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Looking Back and Looking Ahead Threats and Opportunities Director General’s Report to the Board 53 rd Meeting of the Board of Trustees Nairobi, Kenya April 04 th 2010
Kenneth King: Prophetic pioneer in describing agroforestry systems in the tropics
John Bene led the breakthrough study “Trees, Food and People” that articulated the need for an international research effort in agroforestry.
“ Trees, Food and People” 1975 “ A new front should be opened on the war against hunger, inadequate shelter, and environmental degradation. This war can be fought with weapons that have been in the arsenal of rural people since time immemorial, and no radical change in their lifestyle will be required. … Beyond question, agroforestry can greatly improve life for people in the developing world, and do so within a reasonably short time.” -- Bene et al, 1975
UN Conference on Desertification 1977 “ Agroforestry was the only answer to the degradation of lands and encroaching deserts, because it would reconcile people’s most urgent needs with long-term ecological imperatives.” -- MS Swaminathan
The ‘Council’ decade of the 1980s During the 1980s ICRAF grew and matured as an organization and despite insufficient core funding, it built a unique multi-disciplinary team of scientists. Bjorn Lundgren, ICRAFs first Director General, pushed it towards research. ICRAF was gradually transformed into a science-based center.
ICRAF Joined the CGIAR in 1991 The Centre joined the CGIAR on its own conditions, to pursue the mandate of agroforestry, and resisted to join the CGIAR with a global forestry mandate. The principle was that if ICRAF included both forestry and agroforestry, then agroforestry would be swamped by tropical forestry issues. But agroforestry had already been shown to be something unique.
Again today, with the advent of a new CGIAR and the CRPs, there is the possibility that agroforestry’s unique role will be swamped and submerged. This is a real threat . CRP6 is Forests, Trees, and Agroforestry Forests come first. Will agroforestry always be seen as playing a secondary role?
W e see agroforestry as the bridge between Agriculture and Forestry… Agroforestry Agriculture Forestry
… too often others see agroforestry as a component of Forestry Agriculture Forestry Agroforestry
At best, we are still caught in the chasm between Agriculture and Forestry… Agriculture Forestry Agr oforestry
The Problem is the structure of the word agroforestry ‘forestry’ is the noun. ‘Agro’ is the modifier. Thus, foresters naturally see agroforestry as a type of forestry, when actually it is a form of agriculture. But the name doesn’t convey that to agriculturists either.
A fresh model to bridge the gap Agroforestry Evergreen Agriculture Agroforests Agriculture Forestry Evergreen agriculture is agroforestry, but it unequivocably relates to agriculture. It gets agroforestry out of the ‘forestry’ box.
Our Golden Opportunity: To lead the science in reinventing agriculture for the 21 st Century
What is Evergreen Agriculture? A form of more intensive farming that integrates trees with annual crops, maintaining a green cover on the land throughout the year. Evergreen Agriculture is a Climate SMART agriculture.
Embedding Evergreen Agriculture into the CGIAR Research Programmes Integrated agricultural systems CRP1 Land Health and Ecosystems CRP5 Forests, Trees, and Agroforestry CRP6 Climate Change and Agriculture CRP7
Our Donors are responding Launched two major projects on Evergreen Agriculture in February 2011 IFAD/EU Evergreen Agriculture in Eastern Africa Sida Continental platform for Evergreen Agriculture Several Major Proposals Invited & Being Finalized IFAD/EU Evergreen Agriculture in Ethiopia & S Africa AGRA Evergreen Agriculture for Africa’s Breadbaskets Rockefeller Found Climate SMART Evergreen Agriculture Gates Foundation Integrated Production Systems for Drylands
Spearheading the Science Underpinning The Great Green Wall “ Countries such as Niger have blazed the trail for us. “ Do you know that in places such as the Zinder region, tree density is much greater now than it was in the mid-1980s? “ This is not the result of a tree planting effort, but rather the work of small farmers to promote natural regeneration. “ A more productive approach seems to be to work with these farmers to find technical solutions , particularly long-term land and financial solutions.” -- Monique Barbut, CEO, Global Environmental Facility
The transformed agricultural landscape in Niger
Grain production correlated positively with tree density and age Niger, 2010
Major agroforestry regions in West Africa and directions of expansion
Tigray Gondar East Shoa Eastern Hararghe Konso Fig1. Location of the study areas in Ethiopia.
Agroforests – the other key realm of our agenda Agroforestry Evergreen Agriculture Agroforests Agriculture Forestry
Tree Crop Systems Rubber Agroforestry in SE Asia Cocoa Agroforestry in West Africa (Mars) Tree domestication Allanblackia – new oil crop for Africa High carbon stocks development pathways (ASB) Agroforests for the humid tropics
Landcare Another global brand strongly associated with the World Agroforestry Centre Landcare programmes in 17 countries Theme for grassroots approaches in UN Conference on Desertification and Land Degradation (UNCCD) Filipino farmer and son in their multi-species agroforest in Claveria, Philippines., preserving biodiversity, controling erosion, providing cash and food for the family
Agroforestry in context of forests and agriculture
National Museums, Nairobi
African Union, Addis
Regions, major donors and collaborators
Two press releases per month
Presence at international meetings
What is the ultimate challenge for The World Agroforestry Centre in the coming years? Turning the serious threat of agroforestry being marginalized in the new CGIAR into a golden opportunity for our science to take centre stage leading the vision for a reinvented global agriculture in the 21 st Century. A precarious but incredibly exciting future…