4th World Congress on Agroforestry – Strengthening links between science, society and policy

20 May - 22 May 2019, Le Corum, Montpelllier, France

The Montpellier Fourth World Congress on Agroforestry follows earlier World Congresses on Agroforestry in Orlando (USA) in 2004 (Working Together for Sustainable Landuse Systems), Nairobi (Kenya) in 2009 (Agroforestry – The Future of Global Land Use) and New Delhi (India) in 2014 (Trees for Life: Accelerating the Impacts of Agroforestry).

The Congress’ theme is “Agroforestry – Strengthening links between science, society and policy“.

The choice of this three-fold theme “science-society-policy” follows the recognition that:

  • Agroforestry has a role to play in most of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • Climate change presents a formidable challenge that has to be addressed by the world, with agroforestry potentially playing a key role for both climate change adaptation and mitigation
  • Global Climate policy (Since Paris’ COP21) has for the first time internationally accepted emission reduction targets, and most countries will be reporting on emissions from Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU). However, countries will need good science to quantify the role that trees and forests can play in mitigation and adaptation, and effective social dialogue to enable greenhouse gases mitigation projects and policies to be implemented
  • The European Union has a climate policy of “encouraging the sustainable intensification of food production, while optimizing the sector’s contribution to greenhouse gas mitigation and sequestration, including through afforestation”, but Member States are increasingly asking whether agroforestry can be an alternative to large-scale afforestation
  • Organizations which certify sustainable management of forests and agriculture (e.g. PEFC, FSC, GlobalGAP) are becoming interested in certifying areas of “Trees outside Forests”
  • 45% of world agriculture has a tree crown cover of more than 10%, as shown in a study by ICRAF
  • Citizens and consumers globally are seeking the development of alternative solutions to intensive agriculture
  • France is particularly active in the above and has a policy for “50% of its farmers to be using agroforestry by 2025”, and has actively promoted the 4‰ Action Plan to increase carbon storage in soils.

Objectives of the Congress

The Montpellier Fourth World Congress on Agroforestry addresses a wide range of key agroforestry research issues, gather facts and figures from developing and developed countries and supports a collaborative effort with broad social participation. World-known keynote speakers have been invited to make sure that today’s important agroforestry research questions are all addressed. Nevertheless, the Congress also welcomes a variety of stakeholders to foster social interactions and special attention is given to vulnerable countries and populations. The overall objective of the Congress is to contribute to the strengthening of agroforestry science and practice in order to provide opportunities for further developing links between science, society and policy and to bridge the science-policy gap.

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