In this issue International Day of Forests 2017, highlights from the ACES and Testing REDD+ projects in Mozambique and recent events, blogs and publications.
IIED forests newsletter
The forests newsletter is sent out every three months with updates on our work to improve forest livelihoods and ensure forests are managed in a fair and sustainable way. 
Dear friends,

To mark International Day of Forests on 21 March, the NGO Forest Coalition has produced a briefing and letter urging the UK government to prioritise forests in international development. IIED has signed the letter. You can read the briefing and find out more at www.ngoforestcoalition.org.

#IntlForestDay is the perfect time for the UK government to renew its global commitments and show that #ForestsMatter.

Best wishes,
Forest Team 

News and blogs

Mist over the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda (Photo: Brian Harries, Creative Commons, via Flickr)

Mist clears on China in African forests

Careful work on the evidence, capacity, policy and practice to improve Chinese investment in African forest land use continues. The team has produced an audio-visual longread article for the China-Africa Forest Governance Project on some of the impacts this work is having and the challenges ahead.

Still image from video interview

Money where it matters

In December 2016, IIED hosted a two-day event titled Money where it matters which brought together financiers, decision makers, practitioners and researchers to examine the case for extending finance to the local level. The forest team invited three partners from Mozambique and Guatemala to discuss financing sustainable small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Stands of giant bamboo, in what was once degraded cattle pasture, are ready to be loaded onto trucks (Photo: Duncan Macqueen)

Fifth International Forest Connect Workshop, Ecuador

In November 2016, the Fifth International Forest Connect Workshop, titled Risk management for locally controlled forest business: securing the future was held in Quito, Ecuador. The meeting brought together forest enterprise representatives from 17 countries.

Welcome to IIED

Vacancy: Senior researcher (forest and economics)

We have a vacancy for a permanent Senior Researcher to work within IIED's forest and economics teams. The purpose of the role will be to strengthen our work on economics of natural resources and develop effective engagement with relevant finance institutions and the private sector.

To find out more and apply visit the IIED website. Please help us share news of this vacancy by forwarding it to your networks. 

The deadline for applications is 4pm Thursday 30 March.

Photo from the ACES project in Mozambique (Photo: Pedro Zorrilla-Miras)

ACES

Abrupt Changes in Ecosystem Services (ACES) is a recently concluded three-year (2014 -2017) research project implemented in Mozambique, which examined how woodland loss is changing ecosystem services (ES) in the country. It aimed to assess how the wellbeing and livelihoods of rural people in the Miombo and Mopane woodlands of Mozambique are changing as the landscape is converted from woodlands to agriculture. Research was conducted on charcoal production, commercial agriculture and forest plantation land use change drivers in a number of sites. Information generated from the project is being integrated into land use policy and practice.

Publications and briefings

Small-scale soya farming can outperform large-scale agricultural investments

Small-scale soya farming can outperform large-scale agricultural investments


Calling on research carried out during the ACES project, the investigation of soya production in Central Mozambique presented here suggests small-scale farming can produce similar profits to large-scale operations, with better social outcomes.
Unlocking barriers to financing sustainable SMEs: uphill struggle or attainable ambition?

Unlocking barriers to financing sustainable SMEs: uphill struggle or attainable ambition?


This briefing investigates the barriers to funding that might be faced by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and finds that innovative public finance mechanisms and public-private funding partnerships are needed to build business capacity of SMEs and attract private funding.
Mozambique’s REDD+: the challenge is scaling success

Mozambique’s REDD+: the challenge is scaling success


The Testing REDD+ in the Beira Landscape Corridor of Mozambique initiative closed in December. Over nearly four years, a consortium of public academic and research institutions, NGOs and social enterprises, supported by the Government of Norway, has explored what drives deforestation and forest degradation. This briefing sets out learning and recommendations - we now know what works and aim to continue the project on a larger scale.  
Managing trade-offs between growing food and conserving forests in sub-Saharan Africa

Managing trade-offs between growing food and conserving forests in sub-Saharan Africa


Based on research in Ethiopia, Ghana and Tanzania, this briefing provides pointers towards better managing the trade-offs between pledges to feed fast-growing populations with forest conservation, emphasising the importance of addressing governance and political economy issues alongside technical aspects. Other publications related to this briefing include a blog and a working paper on understanding agricultural drivers of deforestation through the use of remote sensing technology.   
 

Partner spotlight

Adventist Development and Relief Agency - ADRA 


Since 1987, ADRA has delivered relief and development assistance to the people of Mozambique, developing capacities in food security, health, and water and sanitation. ADRA has partnered with IIED on the Testing REDD+ project for the past three years, providing technical assistance in conservation agriculture practices in four districts of Zambezia province, to the benefit of 1,500 local people. These agricultural practices contribute to reducing deforestation and degradation through reduction of fires to enhance soil fertility. Corn, groundnut, pigeon pea, sesame and vegetables are now being cultivated in land previously deemed unproductive, leading to better yields in family farms. 
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