FOCUS: The Intensification Challenge
Growing demand for food, fuel and other commodities, coupled with natural resources scarcity has created an urgent need to produce more with less. Intensified production on farmed land in the tropics will be necessary not only to meet rising demands but also to protect intact ecosystems from conversion and reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). A range of agroforestry and landscape restoration practices can respond to this intensification challenge, increasing soil fertility and crop productivity very significantly, often by an order of two to three times compared to current yields in many parts of the tropics. Arguably, no other form of agricultural land use can potentially lock up more carbon per hectare of cropland than farm forestry and agroforestry.
Yet investment in these tree-based approaches has been lagging. Has a limited understanding of potential investment opportunities kept investors at bay? What policy, regulatory, and institutional barriers should be lifted in order to encourage climate-smart agriculture on a meaningful scale? What are the speciic adoption constraints faced by farmers?
These are some of the questions which PROFOR and partners are hoping to tackle at a Forum in Nairobi at the end of May (see below). Background papers prepared for the event will provide: An overview of tree-based technologies and approaches which can restore and enhance the functionality of rural farming landscapes in Africa, and generate private investment interest; a mapping of the potential for landscape restoration measures in Africa; and an analysis of constraints and opportunities for private sector investment in forests and trees.
Event: Nairobi, May 25-27, 2011 An Investment Forum: Mobilizing Private Investment in Trees and Landscape Restoration in Africa. PROFOR, the World Bank, IUCN, Ecoagriculture Partners and Terrafrica will join forces with the World Agrofrestry Centre to generate greater interest in agroforestry and other landscape approaches, particularly from the private sector. Investing in degraded landscapes holds the promise of a 'triple win' by improving rural livelihoods, increasing resilience in the face of climate extremes, and mitigating climate change.
In the pipeline: Several bodies of analytical work are about to hit the shelf in edited, hard copy form including work on forest governance and ICT and a guidance note on Public Expenditure Reviews in the Forests Sector.
Efforts to draft a common governance framework are gathering speed, following the Stockholm symposium in September. The framework will provide common pillars, principles and criteria for assessing and monitoring forest governance in different countries. If widely endorsed, this common language could help forest agencies and programs streamline their efforts.
PROFOR's work on forests and fragile states will likely be published in an edited, hard-cover version under the title Forests, Fragility and Conflict after the launch of the World Development Report 2011 on development and conflict.
PROFOR shared examples of its impact and findings in its 2010 Progress Report with donor representatives at PROFOR's Advisory Board Meeting in Brussels in February.
More than 350 people and organizations are now following PROFOR on Twitter.
PROFOR has a redesigned website with keywords and improved search functions. Leave us a comment in the blog-like Field Notes section of the site.