Photo: Katie O'Sullivan
Photo: Katie O'Sullivan

Sustainable Development Goal 15 encourages all to work towards preservation of nature, combating desertification, reversing deforestation, and halting of biodiversity loss. Vi Agroforestry has been working with farmer organisations in support of this. We use the term agrobiodiversity to refer to the diversity of species associated with farming of crops and rearing of livestock in a specific farming system.

Biodiversity loss is caused by land degradation, overexploitation of natural resources, unsustainable agricultural practices such as monocropping among others. In the interim strategy 2020-2021 and 2023-2027 strategic period, Vi Agroforestry continues to support farmers organisations to reduce deforestation, increase food productivity whilst contributing to increased biodiversity.

Vi Agroforestry promotes the use of SALM based on agroforestry techniques to support smallholder farmers and agropastoralists through their farmer organisations to conserve and restore biodiversity in the ecosystem. Some of the practices promoted include but not limited to agroforestry (special focus is given to ensure conservation of indigenous tree and plant species which are well adaptable to various local ecological zones as well as those with medicinal value), Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR), apiculture, water, and soil conservation practices etc.

In general, SALM contributes to the ability of an ecosystem to resist permanent structural change and maintain ecosystem functions.