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IFS celebrates the International Day of Forests 2019

Published: 2019-03-21

International Foundation For Science (IFS) celebrates the International Day of Forests 2019.

Our planet is covered by forest. Their contributions to sustainable agriculture, improved food security, and nutrition are vital. Forests are estimated to be a major resource for more than 2.4 billion people who rely on forest goods and services for the direct commission of food, wood fuel, building materials, medicines, employment and cash income (FAO 2017). Forests play a vital role in mitigating climate change through carbon storage and providing several ecosystem services that improve the resilience of countries to extreme weather events.

In order to fully recognize and integrate the contributions of forests to the most important challenges of our time: climate change, poverty and food security, significant advancements in forest-related research and development is needed. The IFS Research Support in Forests, Trees, Agroforestry and Livelihoods tries to respond to a call for this urgency by supporting early-career researchers in low and lower-income countries to investigate the crucial role that forests play in overcoming these challenges.

March 21 st marks the International Day of Forests, established by the United Nations to celebrate the diversity of forests and to raise awareness of Their Importance. The IFS celebrates the International Day of Forests and this year's theme, forests and education , through the support of our many grants. In the last year, we have supported a total of 37 scientists in developing countries that are pursuing novel and leading edge research in the areas of forestry and agroforestry.

We highlight three grantees that are at the forefront of research on forests:

  • Dr Narinda Rakotavao from the Université d'Antananarivo in Madagascar is examining the economic performance and potential of carbon sequestration in agroforestry systems of the Central Highlands and East Coast of Madagascar. Agroforestry practices have several ecological benefits and are important for the livelihoods for many small holders around the world.
  • Dr Alejandra Domic Rivadeneira based on the Herbario Nacional de Bolivia performs research on global issues, such as climate change and human impacts on forests. She is currently examining climate and anthropogenic impacts on Polylepis woodlands - an endangered and endemic tree genus of the Andes. Her research is based on the distribution of these woodlands in the South Central Andes of Bolivia during the last 10,000 years.
  • Mr Rodrigue Balagueman from the Laboratory Ecology, the Botanique et Biology Végétale in Benin is currently working on renewable energy sources that can provide much-needed alternatives to fossil fuels and mitigate climate change, while sustaining social development and economic growth. He is currently performing the theoretical, technical and economic assessment of crops and forestry residues and their potential for bioenergy production in Benin.

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