In this session, we will discuss the potential of cocoa, coffee, and rubber agroforestry systems in aiding global restoration efforts and human wellbeing with a focus on a transdisciplinary research network, ecological and technology tools, as well as social and biological diversity.
Human-induced ecosystem degradation, and the impacts to people and nature, shall be addressed by an unprecedent global action: The United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Achieving ambitious UN restoration goals requires a thorough re-thinking of agricultural systems, given their fundamental importance for human development, but enormous impacts on ecosystems. Traditional agricultural systems seem to provide an alternative to intensive conventional production with robust evidence showing overall ecological, sociocultural, and economic benefits. One example is crop diversification in agroforestry systems, whereby shade trees or understory vegetation is added to tree crop systems such as cocoa, coffee or rubber, enhancing both farmer’s income and ecological features. Agroforestry systems can, for example, increase carbon sequestration, secure biodiversity and ecosystem services in degraded agricultural landscapes and promote social equity in the tropics.
In this session, we will discuss the potential of cocoa, coffee, and rubber agroforestry systems in aiding global restoration efforts and human wellbeing. First, we will introduce the Global Agroforestry Network (GAN; https://www.globalagroforestrynetwork.org/),a global multidisciplinary research effort to use cocoa, coffee, and rubber production systems in the Americas, West Africa, and South East Asia as case studies to test the effects of crop diversification on socioecological systems. We will then show how the global implementation of ecological tools and machine-learning based monitoring technology affects the economics and restoration potential in cocoa production. In an example from Peru, we will discuss how biological and social diversity goes hand in hand in diversified cocoa systems and the role of farmers’ involvement to inform the uptake of agricultural technologies. Finally, we look at rubber agroforestry and the opportunities diversified systems can offer for ecosystem restoration and farmer livelihoods. The session will try to facilitate collaboration between scientists from different parts of the world and will end with an open invitation to collaborate on the Global Agroforestry Network.
Photo by: Marlon del Aguila Guerrero/CIFOR
The Global Agroforestry Network: research opportunities beyond ecosystem restoration in cocoa, coffee, and rubber (Thomas Wanger)
Ecological and technological innovations around cocoa pollination: A global perspective (Manuel Toledo-Hernández)
Cacao Agroforest as Opportunities for Sustainable Socio-Ecological Diversification in the Tropics (Carolina Ocampo-Ariza)
Rubber agroforestry practices: opportunities to support ecosystem restoration and livelihoods. (Eleanor Warren-Thomas)
Plant Diversity Conservation and Agroforestry systems: A case study in seasonal dry tropical forests in Colombia. (M Alejandra Jaramillo)
Manuel Toledo-Hernández, University of Göttingen, Germany
The Role of Agroforestry Systems in the Decade of UN Ecosystem Restoration [S-11]