New article: Agroforestry in Europe: A land management policy tool to combat climate change
Agroforestry is an integrated land use management that combines a woody component with a lower story agricultural production recognized as one of the most important tools to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The objective of this paper is to provide a categorization and extent of agroforestry practices linked to agricultural and forest lands at regional level and evaluate how are they promoted by the previous (2007–2013) and current CAP (2014–2020) with a special focus on climate change mitigation potential.
- Agroforestry practices occupy less than 10% of the potential European area
- Agroforestry promotion should be simplified in the CAP.
- Agroforestry can be linked to arable land, permanent grasslands and permanent crops as well as forestlands.
Agroforestry occupies almost 20 million hectares in Europe, being silvopasture and homegardens the most extensively spread practices and forest farming not quantified. Agroforestry practices are promoted at European level but in a really complex form as more than 25 measures are implemented to enhance the existing 5 agroforestry practices (silvopasture, silvoarable, riparian buffer strips, forest farming and homegardens). Simplification of the number of measures to promote agroforestry practices is needed to better follow up the implementation and to evaluate and provide future policies more adapted at European levels.
Huge potential climate change mitigation options should be focused on the use of silvopasture on forest lands to reduce forest fires and to increase the presence of the woody component on arable lands (silvoarable) but also on the promotion of forest farming and homegardens as forms to increase the use of short supply chains and to increase the connection of urban, periurban and rural areas within a bioeconomy and circular economy framework.