As the world witnesses some of our greatest challenges, we shift gears from urgent to emergency – from climate crisis to landscape degradation to wildfires and now a global pandemic. But we also see momentum building for solutions that put forests at the fore, including such as the announcement of the UN Decade of Ecological Restoration 2021–2030, discussions of nature-based solutions, and the recognition of local forest communities and Indigenous Peoples as the best land managers for forest conservation.
Scientific evidence is among the best tools the world has at its disposal to tackle the connected crises the world is facing. The merger of CIFOR and World Agroforestry (ICRAF) – set the stage for more evidence and solutions that will improve people’s lives, help to conserve and restore the ecosystems that support people and nature, and respond to the global climate crisis. Our scientists advanced critical knowledge on forest landscape restoration, wild foods and timber legality in Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and peatland fires, biofuel, oil palm and wetland ‘blue carbon’ in Indonesia – with clear policy impacts in Southeast Asia from 10 years of social forestry research and engagement. Our ongoing Global Comparative Studies – GCS REDD+ and GCS Tenure – continued to bring science to policy makers across Africa, Asia and Latin America. Gender researchers looked deep into a myriad of topics, and we mourned the loss of principal scientist and Nairobi hub leader Esther Mwangi, whose legacy of achievements in gender and land rights won’t be soon forgotten.
The Global Landscapes Forum launched a new community platform GLFx, and a state-of-the-art GLF Digital Broadcasting Center at the CIFOR-ICRAF GLF Bonn office. GLF secretariat in Bonn where GLF produces conferences and events at the vanguard of the digital era. The digital events are broadcast globally, reducing the carbon footprint of participants and partner organizations. Major events in Kyoto, Bonn, New York, Accra and Luxembourg were attended in-person by over 3,000 people, with 65 million reached on social media and coverage from major news outlets like BBC and The Globe and Mail. At the GLF Investment Case, hosted by the Luxembourg Government in November, nearly 500 leaders from sustainable finance institutions including BNP Paribas, the European Investment Bank and Rabo Bank worked to ease the process of channelling investment into landscape sustainability projects and supply chains.
CIFOR-ICRAF alongside the work of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry and the Global Landscapes Forum will continue to provide the crucial data and evidence in the effort to build resilient forests, agroforestry systems and landscapes for a more equitable and sustainable planet.