Type of event: Conference
Location: Montpellier, France
International Fellow: Fen-hui Chen (Taiwan)
Over 1,200 experts from a hundred countries met in Montpellier, France for the 4th World Congress on Agroforestry on May 20-22, 2019. Just six miles inland from the Mediterranean Sea, Montpellier is one of France's oldest university cities. The world congress is held every 5 years, and this year was the first time it was held in Europe. The congress has previously been held in the United States, Kenya, and India. In addition to the scientific program and posters, side-events, field trips, and a rich social program all kept participants busy during the entire week. Agroforestry, or the intentional integration of agriculture and forestry, has recently drawn much attention from scientists and farmers across the globe recently for its potential benefits. The overall objective of this world congress was to strengthen the links between science, society, and public policy. The program covered a wide range of topics, such as: climate change, biodiversity, agroecology, land degradation and restoration, public policies, adoption, finance, germplasm, landscapes, and more.
|Climate change was one of the hottest topics at the 4th World Congress on Agroforestry|
|There were more than 600 posters covering the most recent|
national and international developments in agroforestry.
The benefits of agroforestry associated with climate change were widely discussed at the congress. Agroforestry systems are known to sequester large amounts of carbon in tree biomass and in soil organic carbon stocks. Compared to pure agricultural practices, agroforestry is capable of mitigating carbon emissions, adapting to increasingly erratic weather caused by climate change, restoring degraded soils, and maximizing the overall productivity of landscapes.
Appropriate policy can certainly encourage the adoption of agroforestry. The first mention of “agroforestry” in policy documents of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the European Union was in 1998. The target of the current CAP is to establish 74,000 ha (183,000 acres) of agroforestry, although measurement of progress towards achieving this goal is not readily available. India is the first country to adopt a national agroforestry policy in 2014. This policy merged the existing policies for agriculture, forestry, water, and environment, and recognized that land use, by its very nature, must be integrative.
|Domain Enclos de la Croix vineyard (est. 1816) recently|
converted to agroecological management.
An International Fellow’s Thoughts and Perspectives
|Fen-hui Chen, International Fellow from Taiwan|