The launch of Agroforestry Network – A success!
In total 50 participants from academia, the commercial sector, NGOs and governmental institutions took part in the launch of Agroforestry Network. Sven-Erik Bucht, the Swedish Minister of Rural Affairs, gave an inspiring opening speech in which he emphasised the importance of agroforestry when working towards many of the Sustainable Development Goals.
During the launch many participants expressed a wish that Agroforestry Network becomes a much sought after link between practitioners and academia. A closer cooperation between these two would imply better research, better monitoring of development projects and help researchers to address relevant questions in their studies. Problems of communicating scientific results and make these available to the public were also discussed. Scientists as well as practitioners expressed enthusiasm that Agroforestry Network could solve this problem, which would increase the impact of scientific studies. Another topic that was briefed was whom the Network should include. The participants coherently expressed that the network should be open and include commercial actors as well as conservationists.
Several researchers and practitioners presented their work during the day. Razafy Fara Lala, working for WWF in the Democratic Republic of Congo, gave an interesting talk about the deforestation in Madagascar and how this affects food production. Anders Malmer from SLU explained how a shift from nomadic pastoralism to agro-pastoralism has allowed the degraded landscape in western Kenya to recover. Hanna Sinare, from Stockholm Resilience Centre, presented new methods to review ecosystem services in Burkina Faso by dividing the landscape into socio-ecological zones. Eskil Matsson showed how important tropical gardens are in Sri Lanka and how these contribute with significant carbon sequestration. Martin Vilela from La Plataforma Boliviana frente al Cambio Climatica explained how his organisation works with climate justice in Bolivia. Henrik Brundin from Vi Agroforestry finished off the day with an agroforestry success story from Kenya, in which we meet the farmers Benta and John Muga.
The launch also made some headlines in Dagens ETC and ATL, Lantbrukets Affärstidning. Furthermore the initiators of the network, Vi-skogen, SLU Global, SIANI and Focali published an opinion piece in Göteborgs-Posten during the weekend.
It is safe to say that Agroforestry Network is off to a good start.
Photo Credit: Marcus Lundstedt.
From left to right: Johanna Björklund, Anders Malmer, Henrik Brundin Sven-Erik Bucht, Maria Ölund, Madeleine Fogde.