‘Forget tree planting, start tree growing’

Q & A with Lalisa Duguma

Forests News caught up with climate change mitigation and adaptation scientist from World Agroforestry (ICRAF), Lalisa Duguma, at 2019’s World Agroforestry Congress in Montpellier. Here’s what he had to say:

It’s 2019, the world is changing at a rapid pace, why agroforestry?

With the changes we are observing, the role that agroforestry can play is critical. It can actually help to address the major issues we are talking about like climate change. The biggest advantages of agroforestry is that it can help to mitigate climate change while at the same time contributing to the adaptation agenda. From the mitigation side, agroforestry is the simplest technology in terms of what the farmers, the smallholders, can do on their farming plots. It means people plant and grow more trees in the land that they have, so we are sequestering more carbon. As you know from photosynthesis, it is picking up the carbon from the atmosphere and putting it into the biomass – and it is keeping it there. So that’s a sequestration benefit that gives a direct contribution to climate change mitigation.

From the adaptation side it plays quite a number of roles: If you take some of the tree species- like Faidherbia albida (acacia)- they improve crop productivity. These also help…

It’s a big ask for the farmers, right?

Exactly. From our study in the Gambia we tried to assess the mentality of tree planting…

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