How ASB works: Local collaboration, global partnerships
ASB was founded as a system-wide ecoregional programme of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), with the objective of facilitating partnership in research among CGIAR centres in the tropical forest margins. ASB is a leading global partnership devoted entirely to research on the tropical forest margins. ASB's impacts were recognized with the CGIAR Science Award for Outstanding Partnership in 2005.
The core of ASB is formed by international partners and national-level agricultural research organizations in countries where benchmark sites are located. Additional partners include universities, non-governmental organizations, and policymakers. Since 1994, ASB has collaborated with over 90 institutions worldwide.
ASB science is grounded in local reality. ASB's benchmark sites play a key role in developing partnerships with local institutions because they provide a focus for sustained involvement and interaction.
Currently, ASB is actively collaborating with the following institutions:
National Agricultural Research Institutions
Other International Research Institutions
Please visit the page Our Work to learn about specific projects, including partners and donors.
How we are organised
ASB has a multi-layer structure. Coordination and facilitation are provided by the ASB global coordination office, ASB regional facilitators and ASB national facilitators. The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) has hosted the global coordination office since inception, in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Global Steering Group (GSG)
The ASB Global Steering Group (GSG) is the main policy and decision-making body whose primary role is to provide overall governance and guidance to ASB. The GSG operates as a consultative group in determining priorities for the consortium.
The GSG is comprised of representatives from four Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) centres, the James Hutton Institute, and six national agricultural research systems.
GSG membership remains flexible with pragmatic criteria based on the following guidelines:
- Strong interest, active participation and a demonstration of sustainable involvement in the consortium;
- Implementation of ASB activities at the national and regional levels;
- Contribution to cross-cutting ASB activities; and
- Ability to contribute to core funding in different dimensions.
The Chair convenes the GSG meetings annually and as necessary. The GSG seeks decisions by building consensus. The GSG meetings help to provide guidance on science policies, budget and fundraising strategies.
Global Coordination Office
ASB Global Coordination Office
The ASB global coordination office (GCO) has pivotal roles in coordinating research, and leading synthesis, communication, and translation of ASB research results into global public goods to be used by a variety of audiences. The ASB GCO is hosted by The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), in Nairobi, Kenya.
ASB GCO staff:
- Dr. Peter A Minang: ASB Global Coordinator
- Florence Bernard: ASB Programme Associate
- Joyce Kasyoki: Manager, Administration
- Elizabeth Kahurani: Communications Officer
ASB GCO activities include:
- Global synthesis of ASB results for scientists and policymakers
- Promotion and Communication of ASB research to international, regional and national audiences
- Efficient coordination and support for effective governance, including support to the ASB Global Steering Group (GSG).
- Facilitation of research planning and standardization of methods to ensure cross-site comparability
- Lead fundraising for global activities.
- Support to ASB partners' programmes including fundraising, capacity building, and programme grants to partners .
These functions provide key 'glue' in binding together the partnership and, particularly, in producing global public goods. Examples of communications products include our publications, our website and the ASB e-newsletter. However, the global coordination office accounts for only a small portion of the activity of the many partners in this large and complex consortium.
History of ASB
The ASB Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins was first established in 1994 as "Alternatives to Slash-and-Burn", and until 2007 was a system-wide programme of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Initially, ASB was focused on reducing the threat of slash-and-burn farming systems to the world’s humid tropical forests, by creating viable and profitable land use alternatives for smallholder farmers in these areas. Early phases of ASB research explained the direct and indirect drivers of land use change and deforestation in the tropical forest margins. Later phases gave greater attention to potential technical and institutional responses, including adding value to tree crop systems, reform of property rights, and conditional rewards for environmental services.
The current phase of ASB is focused on reducing emissions from land use change, including forestry, agriculture, while ensuring viable livelihoods and enhancing social and environmental co-benefits. Since 2008 ASB has evolved to the “Partnership of the Tropical Forest Margins”