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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MANAGEMENT OF AGRICULTURAL AND NATURAL RESOURCE SYSTEMS TO REDUCE ATMOSPHERIC EMISSIONS AND INCREASE RESILIENCE TO CLIMATE CHANGE Title: Canadian/US update: The emerging visibility and role of agroforestry in national and international climate change strategies

Authors
item DE Gooijer, Henry -
item Schoeneberg, Michele -
item Schroeder, William -
item Sauer, Thomas

Submitted to: North American Agroforestry Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 4, 2011
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: U.S. and Canadian agricultural lands are being targeted to provide more environmental and economic services while at the same time their continued capability to provide these services under potential climate change (CC) is being questioned. Addressing both concerns requires a broader approach of designing multifunctional land management practices on landscapes to incorporate ‘CC-integrated conservation strategies’. Agroforestry practices provide public and private benefits that are shared across land ownerships, political boundaries and programs. It provides a means for improving wildlife habitat and soil, water and air quality, while supporting sustainable production of food, feed, fiber, and energy. In addition, it can mitigate greenhouse gases (GHG) by 1) reducing GHGs through carbon sequestration, 2) decreasing emissions of GHGs via energy savings and reduced fertilizer and fuel use, and 3) being integrated into renewable bioenergy production. Agroforestry can also provide adaptation to CC impacts by building landscape connectivity to facilitate species migration, creating refuges for a diversity of organisms, modifying microclimate to manage production under CC, and diversifying income streams; all working to confer greater ecological and economic resiliency to agricultural lands under a shifting climate. The scientific community now recognizes the potential of agroforestry as a tool to achieve CC-integrated production and environmental services. Several recent national and international CC activities have explicitly identified and included agroforestry within the mix of options for management of agricultural lands, including the Global Research Alliance for Agricultural Greenhouse Emissions, established out of the 2009 climate change meetings in Copenhagen. While the scientific understanding of agroforestry required to develop reliable accounting tools and guidelines is progressing, much work is yet needed for effective implementation of agroforestry as a ‘CC-integrated’ landscape management strategy.

Last Modified: 10/24/2014
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