With trees on farms, climate-change mitigation is a co-benefit of broader socioeconomic gains
In a ‘Letter to the Editor’ published in the Guardian Development Blog, Professor Roger Leakey urges a closer look at agroforestry’s potential as a pathway for both mitigating climate change and fighting hunger, malnutrition and poverty.
Leakey, who serves as the vice-chair of the International Tree Foundation, outlines a three-step action plan that involves:
- Using simple biological approaches to rehabilitate degraded farm land and improve crop yields;
- Planting local, highly favoured, traditionally important food trees to reduce hunger and malnutrition; and
- Setting up new cottage industries to process and add value to these products, creating business and job opportunities to further improve household livelihoods.
Using this approach, it is possible to achieve multi-functional agricultural systems. These go beyond producing food, to simultaneously meed the social, economic and environmental needs of a growing population in a changing climate.
Read full text of Prof. Leakey’s Letter here:
The approach is detailed in Leakey’s 2012 book Living with the Trees of Life.
Listen to Prof. Leakey discussing the 3-step approach here
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