Opinion: Here’s how agroforestry can help the world reach climate goals

Agroforestry accounts for more than one-tenth of the world’s livelihoods. Photo by: World Agroforestry Centre/Ashok Sahoo

Emerging evidence indicates that, at roughly 1 billion hectares of land coverage worldwide, agroforestry offers a tremendous opportunity to store carbon — up to 34.2 petagrams of carbon — the equivalent of holding 20 years of emissions from deforestation in agroforestry systems worldwide.

Most governments recognize that agroforestry — the practice of integrating and managing trees on agricultural landscapes — holds great potential toward meeting their climate goals. What’s more, its widespread use and the familiarity of poor farmers with the practice makes agroforestry a potential low-hanging fruit for achieving climate change mitigation and adaptation goals, especially in developing countries. Indeed, a new study by the World Agroforestry Centre, released at COP23, of the nationally determined contributions, NDCs, of 22 countries found that 85 percent mention agroforestry as a key strategy in achieving their unconditional national contributions.

The report proposes several ways through which countries can tap the opportunity that agroforestry presents in achieving their NDCs and provides a series of recommendations for governments to help create an enabling environment for including agroforestry in agriculture policies and practices.

This article was originally published on the website of Devex

E.Kahurani-Kimani@cgiar.org'

Elizabeth Kahurani

Elizabeth Kahurani is a Communications Specialist with the Landscapes Theme at ICRAF. She has ten years of communication experience and strong communications background. In addition to science writing, she leads research teams to develop and execute effective communications strategies and plans. She has worked on health, population, environment, climate change research and development programs at national, regional and international level. She holds a BA in Language and Literary Studies where she majored in Media Communication, and an MA in International Relations.

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