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  • Researchers to gather at World Congress on Agroforestry

Researchers to gather at World Congress on Agroforestry

A man works on a cocoa farm in Peru. Photo by M. del Aguila Guerrero/CIFOR
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The 4th World Congress on Agroforestry (Agroforestry 2019) aims to strengthen the links between science, society and public policies. Under the high patronage of Mr. Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic, the Congress is to be held at the Le Corum conference center in Montpellier on 20–22 May 2019. The Congress is a part of a Week of Agroforestry running from 19–23 May.

Open to researchers, students, farmers, NGOs, and political and economic decisionmakers, the Congress is expecting some 1,500 participants from more than 100 countries. FTA is a platinum partner for the event. It is being held in Europe for the first time, by the Agricultural Research Centre for Development (CIRAD) and the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), in partnership with World Agroforestry, Agropolis International and Montpellier University of Excellence. It will be preceded on 19 May by a day of events for the general public, organized by the Fondation de France and the French Association of Agroforestry.

“We wanted, through this general public day ahead of the congress, to make agroforestry better known to civil society”, explained Emmanuel Torquebiau, Agroforestry Project Manager at CIRAD and Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the 4th World Congress on Agroforestry.

Learn more: 4th World Congress on Agroforestry

Agroforestry, the future of agriculture?

The organizers aim to anchor the 4th World Congress on Agroforestry to the societal debate on agriculture. “It is time for technical solutions to be discussed within civil society and to become part of public policy”, commented Christian Dupraz, INRA Research Director and Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the Congress.

By combining science and dialogue with society, the Congress will be an opportunity to assess the contribution of agroforestry to the agro-ecological transition of agriculture at the global level.

A farmer displays their coffee beans in Brazil. Photo by I. Cooke Vieira/CIFOR

Agroforestry, which involves combining trees with crops and pastures, is now recognized to protect soils, address climate change issues and contribute to global food security. This practice could therefore be the future of agriculture. The fields of application are very diverse: hedges and alignment of trees or shrubs in and around plots, multilayer agriculture, timber or fruit production in cropland, fodder trees, trees for honey, shade trees for perennial crops (coffee, cocoa, grapevines) or livestock, multilayer agroforests and agroforestry gardens.

An International Union of Agroforestry will be created at the Congress, to federate agroforestry innovations on a global scale. On Thursday, 23 May, participants will be able to visit the main European experimental agroforestry site at Domaine de Restinclières in Prades-le-Lez (11 km north of Montpellier) where cereals (durum wheat and barley rotated with protein peas) are grown with many tree species, particularly walnut trees. In more stony soils, vines are grown with pines and cormiers. This 50-ha experimental farm, which belongs to Hérault County Council, is scientifically managed by INRA Occitanie-Montpellier.

Originally published by CIRAD.

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  • FTA events: Training workshop for Africa Tree Finder

FTA events: Training workshop for Africa Tree Finder

Click to visit vegetation map
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Click to visit vegetation map

By Roeland Kindt, Senior Ecologist, World Agroforestry Centre

In collaboration with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the World Agroforestry Centre is organizing a workshop in Uganda to train users of the new version of the Africa Tree Finder. The workshop is planned for the first week of April with IUCN finalizing the exact dates right now. Watch this space for more information.

The Africa Tree Finder is a smart phone application developed for the www.vegetationmap4africa.org. The App can easily be installed on a smart phone with the Android operating system via the Google Play store.

Similar to the objectives of the web-based and Google Earth versions of the vegetationmap4africa, the main objective of the Africa Tree Finder is to enable selection of ‘the right tree for the right place’ by combining information on the distribution of indigenous tree species in natural vegetation types with information on products and services that these tree species can provide.

A specific objective of the App is to support forest landscape restoration activities related to the Bonn Challenge, a global effort to restore 150 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded lands by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030. In response to the Bonn Challenge, Rwanda has committed to restore 2 million hectares, whereas Uganda has committed 2.5 million hectares, Kenya 5.1 million hectares and Ethiopia 15 million hectares.

 In the newest version of the Africa Tree Finder, information is provided on the origin, local names (a key feature requested by local users), species description, ecology, uses, propagation, seed treatment, seed storage and management for species listed in the RELMA-ICRAF useful tree species series. The newest version of the App also enables users to upload geo-referenced imagery that documents progress on restoration projects or that can be used to verify the accuracy of the map.

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