Sustainable land management technologies: agroforestry
Sustainable Land Management contribution to successful land-based climate change adaptation and mitigation: A report of the UNCCD Science-Policy Interface (SPI)
Agroforestry is the integration of trees with crops and/or animals within the same land unit, and includes agro-silviculture (crops and trees), silvo-pastoralim (pasture/animals and trees), and agro-silvo-pastoralism (crops, pasture/animals and trees). Agroforestry is a common land use system worldwide, and a great variety of systems and practices exist under different climatic conditions, from tropical to hyper-arid areas. Practices range from shifting cultivation to systems with varying densities of tree stands, and systems in which trees play a predominantly service role (such as windbreaks) to those in which they mainly provide commercial products.
According to the report on sustainable land management (SLM) by the UNCCD Science-Policy Interface (SPI), agroforestry has the potential to control soil erosion and improve productivity and soil structure. Forest cover in agroforestry systems could improve water retention and reduce nutrient losses. Agroforestry also has the potential to conserve soil fertility and functioning, while providing socio-economic benefits to land users through income generation opportunities and increased resilience to climate change. At the regional level, agroforestry could potentially increase carbon sequestration and therefore be a climate change mitigation strategy.
Examples of SLM best practices in agroforestry