WeForest has a scientific approach to Forest Landscape Restoration and collaborates with universities and research institutes to strengthen our reforestation strategy through applied research. More generally, advancing knowledge on climate mitigation and adaptation with forests is critical: WeForest organises workshops to bring global experts together and contribute to regular scientific publications.
WeForest is a Partner of the Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration (GPFLR), a consortium of proactive stakeholders initiated by IUCN, WWF and the Forestry Commission of Great Britain in 2003 with the aim to catalyse the restoration of the world’s degraded and deforested lands through an integrated landscape approach.
The GPFLR drives the Bonn Challenge (a pledge to restore 150 million hectares of deforested land by 2020). Partners of the GPFLR team up to engage decision-makers, the private sector, civil society and other actors in supporting FLR, to create knowledge networks and capacity development encouraging and accelerating best FLR practice globally.
Forests purify water and are essential for water availability and global cooling at watershed, regional and even continental levels. Research indicates that the following five forest processes are key for that and that sound management to support them can result in short and long-term benefits for water availability and climate:
Natural Cooling Systems
Generate Air and Moisture Flows
With climate change, increasing water scarcity and growing demands on forest resources, it is vital to gain greater understanding of fundamental forest-water-climate relationships, advocate for supportive public policy and optimise ecosystem services for the benefits of all. WeForest’s scientific focus is on Forest, Water and Climate Change. It conducts applied research with international organisations (like FAO) in the projects it operates.
Leendert Adriaan Bruijnzeel
Leendert Adriaan Bruijnzeel (also known as Sampurno) is an Emeritus Professor of Land Use and Hydrology of the VU University Amsterdam where he last led the Amsterdam Critical Zone Hydrology Group before becoming a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at King’s College London (UK) in September 2015. He has over 40 years of experience in hydrological research in the humid tropics of the Asian-Pacific, the Caribbean, and Central and South America and published over 235 scientific publications on hydrological processes as well as on the influence of land cover and land use change (especially deforestation and reforestation) on catchment water yield, soil erosion and sedimentation; his other research interests include nutrient cycling and productivity of natural and planted forests, and ecosystem services. His books include ‘Forests, Water and People in the Humid Tropics’ (2005) and ‘Tropical Montane Cloud Forests’ (2010). In 2005, he received the Busk Medal of the Royal Geographical Society (UK) for his contributions to field biosphere research in the humid tropics.
Robin Chazdon is the Director of an international and interdisciplinary research coordination network, PARTNERS (People and Reforestation in the Tropics), established to address the social and ecological drivers of reforestation in the tropics. She is the Executive Director of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, and a professor in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department at the University of Connecticut, USA. More recently, she joined the International Institute of Sustainability (IIS) in Rio De Janeiro as a Senior Research Associate to work on forest restoration in Brazil. Professor Chazdon specializes in ecology and regeneration of tropical and temperate forests, conservation and restoration of tropical forests, tropical second-growth forests, biodiversity and conservation in agricultural landscapes. She is an author of over 130 peer-reviewed scientific articles and co-editor of two books. Her sole-authored book Second growth: The promise of tropical forest regeneration in an age of deforestation was published in 2014.
David Ellison is a Researcher/Consultant who works as an External Expert for the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU, Umea), the European Forest Institute (EFI—Bonn), and as an Independent Senior Researcher (Ellison Consulting). His work focuses broadly on the science, politics and policy of climate, and primarily on forests and their relevance for climate and policy. Forest-Water Dynamics and how these impact moisture vapour transport and water availability across terrestrial space, as well as the potential role for forests in Climate Change mitigation and adaptation, form one research focus. Carbon accounting practices in Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) in the international UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) policy frameworks, as well as regional and national climate policy frameworks, form another. He is the lead author of several articles on Forests and Water, and LULUCF carbon accounting practices in Global Environmental Change, Global Change Biology, Environmental Science & Policy and other journals.
Cindy Morris is Research Director and Head of the MISTRAL research team at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) in Avignon, a unit that focuses on plant pathogens that are dispersed in the atmosphere and water. She set-up Biological Ice Nucleators, an online forum and database on the role of microbes in atmospheric processes. Her research in bacterial ecology led her to study the link between landscape, airborne microorganisms and climate processes, and more specifically, the catalysing impact of these organisms in cloud formation and precipitation. Dr Morris has worked to build a network of physicists, microbiologists, meteorologists and agronomists for interdisciplinary collaboration.
Daniel Murdiyarso is a Principal Scientist at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and a Professor at the Department of Geophysics and Meteorology at Bogor Agricultural University (IPB) in Indonesia. He is a member of the Indonesian Academy of Sciences. In 2000 he served the Government of Indonesia as Deputy Minister of Environment for two years, during which he was also the National Focal Point of the UNFCCC and CBD. Dr Murdiyarso was the Lead Author of the IPCC Third Assessment Report and the IPCC Special Report on Land-use, Land-use Change and Forestry. His research relates to land-use change and biogeochemical cycles, climate change mitigation and adaptation. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters on these relevant topics.
Bart MuysBart Muys is a professor of forest ecology and management at KU Leuven. His research focuses on the ecosystem function of tree diversity, forest restoration ecology and the evaluation of sustainability in forests and bioenergy systems. He has led several forest restoration projects in Ethiopia and participated in numerous projects worldwide on the role of forests for water, carbon and biodiversity.
David Sands is Professor of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology at Montana State University, USA. He is a specialist in agricultural plant science, plant bacteriology, biological control of weeds and biotechnology. His work includes the ecology, detection, characterization and control of plant pathogens, Pseudomonas syringae and Xanthomonas campestris that have been linked to cloud formation and biological precipitation. Professor Sands has produced three new gluten crops and two low glycaemic crops for diabetics. He has received awards from the Lindbergh Foundation for his work producing biofuels and bio-lubricants, and from the Gates Foundation for his work in Kenya on the successful biocontrol of Witchweed, considered a major biological constraint to crop production in sub-Saharan Africa.
Iain Woodhouse is Professor of Applied Earth Observation at The University of Edinburgh and founder of REDD Horizon, a capacity development programme in Malawi. His research focus is on measuring and mapping essential forest parameters from aircraft and satellite, so as to better understand and manage forest resources. He is a co-founder of Ecometrica, a land use and carbon accounting company, and Carbomap, a forest survey company specialising in multi-scale approaches involving radar, and LiDAR (from airborne and UAV platforms).