CPA tree nursery near Endui, Kitui County - Kenya. Photo by Axel Fassio/CIFOR

Yangambi: A proven model of engagement

The Yangambi Engagement Landscape in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is an example of what you can achieve when you spend enough time in one place, getting to the crux of the issues affecting people and their environment. In fact, CIFOR-ICRAF’s ‘engagement landscapes’ concept was sparked by the impacts achieved through nearly 15 years of work with institutions and communities near the Kisangani–Yangambi urban–rural complex, co-creating solutions to forest degradation and poverty.

Over 2 million trees have been planted since 2019, restoring over 2,300 hectares of land and creating over 3,400 seasonal and direct jobs. In a few years, the trees will be ready for use as biomass in a combined heat and power plant, now under construction.

More than 220 masters and doctoral researchers have been trained through a 15-year collaboration with the University of Kisangani (UNIKIS) and 11% of these are women. Infrastructure upgrades to UNIKIS include about 5,500 square metres of state-of-the-art low-carbon buildings.

Sustainable livelihood efforts are focusing on development of small-to-medium enterprises (supporting 1,017 people, of whom 706 are women), sustainable charcoal (with 106 charcoal makers trained and 19 community nurseries established), fish farming (with over 5 tons already produced in cooperative fish farms), and agroforestry using fruit trees mixed with improved cassava, corn and peanut crops. Performance-based schemes are boosting entrepreneurship for women and men.

The Congo Basin’s first eddy covariance-flux tower now rises 55 m above the Biosphere Reserve, assessing the forest’s potential to mitigate climate change through carbon capture.

To curb the devastating impact of urban wildmeat consumption on forest biodiversity, an innovative campaign uses comic-strip-style posters and community theatre to change people’s perception around selling and consuming wildmeat.

Finally, environmental education and outreach activities include a photo exhibit depicting the region’s history, music videos, over 3,250 primary- and secondary-school students participating in periodic workshops, and an animated film.

Supported by European Union, Belgium, USAID

“Science is a key ingredient for implementing sound forest landscape restoration policy and practice, as much as is incorporating the views and aspirations of local communtities.”

Manuel Guariguata

CIFOR-ICRAF Principal Scientist

Harnessing the power of forests, trees and agroforestry


In 2021, as the Covid-19 pandemic started to turn a corner and new hope sprang from the launch of global initiatives on restoration and land use, CIFOR-ICRAF completed a successful three-year merger process, finishing the year with a project pipeline of USD 430 million and fully harmonized management, research and regional processes.

This report highlights some of our solutions to five global challenges: deforestation and biodiversity loss, climate change, dysfunctional food systems, unsustainable supply and value chains, and inequality. Achievements include informing national policies in Peru and Viet Nam, applying new technologies in the Congo Basin and India, and co-creating solutions with partners and communities in Indonesia and Cameroon – all while integrating considerations of the rights of women, Indigenous Peoples and local communities.

The Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) has reached over one billion people. The CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) wrapped up 10 years of impact. And Resilient Landscapes is fast becoming a nexus between science, business and finance, with projects starting in Papua New Guinea, Serbia and Brazil.

With the momentum of a combined 70 years’ experience, CIFOR-ICRAF is forging ahead with its valued partners, finding new ways to harness the transformative power of forests, trees and agroforestry for a more resilient future.