The world’s leaders have been set the challenge of restoring more than 350 million hectares by 2030. Researchers see agroforestry as the key to making it happen.
“Around 20–25% of global land is degraded, affecting 1.5 billion people” said Ermias Betemariam, land-health scientist with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), speaking at a session on land restoration at ICRAF’s annual Science Week in Bogor, Indonesia, on 14 September 2015.
“The world has been set many challenges to try and turn this around and we see this as an opportunity for greater use of agroforestry systems that address multiple restoration needs”, he continued.
“The whole global agenda is now focussed like never before“, confirmed Dr Dennis Garrity, drylands ambassador for the UNCCD, senior fellow with ICRAF and the World Resources Institute and chair of the EverGreen Agriculture Partnership and Landcare International. “Policy makers are becoming serious about restoration and they are realising that agroforestry is probably three-quarters of the total restoration effort. On the 2 billion hectares of degraded land on the planet, agroforestry is going to dominate the restoration agenda because the key is ‘restoring in mixed-mosaic systems’. By that, we mean holistic restoration that includes croplands and rangelands and agroforests at the landscape level“.