From left: Anne-Marie Izac, Lalisa Duguma, Dieudonne Allemagi at the ASB Partnership session during ICRAF science week

During ICRAF science week in September, a special session on lessons from 20 years of ASB Partnership was held. Notable was a presentation by Dr. Anne-Marie, the CGIAR Science Advisor and former 2nd Chair of ASB/GSG on lessons from the partnership across the years. She lauded ASB Partnership as a model for successful integrated networks and other programs within the CGIAR and elsewhere. She highlighted five important lessons:

By Meine van Noordwijk

There is little confusion about what would be globally appropriate mitigation actions (GAMA) to keep the warming of our planet in the range of 2 degrees Celsius. Beyond that level of warming planetary feedbacks may kick in, such as changes in oceanic circulation, which are hard to control. There is also little uncertainty in most places, what locally appropriate adaptation and mitigation actions (LAAMA) could look like, to ensure that sustainable development progresses and/or remains in reach. Often such options will include forests, trees and agroforestry. The specifics will be highly context dependent, with external financial co-investment crucial in the poorest (least developed) countries. But, between this GAMA and the many LAAMA’s there’s a gaping hole.

Proportion of emissions by land-use planning units in Coronel Portillo province (2005-2010). In Ucayali, most land-use changes and emissions occur in land with uncertain tenure (Indeterminado), followed by the titled private land (Predios), indigenous lan

By Glenn Hyman

The ASB Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins just released a new policy brief – in both Spanish and English – on land-use planning for low-emissions development in the Peruvian Amazon Department of Ucayali. The policy brief describes lessons learned from a recent initiative of the Reducing Emissions from All Land Uses (REALU) project. Partner organizations involved in the REDD Mesa Ucayali, a committee of institutions interested in advancing programs to reduce emissions, carried out an exercise to evaluate land-use change, associated carbon stocks, and the cost and benefits of emissions in the context of livelihoods.

"What I remember from the fieldwork underlying this paper is the challenge of the incompatible sampling techniques" Meine vanNoordwijk, Chief Scientist, ICRAF

By Meine van Noordwijk

Biodiversity encompasses all forms of life, and it is thus nearly impossible to measure. Most of the time we have to rely on “proxies”, or correlates, such as the presence of trees – with the expectation that the larger and more diverse the trees are, the higher the diversity of other forms of life will be. Natural rain forest is  the most diverse ecosystem on land, only rivaled by its marine counterpart in the coral reef.

Sometimes, how we say something may be as important as what we say. With regard to climate change, how we say it is often perceived as affecting people far from us in both time and space. A new article published in The Conversation explains how reconceptualising climate change as a health issue may allow for both better understanding of and greater scope for changing behaviour. Read more

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science presents scenarios where Indonesia could have earned $5 billion in revenue and avoided 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions between 2000 and 2005 had a reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD+) program been in place. Read more 

Dangers of inadequate design of REDD mechanism include undermining incentives for clean energy development by reducing the price of carbon offsets and potentially subsidizing industrial activities in forests, including plantation forestry and logging. Did REDD talks in Durban make progress that could help avert these dangers?

By Elizabeth Kahurani in Durban, South Africa

Agriculture is a major driver of land use change, with negative impacts to existing biodiversity and natural resources, yet it remains the only means to feed a growing, hungry population.

Dr. Henry Neufeldt (left) with other panelists during the side event in Durban, South AfricaTo maintain a balance between increasing the ‘food basket’ while conserving the environment, Dr. Henry Neufeldt, head of climate change at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), says there is need to shift from a business as usual approach to one that is pro-poor and climate-smart in agricultural production.

Dr. Neufeldt was speaking at a side event organized by ICRAF at the ongoing UN climate talks in Durban.

By Elizabeth Kahurani

As drylands ambassador of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), Dr. Dennis Garrity, a Distinguished Board Research Fellow at ICRAF, highlighted success stories of the evergreen climate smart agriculture initiative at the Dryland Forest Summit and Land Day 5 events in Durban, South Africa.

Dr. Dennis Garrity (left) with the Deputy President of South Africa, Kgalema Motlanthe, at the opening of Land Day 5 which was held at the margins of COP 17 in Durban, South AfricaThe events were held at the 2011 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 17th Conference of Parties.

By Elizabeth Kahurani

Agroforestry, reforestation and afforestation constitute very relevant strategies for alleviating pressure on forests and significantly contributing to co-benefits in a landscape approach to REDD+.