Trees outside forests: a missing link in climate change policy

World Agroforestry Centre scientists point out that accounting for trees on farms in climate modelling can help increase the range of climate change adaptation options.

World Agroforestry Centre’s Chief Science Advisor, Meine van Noordwijk, and Peter A Minang, Global Coordinator of the ASB Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins discuss this issue in a blog for the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).

“Climate change policies and emerging institutions perpetuate a divide between agriculture and forestry, creating separate rules and incentives to govern each sector. This divide loses sight of agroforestry as a major part of the climate change solution,” the scientists say.

They point out that the range of options farmers could have to respond to climate change would be enhanced by modelling that represents at least three types of climate that are feasible at any location: open-field agriculture, medium tree cover or agroforestry, and full-tree cover or forest climate maps.

The blog refers to the Centre’s endeavours in developing such a representation of the world’s climates, which recognizes trees outside forests as an important element of the adaptation options for agriculture.

Read the blog here.