CIFOR puts sustainable supply of agricultural commodities at top of agenda

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The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) has confirmed it has begun a new partnership with the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) in order to share expertise regarding the sustainable supply of agricultural commodities.

SNV is a not-for-profit development organisation which focused on the alleviation of poverty and overall sustainable development, while CIFOR is a non-profit, scientific body that carries out research regarding the ongoing challenges relating to global forest and landscape management. It focuses on the advancement of environmental conservation and human well-being, helping to both boost the management of tropical forest land across the globe as well as assisting those people who depend on forests for their livelihoods. CIFOR also leads the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry.

The forestry body announced the new linkup at the 2016 Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit, (APRS) which was held in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam. Allert van den Ham, SNV’s chief executive officer and Peter Holmgren, CIFOR’s director general, then formalised the agreement under a Memorandum of Understanding.

It is hoped that the partnership will allow the collaboration of knowledge and technical expertise regarding key areas including the sustainable supply of agricultural commodities, along with business models and services provision to smallholders. There is also to be work put into boosting innovations relating to financing methods which will help to ensure smallholders can access affordable credit. Investment models that benefits smallholders and forest management and restoration are also to be focused on by the new partnership.

Both bodies have agreed to work together in order to build on their joint strengths so they can deliver a series of strategies regarding the overall top priorities – climate change mitigation and economic development. Leading the new partnership is Richard McNally, SNV global coordinator for Climate Change and Pablo Pacheco, CIFOR principal scientist and Team Leader for value chains, finance and investments.

Mr McNally said: “SNV is very excited to become a strategic partner with CIFOR. This will bring more research and scientific rigour into our more complex programs exploring the relationships between smallholder agriculture, forest protection and landscape management.”

Mr Pacheco agreed with Mr McNally, saying: “CIFOR sees significant value in this partnership as part of our efforts to link our research to actions in the ground that work for forests, economic development and rural livelihoods. SNV has developed an important capacity that will contribute to link our research to practise in ways that are meaningful to different local realities,” Pacheco said.

In related news, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) has launched its yearly invitation for proposals (RFP) for the SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Programme, which help to boost the relationship between forests and communities across American and Canadian forests as well as increasing overall forestry research across the globe.

Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc, said: “With more than a quarter billion acres/100 million hectares certified to SFI, representing the breadth of our diverse forests across Canada and the United States, and millions more positively impacted by SFI Fiber Sourcing, SFI has the necessary scale to directly influence the future of our forests.

“This new grant cycle focuses on helping to quantify the impacts of well managed forests on water, biodiversity, and mitigation of climate change impacts. Our community grants will build more partnerships with community organisations that work to link communities to our future forests, and help people understand the relevancy of forests in their lives,” added Ms Abusow.

GWD Forestry spokesman, James Barrett, said: “It is encouraging to hear about these new partnerships between organisations that are dedicated to the improvement of forest management across the globe. Anything that helps to protect these precious resources can only be a good thing both in terms of environmental impact, climate change and future generations of people.”

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