Towards an Integrated Agroforestry Policy Agenda


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Author: Sara J. Scherr, Ecoagriculture Partners. Part of the keynote address at the 2nd World Congress of Agroforestry in Nairobi, Kenya. 24 August 2009.

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  • The 2 nd challenge is to fit PES projects in Conservation Agriculture to local conditions. Farmers need to be able to retain opportunities to modify land use over time, to invest in CA in those fields and farms that make most sense, to have aflow of funds that matches local capital requirements as well as those of buyers. Because of the need for aggregation, and th epotential economies of scale for PES, collective action is needed to agree upon strategies, sequencing, local input, pricing, etc. Typically, the price of ecosystem services will not cover these organizational costs.
  • The third challenge is to build and link the various institutions required across the full value chain of ecosystem services. The green octagons in this diagrma show the buyers and sellers. And most people are aware that Pes often involves ffinancing agents, and intermediaries. But there are many other actors, including planners, verifiers, certifiers, financiers, If the system is highly fragemented and inefficient, then the proportion of the total payment by buyers that will actually reach the farrmer may be very small indeed. There is no reason to believe that PES value chains will be any fairer to farmers than product markets, unless proactive efforts are made to invest in this value chain in ways that benefit the seller.
  • Conventionally, it has been assumed that tradeoffs between agricultural production and biodiversity conservation objectives are unavoidable. However, in many circumstances, agricultural practices depend and capitalize upon the inherent benefits and services provided by natural ecosystems, while many farming, herding, forest and fisher communities play an important role in conserving wild biodiversity. Approaches to managing agricultural landscape mosaics to minimize trade-offs and optimize synergies between agricultural livelihoods and biodiversity are emerging (or being recognized) in agroecosystems worldwide. These diverse approaches have come to be known collectively as ‘ecoagriculture’ (McNeely and Scherr 2003).
  • Towards an Integrated Agroforestry Policy Agenda

    1. 1. Sara J. Scherr, Ecoagriculture Partners 2 nd World Agroforestry Congress, Nairobi, August 24, 2009 Towards an Integrated Agroforestry Policy Agenda
    2. 2. 21 st century agricultural policy: Agroforestry can help <ul><li>Meet food & fiber demand for 10 billion people ( ↑ 50-100% by 2030) </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce rural food insecurity and poverty; secure urban food supply </li></ul><ul><li>Contribute to sustainable energy through biofuels </li></ul><ul><li>Adapt to climate change </li></ul><ul><li>Restore degraded resources critical for production </li></ul><ul><li>Shift from a major source of greenhouse gases, to a net sink </li></ul><ul><li>Contribute to and restore critical ecosystem services </li></ul>
    3. 3. Projected land use for agriculture with existing trends
    4. 4. 21 st century environmental policy in ag’l regions: Agroforestry can help
    5. 5. Agriculture and land use: 31% of global greenhouse gas emissions GHG emissions by sector in 2004, Source: IPCC
    6. 6. Impacts of ecosystem degradation on agricultural productivity
    7. 7. Policymakers are paying attention … . Now is the moment! <ul><li>Climate change and ag </li></ul><ul><li>Biofuels and biodiversity </li></ul><ul><li>Energy and food systems </li></ul><ul><li>Food price crisis & hunger </li></ul><ul><li>GMO controversy </li></ul><ul><li>Food safety </li></ul><ul><li>Consumer movements </li></ul>
    8. 8. Our Vision Expanding Ecoagriculture Potentials Urgency to move towards ‘win-win-win’ solutions
    9. 9. Ecoagriculture landscapes for people, food and nature (thru AF)
    10. 10. Climate action– a potential driver for policy integration & investment mitigation potential with carbon prices upto $20 and $100 (Source: IPCC) <ul><li>Carbon in soils </li></ul><ul><li>Perennials in farming system </li></ul><ul><li>Climate-friendly livestock pdn </li></ul><ul><li>Restoring degraded lands & watersheds </li></ul><ul><li>Protecting natural forests & grasslands </li></ul>
    11. 11. Feed 10 billion, protect ecosystems? Integrating the policy agendas <ul><li>Help farmers raise production in the context of climate risks </li></ul><ul><li>Mitigate climate threats by shifting agriculture from major source to net sink of greenhouse gases </li></ul><ul><li>Restore degraded farm, pasture and forest lands </li></ul><ul><li>Secure water for agriculture by protecting water quality and watershed functions </li></ul><ul><li>Support farming communities to be major stewards of biodiversity </li></ul>
    12. 12. Use production systems with ecosystem benefits => agroforestry <ul><li>* Select crop varieties for shade </li></ul><ul><li>tolerance, deep-rooting, high- </li></ul><ul><li>yield polycultures, high biomass </li></ul><ul><li>* Diversify with perennial/ minor/ </li></ul><ul><li>wild crops; polycultures, multi- </li></ul><ul><li>product marketing; perennial </li></ul><ul><li>livestock feeds & biofuels </li></ul><ul><li>Use agroecological practices </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce input pollution </li></ul><ul><li>Support farmer innovation </li></ul><ul><li>systems for diversified systems </li></ul><ul><li>Embrace diversity….. </li></ul>
    13. 13. Support and promote ecoagriculture landscape initiatives ( agroforestry!) <ul><li>1) Empower multi-stakeholder landscape action </li></ul><ul><li>2) Recognize farmers’ leading role as ecosystem service managers </li></ul><ul><li>3) Provide X-sectoral technical support </li></ul><ul><li>4) Pursue market development from a landscape perspective </li></ul><ul><li>5) Coordinate ag, env & rural dev. policies & programs </li></ul>
    14. 14. Embed ecosystem management in agricultural investments <ul><li>Private sector investment (through standards, regulations, incentives) </li></ul><ul><li>International & regional development Banks & Funds </li></ul><ul><li>The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD—CAADP) </li></ul><ul><li>Bilateral donor investment for MDGs on Hunger, Environment </li></ul><ul><li>Foundation support (e.g., Gates, AGRA) </li></ul>
    15. 15. Promote “green” agricultural markets and value chains <ul><li>Minimum regulatory standards </li></ul><ul><li>Eco-certification </li></ul><ul><li>Public procurement </li></ul><ul><li>Food industry standards (Sust. Food Lab, Sust Ag Init, Keystone, Roundtables) </li></ul><ul><li>Include social standards </li></ul>
    16. 16. Expand payments for ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes <ul><li>Shift agricultural subsidy systems to ecosystem service payments </li></ul><ul><li>Climate offsets with co-benefits for agriculture & ecosystems (e.g., in REDD, AFOLU, CDM) </li></ul><ul><li>Voluntary carbon & biodiversity offsets by companies/consumers </li></ul><ul><li>PES in GEF portfolio </li></ul><ul><li>United Nations: UNEP/UNDP/FAO/IFAD initiatives </li></ul>
    17. 17. Support farmer organizations to lead in ecosystem stewardship <ul><li>Leadership emerging (IFAP, National Farmers’ Union, Indigenous Peoples Org’s, Landcare Int’l, CKS) </li></ul><ul><li>Address tenure and access to agr’l & natural resources </li></ul><ul><li>Help smallholders aggregate for market & info in ways that are efficient and inclusive </li></ul><ul><li>Align strategies for food sovereignty and urban supply </li></ul>
    18. 18. Research integrating agriculture & ecosystem management is essential <ul><li>Targeted research initiatives, e.g.: AASTD, DIVERSITAS, CSIRO & USDA Ecosystems, IFOAM, Nat’l Academy Science </li></ul><ul><li>CGIAR system research </li></ul><ul><li>Private sector research </li></ul><ul><li>National public systems </li></ul><ul><li>NGO-led research (ag, env) </li></ul><ul><li>Farmer research networks </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure agroforestry research </li></ul><ul><li>is incorporated </li></ul>
    19. 19. <ul><li>Yale Univ/World Econ Forum National Environmental Performance Index </li></ul><ul><li>Global remote sensing and interpretation capacity (e.g., World Conservation Monitoring Center) </li></ul><ul><li>Spatial organization of FAO agriculture data </li></ul><ul><li>Google map applications for local landscape management </li></ul><ul><li>Landscape Measures Initiative ( </li></ul>Get the data: Integrate monitoring of agriculture, environment, well-being
    20. 20. Communicate the benefits and costs to policymakers <ul><li>They don’t care about: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tons of soil (sorry…!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tree growth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Biodiversity indexes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>They do care about: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased and stable food supply </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Food security </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased income </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reliable, clean water </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wildlife for tourists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Human health </li></ul></ul>
    21. 21. Mobilize policy action at the scale required to make a difference ….. <ul><li>Agroforestry Policy Initiative </li></ul><ul><li>Engage leaders at all levels who embrace X-sectoral action </li></ul><ul><li>Have agroforestry champions at the table for all key policy dialogues (not just AF policy) </li></ul><ul><li>Design research to answer policymakers’ questions </li></ul><ul><li>Craft core, simple messages of how AF achieves policy goals </li></ul><ul><li>Be prepared to quickly provide guidance for implementation </li></ul>
    22. 22. Please visit our website at… Thanks…. Agroforestry - the future of global land use …… It really is!