New tree books mean Michelle Gauthier’s dream lives on

Trees along streets in San Francisco, California, USA. Photo by Hubert de Foresta, IRD

The reviews of two books, and an obituary to the passionate advocate for trees who helped bring them to life, have been recently published in the journal Forests, Trees and Livelihoods.

The first review is by Professor Roger Leakey, senior fellow at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and professor at James Cook University, Australia. Leakey analyses a comprehensive and beautifully illustrated technical report on a keenly important but hirtherto under-measured and insufficiently valued natural resource—trees outside forests. Read more. . .

Sound farming advice for a ‘new normal’ climate

It’s natural to wonder whether our current climate—with its erratic rainfall patterns and increasingly frequent weather upheavals—will ever return to normalcy. According to a leading development expert, it won’t.

“The planet’s climate has changed irreversibly; continued change is the new normal,” Brent M. Simpson, Deputy Director of the USAID-funded Modernizing Extension and Advisory Service (MEAS) project, told a recent forum in Nairobi. Read more. . .

New climate change agency in Indonesia to go beyond carbon

Dr Kuntoro Mangkusubroto at ICRAF-Nairobi 5 Feb 2013
Dr Kuntoro Mangkusubroto at ICRAF Hq-Nairobi, 5 Feb 2013

Between 60 and 80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Indonesia come from forest and peatland loss. “We have to tackle this in order to meet Indonesia’s commitment to emissions reduction,” Dr. Kuntoro Mangkusubroto said to an audience at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) headquarters in Nairobi, on 5 February 2013.

At the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh in 2009, Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono made a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the richly forested country. “We are devising …a policy … that will reduce our emissions by 26 percent by 2020. With international support… we can reduce emissions by as much as 41 percent,” the President said. And in May 2010, Indonesia signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Norway to support REDD+ through a contribution of 1 billion US dollars, to be paid based on verified emissions reductions. Read more. . .

‘Farming the associations’ with trees for food security, climate resilience

Intercropped farm in Meru, Kenya. Photo by Sammy Carsan/ICRAF

At a webinar on agroforestry’s potential to foster food security and mitigate and build resilience to climate change, keynote speaker Emmanuel Torquebiau said agroforestry was not simply about “farming trees and farming crops side by side.”

“It is, rather, about farming the associations between crops or animals and trees.” In well-designed agroforestry systems, the ecological requirements of crops, livestock and trees (e.g. shade/light requirements, root structure, and water demand), market value and other considerations in time and space are taken into account, together, he explained. Read more. . .

Brazil’s pride in the Amazon keeps deforestation at bay

By Kristi Foster
“I hope we will not have this conversation,” came Tasso Azevedo’s candid response when asked what new drivers of deforestation we could be discussing 20 years from now.

The question came from a member of the 150-strong audience in a discussion forum hosted by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), called Drivers of deforestation: Exploring regional differences and new patterns. The forum was part of Forest Day 6, held on 2 December 2012, on the sidelines of the 18th United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP18) in Doha. Read more. . .

World Agroforestry Centre and Convention on Biological Diversity enter sustainable land use pact

Ravi Prabhu and Braulio Ferreria de Souza Dias October 2012
Ravi Prabhu and Braulio Ferreria de Souza Dias October 2012 Ravi Prabhu of World Agroforestry Centre (L) with CBD Executive Secretary Braulio Ferreria de Souza Dias at MOU signing on 11 October 2012. Photo by Kara Brown

The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) have signed an agreement that signals a renewed commitment to the sustainable use of land resources and indigenous biodiversity, as well as ‘climate smart’ agriculture.

“Agriculture should no longer be seen as the enemy of biodiversity,” said Ravi Prabhu, Deputy Director-General for Research at the World Agroforestry Centre, during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding at the 11th Conference of the Parties (COP11) in Hyderabad, India. Read more. . .