CIFOR was originally founded in 1993 in Indonesia, and currently operates in three hubs, with two in Africa – Kenya and Cameroon – and one in Peru. CIFOR has been engaged in forest and landscape restoration activities in Africa for more than 10 years. Currently CIFOR is engaged in several studies and projects in East, Southern and West Africa where aspects of forest and landscape restoration in relation to advancing human well-being, equity, and environmental integrity are taking place through all stakeholders to inform policies and practices that affect forests and people. Over the past 5 years, CIFOR has implemented 10 projects on reforestation and restoration in 15 countries in Africa. CIFOR also leads the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agro-forestry, as well as the Global Landscapes Forum.
Some specific forest and landscape restoration programs in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda and Zambia are listed below:
- In Burkina Faso and Ghana, CIFOR is implementing the IFAD-funded project “Strengthening smallholder food security, income, and gender equity within West Africa's forest-farm interface (WAFFI)”. The WAFFI project analyzes local management of the forest-farm interface (FFI) and examines how policy frameworks address smallholder agriculture and forestry context. WAFFI’s goal is to foster engagement among policymakers, practitioners, scientists and farmer experts in multi-stakeholder dialogues and use the evidence generated by WAFFI to define strategies, approaches and actions that effectively support the livelihoods of smallholders managing the forest-farm interface for improved income, food security and equitable benefits.
- In Cameroon and DRC, CIFOR is implementing the project "PROmouvoir et Formaliser l’Exploitation Artisanale du bois en Afrique Centrale par une approche multi-scalaire: gestion territorialisée de la ressource, gouvernance de la filière, promotion des demandes de sciages légaux" (PROFEAAC). The general objective is to reduce forest degradation by better regulating and formalizing artisanal logging. The projects have two pilot sites in Cameroon and DRC. The project sites are jurisdictional entities, where CIFOR will assist the local council in planning including activities related to forest management and restoration.
- DRC is home to CIFOR's FORETS project, which contributes to integrated landscape development in and near the Yangambi Biosphere Reserve. It aims at specific objectives relating to the conservation and enhancement of biodiversity and ecosystem services to contribute to sustainable development of local populations. The embraces a range of socio-economic development opportunities within a landscape of about 400,000 hectares, directly or indirectly affecting a population of about 1 million people.
- Following the Ethiopian Government's commitment to restore degraded forests and agricultural lands, CIFOR undertook a two-year study facilitated by several ministries, together with key national partner institutions, which focused on identifying different regions of the country where different restoration interventions have been attempted. The project aimed to identify effective practices and enabling conditions for scaling up, which were subsequently shared and published.
- In Ghana’s Atewa landscape, the project “Governing Multifunctional Landscapes” (GML) takes an alternative, jurisdictional approach to landscape governance at agro-commodity and resource frontiers. CIFOR is working through partnerships to mobilize multi-stakeholder platforms and negotiate jurisdictional priorities that couples forest protection with sustainable and intensive agriculture for multiple commodities, including cocoa, oil palm, citrus, and rubber.
- In northern Ghana and Zambia, CIFOR’s “Operationalizing the Landscape Approach for Biodiversity Benefit: Policy, Practice and People” (COLANDS) project is expected to close the gap between strong scientific theory about landscape approaches and weak implementation. Through a long-term engagement, COLANDS aims to capture successful elements of landscape approaches to develop a scalable model for adoption elsewhere.
- In Kenya, CIFOR is implementing a BMZ-funded project focusing on the management of Kenya’s water towers (the Mau and Mt. Elgon ecosystems). The research and activities being conducted for this project focus on reversing and/or minimizing land degradation and attaining more productive and equitable management of natural resources. As a result, it is anticipated that at least 78,000 hectares of tropical forest will be managed more equitably and productively. CIFOR anticipates that community forestry and water associations in the Mau and Mt. Elgon ecosystems will increase the proportion of women in leadership positions to 30-50%.
- In Uganda, CIFOR implemented the ADA-funded project “Gender, tenure and community forestry in Uganda: Addressing the gender gap in participation”. Though the Forest Act and Forest Policy explicity advocates for securing the tenure rights of women and ensuring their participation in decision-making, implementation of these goals has fallen short. Social norms, beliefs and practices pose significant constraints to women’s access and control over forest and tree resources, limiting participation in decision-making and the benefits that women receive, and undermining investment in the sustainable use and management of forest and tree resources. Adaptive Collaborative Management (ACM), which aims to level the playing field, resolve conflict, foster collaboration and negotiation, and build skills and capacities, is a viable way to promote gender equity, even among communities that are strongly patriarchal and characterized by social practices that exclude women from tree planting and land ownership. After close to six years of ACM implementation in six field sites, involving 110 men and 173 women, the approach has resulted in solid gains for gender equality in forest use and management, strengthening women’s rights to forests and trees, and bringing them to the center of decision-making and leadership in local forestry policy. This has in turn resulted in the restoration of 33 hectares of degraded forests and significant on-farm tree planting.
- In Zambia, CIFOR implements the project "Landscape Forestry in the Tropics (LaForeT): Towards policy approaches for improving livelihoods, sustainable forest management and conservation." This project examines the impact of policy instruments on deforestation and reforestation processes as well as land-use dynamics and sustainability in a landscape context. To understand how these instruments have been functioning and/or have the potential to function, the following components are assessed at various spatial and temporal scales: deforestation and reforestation patterns, governance, drivers of land use changes (livelihoods), and sustainable forestry and agroforestry use. The project is conducted in three countries on three continents (Africa, Asia, South America) and aims to shed light on the dominant global dynamics of tropical forest landscapes.