Time for world leaders to realize the benefits of tree farming
In early August, the UN Climate Panel released a report showing that agriculture and other land use account for 23 per cent of human greenhouse gas emissions. If we are to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees and at least well below two degrees, power is therefore needed to switch land use to more sustainable agriculture. The earth’s average temperature in July was 1.2 degrees higher than the pre-industrial period, the highest temperature measured for a single month. The report’s results will, of course, be discussed at the large UN Climate Action Summit, which is taking place today in New York.
One of the solutions mentioned in the report is agroforestry – tree farming.
Agroforestry, planting trees among crops, helps to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide by binding carbon in trees and soil. Agroforestry also helps people adapt to the effects of climate change, as trees bind the soil and create resistance to pest insects, drought and floods. The trees also provide fruits and nuts, which can be eaten or sold, animal feed, building materials and firewood, and for increased fertility and biodiversity. The result is safer and larger harvests, and the possibility of more varied diet and financial security to the farmer, who may be able to send his children to school or invest in his agriculture for the surplus.
Vi Agroforestry, which works with agroforestry and other sustainable agricultural practices in eastern Africa since the 1980s, will be in place in New York to draw attention to the power holders and climate activists on the benefits, and demand that major efforts be made. Agroforestry is a method that is proven to work, which is not dependent on costly technical solutions, and creates both social and ecological sustainability.
We now call on the Swedish government, as well as the world’s other leaders, to:
- Increase knowledge of the benefits of tree farming. There is a lot of knowledge and research, but it needs to be spread to more! See for example
- Increase funding for agroforestry. There is a potential to transform depleted landscapes and farmland with agroforestry.
On Friday, just a week after the climate summit, what is believed to be the largest demonstration for the climate will be held. People want to see change. Let’s take advantage of the methods that already exist to prevent climate change and contribute to a more sustainable world.