Title: How can agriculture assist landscape restoration programs in tropical developing countries?
Deforestation and land degradation bring negative impacts not only in loss of biodiversity and natural resources, but also in socioeconomic aspects to communities, especially in developing countries. Reforestation projects have been performed aiming multiple mitigation objectives and using different methods. The Forest and Landscape Restoration (FLR) approach differs from other reforestation processes, as it considers biophysical along with the human well being aspects of a given landscape, including in its design the various uses: conservation, production, human livelihoods – based on active participation of local community and stakeholders. The FLR approach supports the multifunctional potentials of the landscape, where social, economic and ecological capacities provide subsistence, income generation and conservation.
Agricultural activities are deeply connected to the livelihoods of rural populations. Nevertheless, farmers are still among the poorest groups, under food insecurity and climate change threats. Enhancing management of the agricultural component of FLR programs presents potential for: (1) livelihood activities, (2) generate a short-term cash income, (3) contribute to food security, (4) dissemination of sustainable practices in soil/plant care, (5)develop climate resilience. However, it is observed that currently, little is known about how to best integrate agriculture, forestry and forest restoration at landscape scale.
As such, this research overall objective is to understand in which ways agriculture can best assist landscape restoration goals in developing countries in the humid tropics. It aims to contribute to the gap identified on ways in which agricultural practices, techniques and systems can be beneficial to both biophysical and socioeconomic aspects of landscapes. A trade-off assessment tool (TAT) is proposed in order to identify, on a case by case situation, which is the most suitable agricultural activity to be pursued by communities, based on their existing capacities (Human, Natural, Physical, Social capitals) and the different entry points to FLR projects
Agroforestry systems (AFS) are being indicated as a restoration option, whose adoption is considered by smallholders in several contexts. Investigating agroforestry and other agricultural systems for FLR have the potential to provide insights to restoration projects in tropical developing countries. The limited number of studies on understanding sociocultural values of agriculture, and on the economic feasibility of AFS in international academic literature further highlights the importance of research in these fields.
Camila is an Agronomist from Brazil. She has conducted her studies in São Paulo State University and at the University of Western Australia, where she focused more on natural resources management in agriculture. In her home country, she has worked with smallholder farmers in governmental rural development programs, in which she took part in the formulation of extension materials, organizing and conducting trainings with farmers and co authored a book chapter on rural extension. More recently, she worked for the private fruticulture sector preparing crews for pest and diseases id, sustainable farming practices and harvest predictions.
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