ASB celebrates 20 years of research and development for the tropical forest margins
The ASB Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins this week celebrated 20 years of research and development at its Global Steering Group Meeting in Manila, Philippines. The meeting included the 1-day ASB Syposium with partner presentations on land use change and emissions, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and other topics. Also in conjunction with the 20-year anniversary, ASB has published a book titled The Partnership in the tropical forest margins: 20 year journey in Search of Alternatives to Slash-and-Burn. The program has also produced a video reflecting on 20 years of ASB:
The meeting included a great deal of reflection on strategic directions of the initiative. ASB started at a time when deforestation caused by smallholder farmers was very high on the international environmental agenda. Meine van Noordwijk gave an interesting presentation with some of the history of ASB. One of ASB’s early “theories of change” grew out of the Borlaug hypothesis — that if we could intensity food production, we could reduce pressure on forests. ASB theories of change evolved over the years, as new knowledge forced us to reconsider our assumptions. Through it all, an important ASB outcome has been what we have learned through boundary work for sustainable development — interactions between research communities and stakeholders to bring about positive change. All this work showed the importance of participatory research and multi-direction stakeholder engagement for advancing our science agenda. ASB has also played an important role in REDD, building on the initiative’s early research and orienting it to programs to reduce emissions from deforestation.Some future emphases of ASB will likely be synergies between climate mitigation and adaptation, work on multiple environment services and low carbon development at multiple scales.