Trees and the city: How urbanization is driving agroforestry

Monday, July 16, 2012

The growth of cities around the world has increased the market demand for fruit, timber and a host of other tree products, a force that is slowly transforming areas around cities into agroforests.

From Nairobi to Bangkok, people living in and around cities have capitalized on the market demand, planting trees, vegetable and cereals together on their land. In addition to meeting city-dwellers’ needs and bringing in valuable income, these agroforestry systems are helping stabilise agriculture and keep land degradation at bay.

In an audio clip recorded at the Rio+20 Earth Summit, Dennis Garrity, UN Drylands Ambassador and Senior Fellow at World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), discusses this new phenomenon in light of a major commitment of Rio+20: “To strive to achieve a land-degradation-neutral world in the context of sustainable development.”

Garrity urges people living in cities to remain vigilant about land degradation, as it directly affects sustainable food supply for all, both rural and urban.