New UN Drylands Ambassador to champion agroforestry

Recently retired Director General of the World Agroforestry Centre, Dr Dennis Garrity, has been appointed UN Drylands Ambassador.

“It will be my duty to inform the wider community about the great successes in regenerating drylands around the world,” said Garrity in accepting the honour.

Agroforestry is seen as having enormous potential to mitigate the effects of drought, prevent desertification and restore degraded soils. Agroforestry in dryland areas can also help to boost food production (for humans as well as animals) and provide alternative sources of nutrition or income when crop yields are low. For more, see Surviving drought through agroforestry

“The world’s drylands are under stress but they are inhabited by resourceful people,” said Garrity. “Most desperately poor people can dramatically increase their food production through Evergreen Agriculture, agroforestry and farmer-managed natural regeneration, as well as through methods that promote landcare in the rehabilitation of drylands.”

The announcement was made during the 10th Session of the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) being held in Korea

“Investing in agroforestry is the cheapest way of relieving poverty,” said Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary of the UNCCD.

Mr. Gnacadja praised Garrity’s extensive career and global experience which make him an ideal champion for drylands. “His work on developing agroforestry alternatives to slash-and-burn agriculture is widely recognized, as are his efforts to develop institutional innovations related to farmer-led organizations in sustainable agriculture and natural resources management.”

While Garrity may have officially retired, he will return to the World Agroforestry Centre on sabbatical to continue his work on Evergreen Agriculture in Africa and South Asia.'

Kate Langford

Kate Langford is a consultant writer with close to 20 years’ experience in communicating natural resource, environmental and land management issues for various government and non-government organizations. She previously worked as Communications Specialist for the World Agroforestry Centre in Kenya and has worked in Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam and Australia. She holds a Bachelor of Science and a Graduate Diploma in Scientific Communication.

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