In this issue we look at what it would take to implement REDD or an emission reduction framework for all land uses in Peru. We report on a new partnership with Bridgestone for jungle rubber in Indonesia, a workshop with CTA on improving media engagement in rural development and how Faidherbia albida is improving crop yields in Zimbabwe. The Centre has produced two new booklets focusing on projects in Cameroon and we held a side event at the UNFCCC climate change meeting in Bonn.
Can a whole landscape approach to reducing emissions work in Peru?
Organized national institutions, good governance, clear land tenure and strategies to address the drivers of deforestation are emerging as key obstacles to be overcome before an effective framework for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) can be implemented.
Climate change negotiators may not have reached agreement last year on REDD, but scientists working with the Alternatives to Slash and Burn Partnership at the World Agroforestry Centre are still actively pursuing research to determine what is needed to move beyond the forest to a REALU approach, that is, reducing emissions from all land uses.
The rationale is that land uses outside the forest - such as agroforestry - can store significant carbon while enhancing other environmental services and creating climate change adaptation benefits for smallholder farmers.
According to Julio Ugarte and Sandra Velarde from the World Agroforestry Centre, who are looking at the feasibility of REALU in Peru, if areas outside the forest are not taken into account, enormous potential could be being lost.
Over the past year, they and their team have been trying to find out what institutions are needed to implement REALU and what is really causing deforestation. They have conducted workshops with key stakeholders and synthesized existing research from Ucayali, San Martin, and Loreto; the three most deforested regions in the Peruvian Amazon.
“REALU is a very real possibility and has widespread support,” Velarde says. “But in Peru, it will require changes to current laws, institutional arrangements and policies.”
The State is responsible for managing forest resources in Peru as well as the goods and services they provide. Under REDD or REALU, it will be necessary to find an equitable way of distributing benefits so that conflict is avoided. This requires changes to the legislation.
As in most other countries, Peru has several government agencies with responsibilities for natural resource management. Existing institutional arrangements need to be reviewed to ensure they can facilitate the implementation of REDD or REALU.
The main driver of deforestation in Peru is shifting cultivation, linked to political and economic activities. Ugarte believes there is considerable scope for government agencies and the private sector to plan for more sustainable development across the Peruvian Amazon.
“While there are obstacles to REALU, we still believe it can be achieved,” Ugarte says. “It would undoubtedly lead to greater emission reductions and larger benefits for local people.”
In Cameroon, China, Indonesia, Nepal, Vietnam and the Philippines, similar studies are underway as part of the ‘Architecture of Reducing Emissions from All Land Uses’ project funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD). An analysis of each country’s results will enable recommendations to be made to policy makers and climate change negotiators.
The Latin America office of the World Agroforestry Centre is in the process of publishing the findings a series of working papers on this research. Check the Publications page of our website: http://www.worldagroforestry.org/publications
The Centre will join forces with the world's largest tire and rubber company, Bridgestone Corporation, to conduct research into how to improve the quality and productivity of jungle rubber in Indonesia. This builds on work by the Centre over many years on rubber agroforestry, which provides economic stability to farmers while conserving biodiversity.
Improving journalist’s skills in reporting on agriculture and getting scientists to reach out to the media was the subject of a recent workshop run in conjunction with the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA). Forty participants from the media, agriculture and rural development in West, Central, East and Southern Africa gathered to discuss the media’s role in communicating research innovation.
A recent paper by Roger Leaky outlines how multi-functional agriculture, and in particular agroforestry, provides a better model for a productive and sustainable future than current intensive industrial agriculture. Leakey comments on how agroforestry can play a substantial role in delivering of a better future, especially for poor smallholder farmers in the tropics.
Bringing indigenous fruit trees out of the forest and onto the farm, and promoting farming systems that produce food, sustain communities and protect the environment, are the focus of two new booklets. The fruits of success describes the Centre's participatory tree domestication programme in West and Central Africa. A window on a better world profiles an innovative agroforestry programme which has helped thousands of people in Cameroon to escape poverty.
At a side event during the UNFCCC climate change meeting in Bonn, Germany in June, Centre scientists presented four case studies to showcase work on measuring carbon in complex landscapes and agroecosystems with trees: Western Kenya; the Peruvian Amazon; the peatlands of West Kalimantan, Indonesia and the Africa Soil Information Service project.
The effectiveness of local knowledge and traditional practices in improving yields was clearly demonstrated on a field trip to Zimbabwe. Farmers who are growing Faidherbiaalbida fertilizer trees alongside their crops are improving on-farm productivity and their livelihoods.
Transformations is produced by the World Agroforestry Centre Communications Unit.
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