Putting land tenure and agroforestry at the heart of a sustainable future


This story was originally published on the website of the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), which will host a session titled Governance: Governing access and securing rights to land and resources at the Forests Asia Summit in Jakarta, May 5 to 6, 2014. Follow ICRAF on Twitter.

Our suffering planet looks to be on a path of destruction, according to many, but leading thinkers who gathered at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) annual Science Week in 2013 see the possibility of a bright, and sustainable, future earth with secure land rights and agroforestry at its core, says Robert Finlayson.

Every year, most of ICRAF’s 300-plus scientists gather in Nairobi, Kenya, to discuss research methods and findings from projects in almost 40 countries around the world. The week-long event ended with a panel of distinguished guests discussing what is needed to create a future, sustainable earth.

The panel was part of a contribution to the Future Earth initiative.

The questions, ‘What is this future earth? What does it demand of all of us? What can we identify as a path to progress?’ were posed by the moderator, Dr Ravi Prabhu, the Centre’s deputy director-general of research.

Achim Steiner, executive director and under-secretary-general of the United Nations Environment Programme, argued in response that we need more research into sustainable production landscapes. To make such landscapes a reality, decision makers needed to receive more information that was relevant for implementation, he said.

So the real question was what could we do to make sure that people were properly informed and motivated to act?

For Steiner, the current age is focused on the “production maximisation curve” but rather than exploit resources we need to manage systems if we are to feed 7 billion people without destroying ourselves in the process.

See more


RaTA: A Rapid Land Tenure Assessment manual for identifying the nature of land tenure conflicts – Galudra, G. et al 

Reducing Emissions from All Land Uses (REALU) – Vietnam: will current forest land tenure impede REDD+ efforts in Vietnam? – Do Trong, H. et al

Hot spot of emission and confusion: land tenure insecurity, contested policies and competing claims in the central Kalimantan ex-mega rice project area – Galudra, G. et al 

The emergence of forest land redistribution in Indonesia – Sirait, M.T.

Trees in multi-Use Landscapes in Southeast Asia (TULSEA): A negotiation support toolbox for Integrated Natural Resource Management (INRM) – van Noordwijk, M. et al

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