Demystifying the Role of Agroforestry in Biodiversity Conservation Mohamed I Bakarr

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Demystifying the Role of Agroforestry in Biodiversity Conservation Mohamed I Bakarr

  1. 1. Demystifying the Role of Agroforestry in Biodiversity Conservation Mohamed I Bakarr ICRAF’s Scientific Renewal Seminar Series
  2. 2. Agroforestry….  Creates livelihood options for poor farmers and their families in conservation landscapes  ‘Agroforest’ forms of tree crop production form a matrix that matters for conservation of biodiversity  Principles can be applied in landscape approaches to biodiversity conservation …..needs to be mainstreamed.
  3. 3. Why mainstream agroforestry in biodiversity conservation?
  4. 4. Global Biodiversity Conservation • The message is clear and consistent -- – Maintaining representative networks of natural habitats – Protected Areas – Eliminate threats to species – Sustainable use of natural resources – Access and benefit sharing • But, the extent to which we are integrating these efforts in broader landscapes remains questionable
  5. 5. Agroforestry and Biodiversity Conservation • Agroforestry contributes to biodiversity conservation through three major pathways: 1. Reducing pressure on natural forests, 2. Providing habitat for native plant and animal species, and 3. Serving as a benign matrix land use for fragmented landscapes Schroth et al. 2004
  6. 6. Fragmentation is deleterious Loss of habitat results in: – wildlife population declines – local “extinctions” -- particularly large mammals – Increased in marginalized habitats Miss Waldron’s Red Colobus, a West African endemic believed to be extinct across its range.
  7. 7. Fragmentation causes forest edges to recede • Edge effects can be pronounced by “harshness” of the matrix == > – incidence of fires -- changes in biotic and abiotic features – exotic and invasive species • Receding edges lead to increased impoverishment of the habitat interior Gascon et al. 2000
  8. 8. The Future of Biodiversity is in Landscape-scale approaches • Livelihood options for local people – top priority in forest management and conservation • Effective linkages between protected areas and other land use practices – “beyond boundaries” • Innovations in land use practices to create alternative sources of income • Opportunities to recognize and reward land use innovations (e.g. payments for environmental services) • Participatory processes for integrated natural resource management
  9. 9. Landscape-scale Conservation • Integrating the management of: – Protected Areas – Watersheds – Degraded forests – Farms and Plantations • To accommodate: – Species and habitat conservation needs – Ecological processes – Effects of biophysical changes such as climate – Traditional or subsistence livelihood practices
  10. 10. The science and practice of agroforestry embodies several conservation principles that are amenable to landscape approaches
  11. 11. Principle 1: Maintaining genetic diversity of exploited species through in situ and ex situ conservation
  12. 12. Domestication of high value indigenous trees 1. Product development 2. Business development 3. Marketing
  13. 13. Principle 2: Protecting biodiversity and enhancing ecological processes
  14. 14. Agroforestry for Biodiversity: ‘Shade’ coffee ‘Shade coffee’ supports diversity of avifauna in the landscape.
  15. 15. AF in the Humid Tropics & C Stocks 400 Primary Forest Vegetation Carbon 300 Managed forest 200 (Mg ha-1) Tree-based systems 100 Crops, Pastures, Grasslands 0 Soil Carbon 100 From ASB Climate Change Working Group,Palm et al.
  16. 16. Principle 3: Management and conservation of belowground biodiversity
  17. 17. Tephrosia candida fallow: Nutrient Cycling by: Leaf Litter; BNF; Deep capture
  18. 18. Principle 4: Improvement and sustainable management of landscapes for livelihoods and biodiversity
  19. 19. Improved fallows Clearing Miombo woodlands Grass fallow continuous cropping Poor yields NPK Fertilizer Improved fallow Improved yields
  20. 20. LIVE FENCES Fencing is a major cause of deforestation in drier areas. Live fences are alternatives to dead fences—limit tree clearance— and are sources of Jatropha income .
  21. 21. Harvey et al. 2005
  22. 22. Rotational Woodlots Acacia species yield approx 100t/ha after 5 years
  23. 23. Principle 5: Addressing livelihood needs in the margins of conservation areas
  24. 24. Effective management of protected buffer zones to reduce encroachment e.g. ICRAF’s work in Philippines
  25. 25. How can Agroforestry be mainstreamed in Biodiversity Conservation?
  26. 26. Option 1 • Linking agroforestry science to landscape conservation planning – targeting agroforestry innovations for habitat connectivity – landscape reclamation or restoration – improving land productivity and habitat quality for wild species Strategic alliances with mainstream conservation NGOs
  27. 27. Option 2 • Use of INRM approaches for defining livelihood priorities and tree-based options in conservation landscapes – Tradeoff analysis in the forest margins (e.g. ASB Matrix) – Negotiation support systems for conflict management – Collective action for improved natural resource management (e.g. Landcare)
  28. 28. Option 3 • Engaging conservation biologists in the science and practice of agroforestry – defining biodiversity targets – analyzing metapopulation dynamics – mitigating impacts of climate change – types of trees, spatial configurations of trees, densities of trees
  29. 29. Option 4 • Expanding the range of agroforestry options offered to farmers to enhance conservation values – enhance the use of multiple species of trees, especially indigenous species,to diversify production landscapes
  30. 30. Option 5 • Harnessing and maintaining complex agroforestry systems for biodiversity conservation – rewards and incentive mechanisms for poor farmers engaged in conservation-friendly practices (e.g. shade coffee, rubber agroforests)
  31. 31. Option 6 • Promoting more systematic studies of species interactions and ecological processes in agroforestry systems – understanding the risks of invasiveness for alien tree species – habitat use by wild species, including corridors – watershed management
  32. 32. Option 7 • Integrating agroforestry into Conservation Biology Curricula, with topics such as: – Domestication of high value tree species – Managing trees for improved landscapes – Managing trees to mitigate the effects of biophysical changes – Integrating trees in landscapes to enhance environmental services – Assessing and rewarding environmental stewardship in agroecosystems – Value-adding for tree-based practices to create options for improved livelihoods in conservation areas
  33. 33. Option 8 • Linking agroforestry science to global and regional environmental policy process – Millennium Ecosystem Assessment endorsement – major achievement! – CBD Programmes of Work on agricultural biodiversity; Global Strategy for Plant Conservation – UNCCD – reversing land degradation in the drylands – UNFCCC – climate change adaptation and mitigation; clean development mechanism – NEPAD Environment Initiative
  34. 34. Implications for ICRAF’s ‘Emerging Science’
  35. 35. Emerging Science? (1) • Are we putting agroforests or agroforestry systems into landscape contexts? – Value-adding options for linking “farms” at landscape scale – Restoration or recovery of degraded lands – Optimizing land use practices for native biodiversity (plants, animals) – Optimizing land use practices to mitigate alien invasives – Climate change adapation
  36. 36. Emerging Science? (2) • How does agroforests or agroforestry systems influence landscape scale patterns/processes and vice versa? – Hydrological processes - watersheds – Agroforestry “stepping stones” as biological corridors – Erosion control on slopes – Climate change mitigation - Carbon sequestration Mainly SE Asia, some work in Western Kenya
  37. 37. Strategic Alliances • ICRAF-CIFOR Biodiversity Platform – Understanding tropical landscape mosaics to improve livelihoods and conserve biodiversity • ICRAF-CI Hotspots Alliance – Science for climate change adaptation, habitat recovery and sustainable livelihoods in tropical hotspots and high biodiversity wilderness areas • ICRAF-WWF Carbon Alliance – Delivering cost-effective greenhouse gas emission reductions, while promoting biodiversity conservation, sustainable land use and improvements in rural livelihoods

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