Author Archives: Forests Asia

Will forests be able to adapt quickly enough to the effects of climate change? Photo credit: Jan van der Ploeg for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)

The burden and opportunity of climate change

The warming of the climate system is unequivocal and unprecedented. Oceans have warmed to a depth of 700 meters with huge implications for marine life and aquatic ecosystems. Around 30 percent of atmospheric greenhouse gases have been absorbed by the oceans, resulting in ocean acidification. From 1901-2010, the mean sea level rose 19 centimeters globally,…

New rubber plantation in Mae Chaem, Thailand. Photo: World Agroforestry Centre/Robert Finlayson

Farewell shifting cultivation, hello monoculture

Shifting cultivation is on the way out as farmers in Southeast Asia turn to monocultures, says Amy C. Cruz ‘Change is constant.’ This we can be sure of. Anything (and anyone) in this world will change over the span of its existence. People grow up from babies to adults. Trees develop from seeds and seedlings….

Community carbon measurement in Merauke, Papua province, Indonesia. Photo: World Agroforestry Centre/Degi Harja

The invisible rights of indigenous people in Indonesia have suddenly appeared

Indigenous people in Indonesia have, until recently, been invisible in the debate over land rights. But the situation is starting to change, says Masayu Vinanda. Over the past few decades, although much of the forest land in Indonesia has been converted to other uses or severely degraded, some indigenous communities with their local wisdom still…

Pavan Suhkdev at the Forests Asia summit, Jakarta, Indonesia. Photo for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

Whose GDP?

Pavan Sukhdev spoke at the Forests Asia Summit in Jakarta on May 5. He participated in a panel of REDD+ specialists discussing their experiences with pilot REDD+ projects on the ground. The founder and CEO of GIST advisory argued that in order for REDD+ projects to be truly beneficial for all stakeholders, participants need to…

Landscape of Kelok Lima. Aulia Erlangga for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

Transforming the global landscape

Like an aerial view, this is an example of where “top-down” works. Landscape approaches take the bigger picture, looking at the overall diversity of eco-systems within a landscape – an approach which has fast gained ground as the best way to ensure sustainable land use. Global demand for food, biofuel and fiber is transforming the…

Cut logs being transported to saw mills, Jepara, Central Java, Indonesia. Photo by Dita Alangkara for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

Next steps for forests and climate change

The Southeast Asian region is well known for its forest landscapes, which are rich in natural resources that can help to support the region and the world. Countries that are part of the Association of Southeast Asian Regions (ASEAN), and have high population growth, need more resources to meet national demands. For economic activities to…

Business representatives compared options for sustainable agriculture. Credit: Joelia F Adhisticia.

Sustainable agriculture and improving rural livelihoods

Breakfast dialogues opened the final day of the Forests Asia Summit on May 6, in which four organizations — namely Cargill Tropical Palm Holdings, Great Giant Pineapple, DuPont Indonesia, and The Forest Trust — took part in roundtable business dialogues. Anthony Yeow, president director of Cargill Tropical Palm Holdings, said that building relationships with smallholders…

Land cleared in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Photo by Yayan Indriatmoko for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

Forest like you wouldn’t believe

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Garry Dunning, Executive Director of the Forests Dialogue, with a stern look. “Intact forest had essentially been made into sand dunes.” The devastation caused by mining in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia’s third-largest province, was clearly disturbing. And it’s not difficult to understand why: the province contains lowland forests that…

Nut from the Vitellaria paradoxa, known as the shea tree. Credit: Bioversity International/Barbara Vinceti.

Report on world forest genetic resources to call for smarter restoration methods

On the first day of the Forests Asia Summit, the President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, mentioned that 4 billion trees have been planted in Indonesia in the past four years. He suggested that if anyone didn’t believe him, they could go and count the trees themselves. But has anyone counted the diversity, and intra-specific…