Monthly Archives: December 2015

Welcome to EverGreen World

evergreenworldIn today’s world, EverGreen Agriculture is a pretty unconventional concept. Agricultural cropland covers 1.3 billion hectares globally. But these croplands are generally seen as mono-cultures of annual species, such as maize or wheat, with no role for trees or other perennials in these systems. But the evidence has been rapidly accumulating on many continents that the integration of trees into crop fields (i.e. EverGreen Agriculture) may produce all sorts of benefits to farmers, And there is increasing recognition that it could contribute enormously to addressing the big global challenges of rural poverty alleviation, restoring infertile and degraded farmlands to greater productivity, and making farming more resilient to climate change. These systems also have much greater potential for pulling carbon out of the atmosphere than conventional farming practices, and could thus contribute enormously to reducing atmospheric carbon and to significantly enhancing the biodiversity of agricultural systems.

Gradually, skepticism by agriculturists to the notion that trees could play a much greater role in crop production systems is giving way to greater acceptance that such a concept is not far-fetched, but rather that it could be a basis for redesigning global agriculture for the better. Millions of farmers in Africa, Asia and Latin America are already practicing EverGreen Agriculture, and monitoring the spread of their successful efforts has shown that the practice is spreading rapidly. Pioneering work in Europe and North America has also demonstrated that the practice is suitable for larger-scale commercial farming operations as well.

Picture1The EverGreen Agriculture Partnership is challenging the conventional wisdom. It is taking the notion of integrating trees and shrubs in croplands into the mainstream. Its purpose is to connect the many ongoing efforts around the world to create an EverGreen Agriculture, from global to local.

The goal of this new newsletter is to keep you informed you about these developments in the realms of policy, technology and development. It seeks to highlight the connections, and to keep you up-to-date on this transformation, engaged in the debate, and appraised of its relevance to your work in government, the private sector, non-governmental development organizations, in the education and research communities.

The launch of the newsletter is timely, in light of the adoption of the new Sustainable Development Goals in September, the decision of the UNCCD in November to achieve a Land Degradation Neutral World by 2030, and the upcoming Climate Change Convention in Paris in December, where the contributions of agriculture to become a major part of solution to global warming will be vigorously discussed. How we can better care for the land as we intensify efforts to increase its bounty is becoming an issue and an aspiration shared by all of us, both urban and rural.

Thus, we invite you to the community that is seeking to create a more EverGreen World. And we urge your active engagement by contributing your feedback: By sharing your views, blogs and news posts to the web site ( and to our future quarterly issues.

Dennis Garrity

Dennis Garrity
Chair, EverGreen Agriculture Partnership


The riddle of Zambia’s miracle tree

7HjRUMFDVHV8Nrw0YpjXxL4CWH-oxfW5LL4LihUFzbzJQG5HDWI4sYiMtXq4FYuFVRMffbNf8Y7Df8PF5SO-ILitPvWbEpN0-Mv8KHoOJh2UtBXAC1oDWANh5dbkVqLhXAijhs_YLocally known as Msangu, Faidherbia Albida is considered a miracle tree by Zambian locals due to its ability to increase agricultural productivity, improve crop resilience and enhance soil fertility. Joseph Zulu, a local farmer notes that the fertilizer tree is a wonderful example of how climate-smart agriculture can be incorporated into traditional farming environments.

Despite the important benefits, few local farmers follow Zulu’s lead. Msangu only occupies 6 percent of fields in the district and this is attributed to property rights as many rural Zambians live on customary land without formally recognized boundaries to their fields or official documentation of their rights to access, use or own land.

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African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100) to be launched in Paris

5641584266_4e5080ca16_zAFR100 is a pan-African, country-led effort to bring 100 million hectares of deforested and degraded landscapes in Africa under restoration by 2030. It is a platform for implementation that brings together political commitment with the necessary financial and technical support.
Experience in multiple countries has demonstrated that forest landscape restoration (FLR) can deliver significant benefits. African leaders from Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, among others are stepping forward with commitments to restore degraded and deforested landscapes in an attempt to increase resilience to climate change, develop their economies and help to mitigate climate change.
The AFR100 seeks to realize the benefits that trees can provide in African landscapes, thereby contributing to improved soil fertility and food security, improved availability and quality of water resources, reduced desertification, increased biodiversity, creation of green jobs, bolstered economic growth and livelihood diversification, increased capacity for climate change resilience, adaptation and mitigation. Agroforestry and EverGreen Agriculture have been recognized as critical aspects to the success of the initiative.
What is the origin of AFR100?
In September 2015, representatives from 13 African countries met together with civil society leaders, regional economic communities and donor agencies to discuss the needs and opportunities for a continental initiative to help scale up FLR successes. The German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) joined forces with the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the NEPAD Agency to provide initial funding to catalyze this African-led initiative to restore deforested and degraded landscapes. The EverGreen Agriculture Partnership has been vigorously engaged in the development of AFR100, and is looking forward to supporting the implementation of this visionary program.
How will AFR100 be implemented?
The initiative will help to mobilize financial and technical resources from multiple sources to help support and implement strategies for forest landscape restoration through partnerships with African governments, private sector impact investors, multilateral banks, bilateral donors and technical support providers committed to results-oriented partnerships and projects.
The AFR100 is a direct contribution to the Bonn Challenge ambition to restore 150 million hectares by 2020 and the New York Declaration on Forests to restore 350 million hectares globally by 2030. Interested partners are invited to join the AFR100 initiative by sending a letter of commitment to the NEPAD Agency as secretariat of the AFR100 initiative.

UNCCD Publishes Brief on Land-Climate Nexus

land_matters_for_climate-150x150The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has published a brief titled, ‘Land matters for climate: Reducing the gap and approaching the target,’ ahead of the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to be held in Paris, France. The publication states that additional commitments contained in the UNCCD’s Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) target − which envisages rehabilitating 12 million hectares of degraded land globally each year − could help close roughly 25% of the estimated emissions gap of 13 gigatonnes of equivalent CO2 (GtC02e), and amounts to “two-thirds of the expected emissions reduction pledges of all INDCs [Intended Nationally Determined Contributions] in the year 2030.”

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Poor nations need support to cut emissions from farming

A farmer clears the rice field using a motorized plough, instead of the traditional slash-and-burn method, in Nakhonsawan province, north of Bangkok, Thailand, August 8, 2015. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom/Files

Developing countries can boost food production while reducing planet-warming emissions from agriculture, given the right technologies and financial support to put them into practice, researchers said on Monday. Wealthy governments and other donors need to invest more to reduce carbon emissions stemming from agriculture, said a study issued ahead of U.N. climate talks in Paris next week.

Researchers analysed 160 national climate action plans submitted ahead of the summit, which is due to agree a new deal to curb global warming, and found 80 percent included agriculture in their efforts to cut emissions. Nearly two-thirds noted agriculture’s importance in strategies to adapt to more extreme weather and rising seas, despite being short on detail, the study added. But agriculture is absent from the main draft text for a new U.N. climate deal, signalling a major disconnect between country planning and global-level policymaking, according to the international CGIAR research programme on climate change, agriculture and food security.

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