By Chris Mesiku for Agroforestry News
June 19, 2012
The challenge facing current regreening initiatives is how to find effective methods for upscaling test site successes. On the Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) blog, Torben Timmermann writes about one of the first side events taking place at RIO+20. Participants were invited to the Re-greening for Resilient Landscapes side event to see concrete examples of re-greening initiatives for large landscapes.
According to Timmermann, targeting drylands for regreening is important due to the strong connection between land degradation, desertification and other global issues such as climate change, droughts and floods, famine and poverty.
There are many innovations that can raise productivity in the soils, such as tree plantations, agroforestry and soil management; the question is how these can be scaled up to benefit more smallholder farmers and pastoralists.
“Ensuring the right collaboration among key stakeholders is crucial,” said Carlos Seré, Director for Strategic Planning at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
In Timmermann’s opinion, real success in the high risk areas such as the Sahel was as a result of reforestation from Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) practices.
Participants heard how FMNR practices have resulted in the reforested of five million hectares of land while protecting livelihood options for farmers. Its farmer-led approach is said to have helped increase household incomes that are encouraging farmers to adopt new practices.
Dr Dennis Garrity, UN Drylands Ambassador and Senior Research Fellow at World Agroforestry Centre, pointed out that dryland areas are moving towards a whole new future where crops are grown in association with trees and natural regeneration of the trees that increase productivity. He leads a major Evergreen Agriculture initiative which includes a number of African organizations working to scale up sustainable agricultural practices.
With the right upscaling, Garrity was optimistic that Evergreen Agriculture could benefit tens of millions of smallholder farmers over the next few years.