Inaugural Conference

The International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) is a global network for forest science cooperation. It unites more than 15,000 scientists in almost 700 member organizations in over 110 countries. The Forestry Research Network of sub-Saharan Africa (FORNESSA) is the African arm of IUFRO. The network was formed in 2000 to support research that contributes to the conservation and sustainable management of forest resources in sub-Saharan Africa.

The two organizations have organized the first IUFRO-FORNESSA Regional Congress set to take place at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya from June 25 to June 30 2012. As a longstanding member of IUFRO, the Centre is proud to host this historical event.

The main theme of the congress is “Forests and Trees: Serving the People of Africa and the World”. Organizers are hoping that this theme will set a clear objective for all participants with keynote speakers and presenters framing their messages to coincide with this theme. The World Agroforestry Centre’s Director General, Professor Tony Simons will give a keynote speech on Tuesday 26 June focusing on landscape approaches to future forest and tree resources management.

His speech will set the scene for the agroforestry technical session set to take place later on the same day. The session will cover agroforestry science, key policy issues and the reach of agroforestry across the globe. Presenters during this technical session will include Deputy Director General, Prof August Temu and other scientists.      

Deputy Director General, Prof August Temu’s address will focus on emerging tree resources that stand to benefit Africa while scientists like Assogbadjo A.E. of Benin will highlight the socio-economic factors that contribute to a farmer’s choice of which trees to include on the farm.

Other presentations within the agroforestry technical session will touch on measuring biomass yield in agroforestry systems, the role of tree diversity in coffee plantations and the management of them within cocoa agroforestry systems, among other varied topics.

The need for research into sustainable forest management has become pivotal because many rural Africans depend on the forest for products such as firewood. The dissemination of forest research results has become more urgent as Africa’s forests are being depleted at the rate of 4.1 million hectares annually.

Participants will work together throughout the congress week addressing many different challenges in order to demonstrate the impact that forest science has had on livelihoods, environmental management and development in Africa by combining a number of research outputs that put relevant information in the hands of forest communities, forest managers, policymakers, the private sector and civil society.

In order to make this goal a reality, the congress discussions will follow six sub-themes that include:

  • Agroforestry, Energy and Food Security
  • Forests and Climate Change
  • Forests and Water
  • Forest Policy, Governance and Trade
  • Forest Biodiversity and Conservation
  • Education, Training and Institutional Capacity Building.

The fourth day of the congress will be dedicated to forest policy and will be hosted by the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) and the African Forest Forum (AFF). It has been branded as ITTO/AFF Forest Policy Day which will cover the theme, “The Policy/Science Interface for Sustainable Forest Management in Africa.”

The Forest Policy Day will address the influence academic research has on African forestry and how such information can be generated in a way that will support policy changes particularly with regard to deforestation in east and southern African woodlands. Policy change affects enterprises such as commercial chainsaw logging and the effect those enterprises might have on challenges such as corruption. 

In recent times, there have been conflicts across sectors as involved stakeholders try to marry competing interests in treating trees as food, trees as fibre and trees as fuel. The Forest Policy Day will dedicate a whole session for the discussion of these interlinked issues.

Visit the Congress website for the full program.


Painting a picture of the future agroforestry research landscape
July 11, 2012
Loving the forest: who goes in and who stays out?
July 11, 2012
A new ‘DNA’ for global sustainability and its implications for research
July 11, 2012
Expert panellists discuss how to unlock the wealth of Africa
July 9, 2012
Secrets of the Central African bush trade
July 4, 2012
Can REDD make Africa greener?
July 3, 2012
Online carbon technology demonstration set to help farmers
July 3,2012
Inspiration for first ever regional forest policy congress


Selected Publications on Climate Change

1 . Chaudhury, M.; Ajayi, O.C.; Hellin, J.; Neufeldt, H.  World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Nairobi (Kenya) 2011. Climate change adaptation and social protection in agroforestry systems: enhancing adaptive capacity and minimizing risk of drought in Zambia and Honduras.  -- Nairobi, Kenya: World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) ICRAF Working paper no. 137, 31p.. [2011269] 

2. Neufeldt, H.; van de Sand, I.; Dietz, J.; Minh Ha, H.; Yatich, T.; Lasco, R.D.; van Noordwijk, M. 2011. Climate change, climate variability and adaptation options. In: van Noordwijk, M., Minh Ha, H., Neufeldt, H., Oborn, I. and Yatich, T. 2011. How trees and people can co-adapt to climate change: reducing vulnerability through multifunctional agroforestry landscapes. Nairobi: World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) p. 15-35. [2011312]

3. Neufeldt, H.; Dawson, I.K.; Luedeling, E.; Ajayi, O.C.; Beedy, T.; Gebrekirstos, A.; Jamnadass, R.H.; König, K.; Sileshi, G.W.; Simelton, E.; Montes, C.S.; Weber, J.C.  2012. Climate change vulnerability of agroforestry.  -- Nairobi, Kenya: World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) ICRAF Working paper no. 143, 31p.. [2012013]

4. Lasco, R.D.; Cruz, R.V.O.; Pulhin, J.M.; Pulhin, F.B.  World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Laguna (Philippines) 2010. Assessing climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation - the case of Pantabangan-Carranglan watershed.  -- Laguna, Philippines: World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) 93p.. [B16559] 551.583 LAS

5 . van Noordwijk, M.; Hoang, M.H.; Neufeldt, H.; Öborn, I.; Yatich, T. (eds) 2011. How trees and people can co-adapt to climate change: reducing vulnerability through multifunctional agroforestry landscapes.  -- Nairobi, Kenya: World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) 133p.. [B17128]

6 . Thorlakson, T.  Harvard University Weatherhead Centre, Cambridge MA (USA) 2011. Reducing subsistence farmers’ vulnerability to climate change.  -- Nairobi, Kenya: World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) ICRAF Occasional paper no. 16, 74p.. [2011183]

7.  World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Laguna (Philippines) 2010. Local incentive-based policy for Vegetable-Agroforestry. A locally-appropriate adaptation and mitigation action (LAAMA) to climate change.  -- Laguna, Philippines: World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) Philippines, VAF Policy Brief Series, Issue No. 3, 4p.. [2010059]

Selected Publications on Bioversity & Food Security


1 . Akinnifesi F.K.; Sileshi, G.W; Ajayi, O.C.; Akinnifesi, A.I.; de Moura, E.G.; Linhares, J.F.P.; Rodrigues, I. 2010. Biodiversity of urban homegardens of Sao Luis city, northeastern Brazil. Urban Ecosystem 13(1) p. 129-146. [2010014]

2 . Jackson, L.; van Noordwijk, M.; Bengtsson, J.; Foster, W.; Lipper, L.; Pulleman, M.; Said, M.; Snaddon, J.; Vodouhe, R. 2010. Biodiversity and agricultural sustainagility: from assessment to adaptive management. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 2 (1-2) p.80-87. [2010036]

3 . Martini, E.; Roshetko, J.M.; van Noordwijk, M.; Rahmanulloh, A.; Mulyoutami, E.; Joshi, L.; Budidarsono, S. 2011. Sugar palm (Arenga pinnata (Wurmb) Merr.) for livelihoods and biodiversity conservation in the orangutan habitat of Batang Toru, North Sumatra, Indonesia: mixed prospects for domestication. Agroforestry Systems p. 1-17. [2011338]

4 . Pye-Smith, C.  World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Nairobi (Kenya) 2011. Rich rewards for rubber? Research in Indonesia is exploring how smallholders can increase rubber production, retain biodiversity and provide additional environmental benefits.  -- Nairobi, Kenya: World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) ICRAF trees for change no. 8, 42p.. [B17073]

6 . Lopez, R.C.; Herrera, M.N.; Lasco, R.D.  World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Bogor (Indonesia) 2011. Carbon-forestry projects in the Philippines: potential and challenges: the Quirino forest-carbon development project in Sierra Madre Biodiversity Corridor.  -- Bogor, Indonesia: World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) ICRAF Working paper no. 132. 56p.. [2011057] 546.26 LOP

7 . Akinnifesi, F.K.; Ajayi, O.C.; Sileshi, G.; Chirwa, P,.; Chianu, J. 2010. Fertilizer trees for sustainable food security in the maize-based production systems of East and Southern Africa region: a review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development 30(3) p. 615-629. [2010283]

8 . Mwalwanda, A.B.; Ajayi, O.C.; Akinnifesi, F.K.; Beedy, T.; Sileshi, G.; Chiundu, G.   2011. Impact of fertilizer trees on maize production and food security in six districts of Malawi.  -- Malawi: World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) 34p.. [B17068] 631.45 MWA

9 . Garrity, D.P.; Akinnifesi, F.K.; Ajayi, O.C.; Weldesemayat, S.G.; Mowo, J.G.; Kalinganire, A.; Larwanou, M.; Bayala, J. 2010. Evergreen Agriculture: a robust approach to sustainable food security in Africa. Food Security 2 (3) p. 197-214. [2010128]

10 . Syampungani, S.; Chirwa, P.W.; Akinnifesi, F.K.; Ajayi, O.C. 2010. The potential of using Agroforestry as a win-win solution to climate change mitigation and adaptation and meeting food security challenges in Southern Africa. Agricultural Journal 5 (2) p. 80-88. [2010101]