fuels. But they can also release carbon – up to 23% of all annual emissions come from deforestation and land use change

 

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Once a cost-effective tool used by farmers to clear land, fire is becoming an annual crisis in Indonesia’s peatlands, the Amazon forest and other parts of the world. But whether they’re lit by smallholders, local elites or large corporations, fires can get out of control, destroying forests or creating a toxic haze that can blanket several countries for months.

CIFOR-ICRAF’s approach targets both multi-level policies and grassroots action, through scientific analysis, targeted outreach activities and proactive engagement with everyone from smallholders to ministers.

CONTACTS

Michael Allen Brady

Team Leader, Sustainable value chains and investments

Herry Purnomo

Scientist

Fire and haze: Fast facts

Air pollution from fires could cause 36,000 excess deaths each year on average in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore in the coming years. But strategies such as peatland restoration could cut this mortality by about 66%

 

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Bioenergy from plants with oil-producing seeds or wood that can be converted to biomass energy has the potential to produce clean energy, secure rural livelihoods and restore degraded lands, helping countries achieve their climate change targets and sustainable development goals. Bioenergy can also strengthen the economic incentive for private sector and community groups to undertake restoration efforts. It needs to be carefully managed at the landscape scale to avoid displacing food crops or promote land-clearing.

CIFOR Germany gGmbH and CIFOR-ICRAF work on biofuels includes woodfuel such as charcoal and firewood production in Africa, as well as using bioenergy species to restore degraded landscapes (including peatlands) in Southeast Asia. We also work on introducing short-rotation bioenergy crops in the Western Balkans, coupled with environmentally protective permanent tree areas and productive agroforestry borders, to help countries in the region to create jobs, provide a just, clean transition from coal, reduce air pollution and increase human health. We see bioenergy as part of a comprehensive approach that considers energy poverty, health, climate change, and food and nutritional security through diverse production systems involving forest landscapes. We are also studying social and gender dynamics and outcomes along woodfuel value chains, from production through to consumption.

CONTACTS

Himlal Baral

Senior Scientist

Dietmar Stoian

Lead scientist, Value chains, private sector engagement and investments

Mary Njenga

Research Scientist

Christopher Martius

Managing Director, CIFOR Germany gGmbH

Bioenergy: Fast facts

~3.5 million ha of degraded lands in Indonesia have the potential to grow biofuel species

 

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