The theme of the Fourth World Congress on Agroforestry is “Agroforestry – Strengthening links between science, society and policy”.
The choice of this three-fold theme “science-society-policy” follows the recognition that:
- Agroforestry has a role to play in most of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals
- Climate change presents a formidable challenge that has to be addressed by the world, with agroforestry potentially playing a key role for both climate change adaptation and mitigation
- Global Climate policy (Since Paris’ COP21) has for the first time internationally accepted emission reduction targets, and most countries will be reporting on emissions from Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU). However, countries will need good science to quantify the role that trees and forests can play in mitigation and adaptation, and effective social dialogue to enable greenhouse gases mitigation projects and policies to be implemented
- The European Union has a climate policy of “encouraging the sustainable intensification of food production, while optimizing the sector’s contribution to greenhouse gas mitigation and sequestration, including through afforestation”, but Member States are increasingly asking whether agroforestry can be an alternative to large-scale afforestation
- Organizations which certify sustainable management of forests and agriculture (e.g. PEFC, FSC, GlobalGAP) are becoming interested in certifying areas of “Trees outside Forests”, especially in rural areas
- 45% of world agriculture has a tree crown cover of more than 10%, as shown in a study by ICRAF (World Agroforestry Centre, Nairobi, Kenya)
- Citizens and consumers globally are seeking the development of alternative solutions to intensive agriculture
- France is particularly active in the above and has a policy for “50% of its farmers to be using agroforestry by 2025”, and has actively promoted the 4‰ Action Plan to increase carbon storage in soils.
For more information, visit the event website.