Climate-Smart Agriculture to Reduce Vulnerability
Agroforestry is gaining ground as a tool for climate change adaptation and mitigation in Central America, a region where global warming could generate losses equivalent to 19 percent of gross domestic product. A side event of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), held from 20 to 22 June, in Rio de Janeiro, addressed this “climate-smart” agriculture approach that could help reduce the vulnerability of the Central American region. “Agroforestry links agriculture, food production and trees. We can no longer continue to implement agricultural policies with the Ministry of Agriculture separated from the Ministry of Environment. We must harmonize these policies, and trees must be part of agriculture,” Alberto Chinchilla, executive director of the Central American Coordinating Association of Indigenous and Peasant Community Agroforestry (ACICAFOC) told. An agroforestry system combining trees with agricultural production and livestock grazing and enhanced by scientific research, can contribute to the development of environmentally friendly methods and technologies, as well as contribute to the recovery of native or endangered tree species while increasing the food security of communities. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Japan Social Development Fund administered by the World Bank are financing initiatives for agroforestry systems incorporating cacao and coffee production, silvopasture systems and reforestation. Over the next four years, some 10 million dollars will be invested in community agroforestry through projects with ACICAFOC partners. The beneficiaries are members of indigenous and peasant farmer communities.
By- Fabiola Ortiz who is an IPS correspondent. This story was originally published by Latin American newspapers that are part of the Tierramérica network. Tierramérica is a specialised news service produced by IPS with the backing of the United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Environment Programme and the World Bank.
Photo (c) Ecoagriculture Partners / Flickr