Achieving the Global Goals through agroforestry

Published on September 30, 2018 | Author: Agroforestry Network, Agroforestry Sverige, Focali, NIRAS, SIANI, SLU Global, SwedBio & Vi-skogen

Download report: Achieving the Global Goals through agroforestry


Key conclusions
  1. Agroforestry as a land use system can contribute to achieving at least nine out of the 17 sustainable development goals (SDG): 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 15.
  2. Agroforestry is a key tool for both climate mitigation and adaptation.
  3. Agroforestry fights poverty and hunger.
  4. Agroforestry can increase biodiversity.
  5. Agroforestry can strengthen women’s control over resources and free up women’s time.
  6. If done right, more women and men can benefit from agroforestry practices.
  7. For agroforestry to reach its full potential, barriers need to be addressed at all levels.


Globally, humans live and consume as if we had 1,7 earths at our disposal. Our activity has pushed us over four out of our nine planetary boundaries: Climate change, loss of biosphere integrity, land system change, and altered biogeochemical cycles (phosphorus and nitrogen). Climate change is the biggest challenge of our time, and the world’s leaders are in agreement; we must keep a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius. This needs to be realized, while at the same time preparing to sustain around 9.8 billion people by 2050.


Today, agriculture, forestry and other land uses stand for 21% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions, with unsustainable agricultural practices and deforestation further fuelling emissions. Additionally, the conversion of forests to agricultural land is the major reason for biodiversity losses. Many of the countries expected to be severely affected by climate change are located in the tropics, with large parts of their populations dependent on agriculture.


Smallholder farmers with less than 5 ha of land, produce around half of the world’s food, but many of them are living in poverty and suffer from food insecurity and malnutrition. Women are particularly at risk in this equation, as women are more likely than men to report food insecurity, women are disproportionately impacted by climate change, and women living in poverty often depend on common pool resources and are therefore especially affected by their depletion.


In response, countries all around the world are redirecting their compass to align with the Global Goals for Sustainable Development – 17 goals to achieve an end to extreme poverty, inequality and climate change by 2030. To feed a growing population, combat climate change, and preserve biodiversity, there is a need to develop agriculture systems that are truly sustainable in all aspects; social, economic and environmental. Sustainable agriculture with agroforestry is a pathway towards this.


In a series of reports and briefs by the Agroforestry Network, arguments are laid out for why agroforestry should be at the top of policy- and decision-makers’ minds, as we navigate towards a sustainable future.

Download brief: Så bidrar agroforestry till FN:s globala mål (Swe)



To overcome barriers, OECD donor countries and international institutions should consider the following recommendations:

  1. Make agroforestry visible.
  2. Increase funding to agroforestry projects.
  3. Increase knowledge and cooperation among key stakeholders.
  4. Support more demand driven, participatory and inclusive research.
  5. Integrate policy-making across sectors and overcome the historic separation of forestry and farming.
  6. Consider longer funding cycles.
  7. Connect to the climate agenda and report progress.
  8. Ensure policy instruments and investments that put small-scale farmers, and especially women, at the heart.
  9. Promote that at least 10% of all existing agricultural land shall be covered by trees.

Partners in the Agroforestry Network has together published the report SCALING UP AGROFORESTRY – Potential, Challenges and Barriers, A review of environmental, social and economic aspects at the farmer, community and landscape levels. Based on the report, the Agroforestry Network has also published policy briefs in Swedish and English.


The full review has been commissioned by the Agroforestry Network and its partners Agroforestry Sverige, Focali, NIRAS, SIANI, SLU Global, SwedBio and Vi-skogen. Reviewed by: Amos Wekesa (Vi Agroforestry/Vi-skogen), Anders Malmer (SLU Global), Christina Schaffer (Agroforsetry Sverige), Elizabeth Mwiyeria (Vi Agroforestry/Vi-skogen), Gert Nyberg (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences), Henrik Brundin (Vi Agroforestry/Vi-skogen), Ingrid Öborn (International Centre for Research in Agroforestry, also known as the World Agroforestry Centre), Jenny Friman (Forest, climate & livelihood research network, Focali), Johanna Björklund (Agroforestry Sverige), Karin Höök (NIRAS), Linda Andersson (Vi Agroforestry/Vi-skogen), Linda Hansson (Focali), Maria Schultz (We Effect), Madeleine Fogde (Swedish International Agricultural Network Initiative, SIANI), Sara Elfstrand (SwedBio, Stockholm Resilience Centre). Review prepared by: Linus Karlsson.