East & Central Asia


The World Agroforestry Centre’s East and Central Asia regional office (ICRAF ECA) is the region’s leading agroforestry research centre, aiming to improve livelihoods and environment by generating the science that underpins policy and agricultural methods. It is currently led by Prof Jianchu Xu.

We envision nothing less than rural transformation in our region – where smallholder households strategically increase the use of trees in agricultural landscapes and watersheds to improve their food security, nutrition, income, health, and energy sources while ensuring environmental sustainability.

Our mission, therefore, is to generate and disseminate knowledge about the diverse roles that trees play in agriculture and watersheds, in order to advance policies and practices that benefit the poor and the environment.


ICRAF ECA’s main research facility is located in Kunming, the capital of south-western China’s Yunnan province. A liaison office has been set up in Beijing and a brand-new office was opened in late 2014 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Our East and Central Asia office focuses its research and projects in three agro-ecological zones, each with their particular social and environmental challenges:

  1. The arid and semi-arid areas or dryland ecosystems of northwest China, Mongolia and Central Asia;
  2. The highlands of the Himalayan-Tibetan Plateau; and
  3. The uplands of the Mekong region.

In modern geopolitical terms, our area comprises (parts of) 11 countries: China, DPR Korea (North Korea), Mongolia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Nepal. Additionally, we continue to do legacy research and projects in previously overlapping parts of Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Laos.