Tuesday, October 22, 2019


Agroforestry, as a practice of integrating woody vegetation with crop and animal
 systems, benefits agriculture, forestry and related stakeholders with a 
sustainable land management, with multiple ecological and economic 
interactions. As such, agroforestry systems can be integrated with a set 
of practices to produce biological resources and sustainable methods of
 food, wood, and fiber production and provide a wide range of ecosystem
 services, such as carbon sequestration, water regulation and habitat
 provision for biodiversity and landscape amelioration. While, at local scale,
 it can benefit farmers, landowners and nature conservation efforts, at 
larger scale, it can help the European Union to accelerate the deployment 
of a sustainable European bioeconomy towards the 2030 Agenda and
 its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as objectives for 
the Paris Agreement. However, this requires research proposals and 
results tested with silvoarable and silvopastoral agroforestry systems
 designed mixed with agricultural and forestry practices to demonstrate
 their management, production and profitability. Such knowledge should
 then benefit and reach end-users to facilitate the correct implementation
 of optimal and beneficial practices within a European bioeconomy 
development context.

Agroforestry, ecosystem services, landscape and 

rural development

  • Climate change (adaptation and mitigation)
Agroforestry is a diversified set of agricultural production systems that
 integrate trees in the agricultural landscape, which is often regarded as 
a strategy for both adaptation and mitigation to climate change. The
 inclusion of trees in agroforestry systems has a strong significance
 for carbon sequestration and therefore is an important and often 
underestimated contribution to climate change mitigation. Agroforestry
 can also support production in rural areas with improved resilience
 to climate variability as well as climate change, through intensification,
 diversification and buffering of farming systems. This session foresees 
positive outcomes of agroforestry from case studies or dynamic modelling
 on mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

  • Enhancing ecosystem services provision by agroforestry systems
Agroforestry systems provide a broad number of regulating and
 supporting ecosystem services, ranging from biogeochemical cycling,
 through maintenance of soil fertility and carbon storage, to watershed
 protection and biodiversity. However, as emphasized by several researchers
, current understanding of agroforestry systems functioning and the best 
strategies to enhance the provision of multiple ecosystem services
 require deeper understanding. This session will examine the relationships 
between different ecosystem services as well as the management strategies 
to favor their provision in different agroforestry systems. Cases of Payment 
for Environmental Services (PES) would be encouraged.

  • Agroforestry, biodiversity, and wildlife management
Among several ecosystem services, agroforestry increases biomass, habitat 
and landscape connectivity, with potential to maintain higher levels of 
biodiversity in comparison to crop or pasture systems. Thus, spreading 
of different agroforestry ecosystems may be a viable complementary land
 use strategy for biodiversity conservation through small and diversified
 farms. The session defines the relevance of agroforestry systems for
 biodiversity conservation and enhancement, with general discussions
 and specific outcomes from case studies on positive relationships 
between plant/tree diversity and biodiversity — driven by either niche 
complementarity or the greater likelihood of including functionally-important
 species in more diverse assemblages.

  • Agroforestry and the landscape
This session focuses on options for a sustainable landscape development 
and management across spatial and temporal scales. It aims to highlight
 opportunities and synergies for: agricultural growth shaped through
 biodiversity and ecosystem conservation efforts; securing the full range
 of goods and services through natural resource management; providing
 new directions for meeting the production with sustainable development 
goals. Agroforestry systems and practices promise to play a major role 
in this framework. Session topics will include the analysis of agroforestry
 systems drivers, processes, and social-ecological impacts at landscape 
scales; the role of agroforestry in the landscape integrated management;
 the role in human health, limitations and knowledge gaps, as well as 
critical issues in local and regional planning through examples and case studies.

Agroforestry and policy for sustainable 


  • Agroforestry, quality food products and certification
The inextricable linkages between water, food, and other resources are
 pivotal in a fast changing world, since their demand is increasingly driven
 by economic growth, rising population, urbanization, and climate change.
 Sustainable agroforestry practices are often considered as a way to enhance
 food security, taking into account the often neglected social issues. 
However, much research is still needed to assess how agroforestry can
 contribute to food security, especially in the face of socio-economic and 
climate changes. More knowledge is needed on the relationship between
 agroforestry practices and food quality, especially as regard to the presence 
of bioactive substances and the nutritional characteristics of food. 
Furthermore, a credible certification on sustainable products is expected
 through voluntary market tools to demonstrate organic or good agriculture 
practices for food and sustainability for forest-based products. This session 
invites studies reporting advances in understanding the potential of
 agroforestry to contribute to food quality, health and security, while
 preserving and strengthening the environmental resources, and supporting
 the development of innovative certification and labelling schemes for a
 profitable and sustainable agroforestry.

  • Policy
A set of recommendations and changes of local, regional, national and 
international policies such as, the current and the next Common Agricultural 
Policy (CAP), are crucial to facilitate rural development. Farmers in the 
European Union receive support through several measures within the CAP
, including direct payments to farmers (Pillar I) and payments related to rural 
development (Pillar II). Policies should also recognize the importance of 
certification to grant an important role of agroforestry products to enhance
 sustainable production, and support local rural communities with activities
 fostering landscape preservation. This session aims to assess the existing
 policy framework, and highlight the required changes and adaptations that
 can facilitate widespread transition to eco-intensive farming (including 
agroforestry practices) and contribute to support bioeconomy.

Agroforestry systems and innovations

  • Agroforestry and wildfire prevention
Fire frequency and fire-prone areas have increased in Southern Europe, especially
 in the Mediterranean Basin, because of recent changes in land use socio-economic 
and fire-policy factors, including increased wildland-rural-urban interface due
 to urban sprawl. Land abandonment, especially in mountainous regions, led to
 shrubland encroachment, thus, in turn, contributing to increase fuel loading and
 fire risk. Land management practices, particularly agroforestry, can
 contribute to reducing wildfire risk through the reduction of fuel
 loads/flammability and altering fuel continuity at the landscape level, while
 revitalising abandoned areas, integrating fire prevention principles, and
 offering new job possibilities. Contributions are welcome addressing the
 influence and the opportunity of agroforestry activities to better understand and
 manage wildfire risk, with an eye on sustainability and ecosystem service provision.

  • Agroforestry innovations toward innovative agroforestry systems
To optimize a functional integration of multiple roles to support agroforestry, a
 fundamental understanding of agroforestry innovations is required in order to
 ensure long-term land-use decisions. As alternative solutions and agroforestry
 components are tested and combined, functionally and structurally, new
 agroforestry systems are potentially becoming available and brought under the
 attention as new solutions to exploit new complementarities of agroforestry
 components and marketing alternatives. The session describes knowledge and
 marketing of agroforestry innovations that are fundamental for the design of
 solutions that can improve intensification of agricultural production, enhance
 complementarity of multiple biotic factors, grow better food, cut waste and 
improve financial margins and profitability.
To this end, this session emphasizes innovative agroforestry systems, tested
 through scientific case study development and/or adoption by rural communities,
 and highlights their potential and weakness to become useful and
 widespread agroforestry options.

  • Managing Mediterranean agro-silvopastoral systems
Traditional agroforestry systems are undergoing rapid transformation because 
of to socio-economic and climate changes. If properly designed and managed,
 agroforestry systems in Mediterranean areas can contribute to multiple goos
 and jobs related to agro-silvopastoral systems, including wood products, livestock
 husbandry, pastures and crops, while addressing climate-change adaptatin 
and mitigation issues. Yet, emerging research is moving fast from climate-smat
 agriculture to climate-smart agroforestry, providing studies and solutions 
for shifting towards management practices economically and environmentally
 sustainable. Abstracts in this session are expected to address sustainable 
economic and ecological management of agro-silvopastoral systems in a context
 of global change.

Agroforestry, education, dissemination

  • Education, information sharing, and awareness raising in agroforestry
Education and dissemination are key elements to promote good practices
 that allow widespread implementation and adoption by farmers of successful 
agroforestry practices. Moreover, social engagement is an extremely important 
factor for the maintenance and success of agroforestry activities. This session
 will highlight the experiences and perceptions of European farmers, to identify
 the opportunities and the key barriers to agroforestry and, therefore, to 
understand the acceptance or refusal of agroforestry by farmers. This session
 will also show and describe potential practices that can help to disseminate,
 through improved solution/platform (ICT) providing farmers with information
 related to better agroforestry practices, such as crop/tree choice, spacing 
and market decisions. This includes experiences in developing an agroforestry
 system and describing voids to be filled when applying them, the description of
 need for technical assistance to small farmers, integrating research,
 experimentation and application. The session aims also at looking into initiatives
 that contribute to public awareness raising, as a crucial factor for increasing the 
demand of products obtained by agroforestry practices.

  • Agroforestry and rural tourism
Agroforestry offers great potential to increase biodiversity, landscape values
 and several ecosystem functions that can facilitate the fruition of natural 
landscape by human activities. Agroforestry can have an important role in
 ecotourism development and in keeping the wildlife component of
 eco-destinations alive and active, by preserving food sources and even nesting 
sites, growing high value food for tourists, restoration of degraded landscapes 
aesthetically attractive for tourism. This session intends to describe opportunities
 through rural tourism to establish economic activities that can be a funnel to 
financially support  agroforestry practices, while benefiting landscape.