Farmers have practiced agroforestry for thousands of years, nurturing trees on their farms and lands around their homes.
The World Agroforestry Centre aims to build on what farmers already know and do. By combining scientific excellence with innovative development partnerships, the World Agroforestry Centre is delivering science to farmers and policy debates.
In some of the poorest and most environmentally fragile parts of Southeast Asia, agroforestry is at the frontier of sustainable rural development.
For more than 30 years, agroforestry has been heralded and actively promoted as a practical and beneficial land use system for smallholders.
Established in 1978, the World Agroforestry Centre is one of a network of 16 Centres of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).
We work in six regions of the world in partnership with national agricultural research organizations, universities, government and non-government development institutions and advanced research institute partners. The results of all our work are made freely available.
The Southeast Asia program was established in 1993 with Indonesia as its regional headquarters, linking with the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).
The World Agroforestry Centre is legally established as the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry).
The vision of the Southeast Asia regional program is that agroforestry opportunities are made available to all people in the region so that they have access to natural resource, health, social, financial and physical security in a manner that respects livelihood choices, diversity and the environment.
Our mission is to use science to generate knowledge about the complex role of trees in agricultural systems and their effects on livelihoods and the environment, and foster use of the knowledge to influence decisions and practices that impact the poor.
Our key challenge
Public policies, institutions and perceptions tend to view forestry and agriculture as distinct from one another. But trees are widespread throughout the agricultural landscape, whether they have been deliberately planted or remnants of natural vegetation.
Our challenge is to integrate the institutional view with the reality of how agroforestry operates in the landscape.
The Southeast Asia program works in two geographically distinct areas.
The islands: In Indonesia, from highly populated Java to medium density Sumatra and low density Kalimantan, as well as locations in the drier and poorer East. In the Philippines, we have sites in Mindanao and the Visayas.
The mainland: Mountainous areas of Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and southwest China, all part of the greater Mekong region. In these poor and fragile upland zones, changing patterns of land use are linked with ecological, ethnic and cultural diversity.
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