Birds flying between leafy green branches. Some leaves are crushed underfoot. Pollinators visit the fruit trees, and howler monkeys can be heard in the distance. It looks like a forest, but it’s actually a farm in Sao Felix do Jingu, in the Brazilian state of Pará. Well, technically, it’s an “agroforest”.
There are many different types of agroforestry in the world, from hedgehogs Lukena Past the rows of poplar trees in the wheat fields, with the protection of the shade trees to feed the cattle to the cacao farms. Some systems reflect long-standing indigenous and traditional practices, while others are adapted to large-scale commercial farming systems.
Despite the diversity, all agroforestry systems have one characteristic in common: trees that are intentionally integrated and maintained on cropland. These trees help enrich the soil, increase productivity, protect crops and livestock from extreme climates, diversify incomes, and help biodiversity.
There is great hope that agroforestry can be a valuable partner in combating climate change, providing 310 million metric tons of carbon sequestration per year.1. Despite this potential, climate-focused agroforestry is largely underestimated.
Our studioRecently released natural climate change, Found that too All Agroforestry systems contribute to climate change mitigation. The figure below shows that whether agroforestry represents a natural climate solution (NCS) depends on the natural state of the land and how it was previously managed. Clearing natural forests to establish crops can leach carbon into the atmosphere, and placing too many trees in native grasslands can harm biodiversity. What would a good climate-focused agroforestry system look like? Let’s Think: Bringing back native tree species to land converted for agriculture. For example, replacing degraded agricultural land in forests such as the Brazilian Amazon with cacao trees can result in substantial climate benefits and improvements in the livelihoods of local communities.