CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry

Forests, trees and agroforestry produce food, fibers, energy, water and ecosystem services, and are required to maintain biodiversity and adapt to and mitigate climate change. An estimated 1.6 billion people depend on forests and trees, including trees on farms, for their livelihoods. Among them are poor and marginalized groups, while indigenous peoples are proportionally more dependent on the goods and services that forests and trees provide.

Forests and trees are needed to contribute to the Paris Agreement and to the achievement of 14 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), responding to multiple demands linked to the objectives of reducing poverty, improving food and nutrition security, promoting sustainable agriculture, addressing climate change, protecting natural resources, improving ecosystem services and contributing to sustainable production and consumption.

The CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) aims to enhance the role of forests, trees and agroforestry in sustainable development and food security and to address climate change.

A woman processes coffee beans in Ethiopia. Photo by O. Girard/CIFOR

With improved management, transformed governance, and new institutional arrangements involving public and private actors, forests, trees and agroforestry have the potential to address these challenges, thereby directly contributing to achieving the SDGs. They can play a central role in improving production systems; securing people’s livelihoods, resilience and food security, including for young and marginalized people; and promoting the equitable distribution of benefits.

The landscape approach, as it relates to agriculture, forestry and other land uses, and to the livelihoods they sustain, transcends traditional management and governance boundaries, seeking to provide tools and concepts to identify, understand and address a complex set of environmental, social and political challenges, and to enable evidence-based and inclusive prioritization, decision-making and implementation.

FTA aims to better understand these roles, solutions to enhance them — technical options, management, governance, policies — and to enable actors to unlock the potential and maximize the benefits that trees can bring. FTA worked on 118 projects in 41 countries in 2017, and organizes research spanning the whole spectrum of the “theory of change,” linked to impact pathways, from upstream research to the enabling environment (institutions, policies, governance) for development and scaling-up.

FTA research focuses on the needs of key users and beneficiaries. It develops methods to ensure that the conduct and outcomes of research are gender sensitive and that capacity exists to use outputs. The research design includes monitoring, evaluation, learning and impact assessment (MELIA) approaches. This supports continuous learning and self-reflection, thus improving effectiveness in achieving outcomes and impacts.

Featured image: Farmers tend to a pepper garden in Indonesia. Photo by Y. Ahmad/ICRAF

  • Leaflet

    CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry leaflet

Annual reports

  • Annual Report

    CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry Annual Report 2021
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