About us

Where we work and what we do

We undertake research in development in Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Viet Nam and other countries in Southeast Asia in partnership with governments and local, national and international research and development organizations. Our research projects are specific to countries, landscapes and commodities and are also regional, crossing national boundaries to compare conditions in order to learn more effectively and share the knowledge more widely.

Our REGIONAL PROJECTS have been at the forefront of global investigations into ways to optimise economic growth and protection of the services provided by the environment.

We have been instrumental in developing schemes that reward upland farmers for the environmental services they provide to lowland communities and companies, helping to preserve essential natural functions while also improving poor farmers’ livelihoods.

Another of our regional investigations is into ways to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from all land uses through developing methodological, policy and investment guidance. We design frameworks for plans and policies, pilot incentives, and build capacity. We are also developing approaches to social forestry that integrate it into the climate-change adaptation and mitigation strategies of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations while increasing the socio-economic benefits for communities, women and vulnerable groups. In particular, we are calling on ASEAN to develop an agroforestry strategy and policies with member states.

In addition, we manage the Alternatives to Slash and Burn Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins. This collaboration helps develop innovative policies and practices that increase productivity and income for rural households without worsening deforestation or undermining essential environmental services.

Together with a number of partners we have embarked on a major research in development initiative called the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry. The program has the clear objective of enhancing the management and use of forests, agroforestry and tree genetic resources across the landscape from forests through farms to markets. We also provide our expertise to other CGIAR programs.

In Indonesia, we work at two levels. At landscape level we focus mainly on land-use planning for low-emission development and multiple environmental services, including through sustainable forest management and agroforestry systems to maintain biodiversity and other environmental services, buffer habitat quality, secure land rights and improve livelihoods.

At farm level, we work on developing agroforestry technologies, improving market value-chains, conducting training and providing policy recommendations.

In the Philippines, we are investigating the rapid loss of biodiversity and depletion of watersheds in protected areas; improving planning for agricultural development to reduce rural poverty and improve livelihoods; developing integrated food-and-fuel systems for smallholders; and promoting conservation agriculture with trees.

In Thailand, in partnership with Chiang Mai University we have established the Knowledge Support Center for the Greater Mekong Sub-region to increase understanding of the complex and often poorly understood sub-region by sharing information about issues related to natural resources management, environmental services and climate change. This is a matter of increasing urgency as all countries that lie within its scope are undergoing rapid development with a corresponding degradation of the subregion’s natural capital.

In Viet Nam, we are developing integrated agroforestry systems for degraded sloping land that are economically attractive to farmers while also rehabilitating the environment; and promoting sustainable, climate-smart, agricultural practices throughout the nation.

For details, please see our profile here:

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