Halting deforestation is a global challenge largely due to unsustainable agricultural practices that degrade natural ecosystems.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, the world’s forests lost about 20% of their coverage. Ninety percent of deforestation is the result of agriculture, with 60% due to the extension of agro-industrial intensive farming (soya, palm oil, corn…), and the remaining 30% caused by small-scale and subsistence farmers. Close to 20% of all carbon emissions result from deforestation and forest degradation.
Climate change will increasingly affect agricultural conditions and there is an urgent need to make farming practices evolve to adapt to climate change. In 2007, experts at the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) stated that agro-ecology was the most reliable way to guarantee food security in our future. They based their findings on tangible data, collected in developing countries where industrial agronomy has already showed signs of reaching its limits with: catastrophic erosion, increased climatic instability, desertification.
Agroforestry is the smart integration of trees into farming systems. Unlike full-sun fields, vulnerable and contributing to ecosystems degradation, agrofrestry is a way to preserve productive ecosystems and adapt to climate change. The trees provide multiple services for improved quality and long-term sustainability of the production.
Different agroforestry models with trees integrated in the perimeter of fields, intercropped, or at landscape level will deliver a mix a various ecosystem services for the farmers.