EURAF members have been very active in the promotion of agroforestry at National and European level in May and June 2017. The conference “Sequestering Carbon in Soil Addressing the Climate Threat” took place in Paris during 3rd - 5th May 2017 with the presence of Dr Honoris causa PK Nair, Dr Vimala Nair, Patrick Worms and María Rosa Mosquera-Losada. Conclusions from this meeting highlighted the needs of appropriate agroforestry business models within a ten years term to foster agroforestry all over the world as one of the best options to sequester carbon in soils. Moreover, recently the importance of agroforestry for soils has been highlighted in the document "Preserving Agricultural Soils in the EU".
AGFORWARD meeting gathered the big research agroforestry family with important conclusions for the post 2020 CAP. A new consensuated agroforestry definition was approved as “the deliberate integration of woody vegetation (trees and/or shrubs) as an upper storey on land with an agricultural crop or pasture in the lower story which is consumed by domestic animals. The woody species can be evenly or unevenly distributed or occur on the border of plots. The woody species can deliver forestry or agricultural products or other ecosystem services (i.e. regulating or cultural)” including therefore all agroforestry practices in European and adapted to the definition provided by the deployed agroforestry measure (M8.2) and adopted by 60% of the current Rural Development Programmes that have implemented measure M8.2. Main conclusions from the policy report of the AGFORWARD project are: (i) all agroforestry practices should be fully recognised (silvopasture, silvoarable, riparian buffer strips and hedgerows, forest farming and homegarden)s; (ii) all agroforestry practices implemented in lands with less than 100 mature trees per hectare, and having a management plan should be fully eligible for Pillar I direct payments and greening; and (iii) agroforestry measure in Pillar II (M8.2) should include all the before mentioned agroforestry practices to be established and maintained in new agroforestry land use or to be managed in already existing agroforestry lands.
EURAF has also participated in different Civil Dialogue Groups (CDG) such as the Arable CDG (Dario Arias Martínez and Francisco Javier Rodríguez Rigueiro), the Forestry and Cork CDG (María Rosa Mosquera-Losada and Gerry Lawson) and the Environment and Climate Change CDG (María Rosa Mosquera-Losada and Gerry Lawson). Besides important aspects dealing with the markets of arable crops in the Arable CDG, agroforestry through the promotion of non-timber products in forestlands was included at the beginning of the CAP resolution in the Forestry and Cork CDG. Forestry and Cork CDG gave the different participants the opportunity to discuss with the Directors of DG AGri (Mr. Pierre Bascou) and DG Clima (Mr. Artur Runge-Metzger) about the future of the CAP and the place of forests, after questions made by EURAF members about the link between Pillar I and Pillar II and the gap between the establishment of agroforestry practices in agricultural lands under Pillar II and the conservation payments under Pillar I. The answer was that the Commission is working in ensuring direct payments when agroforestry is established in agricultural lands. The Forestry and Cork CDG also highlighted the role that the interaction between agriculture and forestry has to play and the role of the biomass within the Bioeconomy strategy. The presentation of the EUFORGEN programme linked to the Pan-European strategy for genetic conservation is an extraordinary database showing the potential of the tree genetic resources of a large number of tree species including conifers and broadleaves that is indeed useful to evaluate for agroforestry purposes. The future of the CAP was also discussed bringing interesting concepts linked to the LULUCF and circular economy. The mapping and assessment of ecosystems and their services focussed on forestland were also presented. Environment and climate change CDG started with a very constructive discussion about the next CAP and the role on fulfilling ecosystem services delivery. Sentences like ‘agriculture should be sustainable and deliver ecosystem services for its own subsistence’ were subscribed as a motto for the post 2020 CAP. The impact of climate change and the vulnerability of Europe and the consequences of climate change for EU Agriculture were shown. Temperatures will be increasing in the South while more flooding is expected in the North of Europe, with strong consequences for agriculture. Nature Directive Action Plan with an increase of 10% budget was presented to increase the ecosystem services deliveries from Nature sites. Result-based payments schemes based on biodiversity production, management production and hybrid monitoring system have been described in three pilot experiences in Europe including Ireland and Spain with a great success. Mr. Kovacevic from DG Environment described the huge potential of agroforestry as a management activity to promote within this scheme, being linked mainly to Pillar II but also possibly connected to Pillar I.
EURAF also participated in the 8th meeting of the subgroup on Innovation of the EIP-Agri (Nuria Ferreiro-Domínguez). The objective of the meeting was to propose and debate on possible work topics for the next year.
Some of the results of the AGFORWARD project have been presented in the session of the European Grassland Congress “Alternative and multiple-uses of grassland resources” chaired by María Rosa Mosquera-Losada and presented by Tobias Plieninger, who explained the ecological and social perspectives of European wooded grasslands. The European Grassland Congress awarded with the best poster prize one of the innovations tested under the AGFORWARD project and defended by Nuria Ferreiro-Domínguez: “Maize yield in silvoarable systems established under Prunus avium L. in Galicia (NW Spain)”
Hamburg hosted the “Organic is operational” workshop organized by the EIP-Agri last 14th-15th June. Promotion on knowledge exchange on organic agriculture, but also on agroforestry as well as presentation of different and excellent operational groups across Europe were shown. A subgroup of agroforestry-organic farming promotion was established. The AFINET project was presented at the workshop.
An AFINET web page has also been launched and can be seen in the following web site: http://www.agroforestry.eu/afinet. The second AFINET meeting was held in the Organic Research Center (UK) during 20th-21st June. AFINET meeting highlights are reflected below in this newsletter.
International scientific and practical conference "Nordic Regional Congress of Students forestry: multifunctional forest use," or Northern European Regional Meeting (NERM 2017) started at the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine on 12nd May.
The participants were students from 12 countries. Its main organizer is a student scientific network “Kyiv Association of Student Foresters” and the Institute of Forestry and Landscape Architecture of NULES. The above scientific event - one of the largest and most important annual gatherings of forestry students from all over Europe, during which they learn about Ukrainian forestry in terms of mixed-use forest, visit the leading enterprises and companies related to the industry, familiar with Ukrainian culture and customs, traditional clothing, cuisine, handicrafts and so on across the country.
At the conference the head of Ukrainian Agroforestry Association professor Vaviliy Yukhnovskyi reported about agroforestry practice in Ukraine in the context of multifunctional use of forests. The report “Ecological land use in the context of agroforestry development” was of interest for the participants of the conference.
Figure 1: Participants in the Northern European Regional Meeting (NERM 2017).
The participants of the Northern European Regional Meeting were travelling throughout of Ukrainian forests from Kyiv to Carpathians region where they examined forests and other agroforestry plantations.
Source: Vaviliy Yukhnovskyi (EURAF National Delegate for Ukraine), May 2017.
2.2 Workshop: Does tree fodder have a role to play in today´s livestock farming in the UK?
The Organic Research Centre (ORC) organised the first stakeholder meeting (RAIN) of the H2020 project AFINET (AgroForestry INnovation NETworks) at Elm Farm, Newbury, England. The topic was Tree Fodder and its potential use in livestock farming in the UK. The event was aimed at farmers, researchers, practitioners and NGOs working in the agroforestry sector. In the morning session, keynote speakers touched the topic of the use of trees as fodder for livestock (Jo Smith, ORC); livestock behaviour in relation to the presence of trees on pasture (Lindsay Whistance, ORC); the benefits of tannin-containing fodder trees for animal production (Sokratis Stergiadis, University of Reading), such as prevention of bloat, reduction in GHG emissions, and increased fatty acids content in dairy products; and traditional practices related to tree fodder, tree hay making and pollarding (Ted Green and Helen Read, Ancient Tree Forum). Farmers in the UK and Belgium presented their experiences in agroforestry, generating interesting discussions on the potential for agroforestry in the UK and what might be the obstacles to further adoption of this system.
In the afternoon, after a farm walk to visit the agroforestry project at ORC (see photos), the event continued with a workshop to engage all participants in identifying barriers, knowledge gaps and innovations needed in the agroforestry sector (Ian Knight, Abacus Agri Ltd. and Sally Westaway, ORC). Communication of knowledge was one of the greatest obstacles highlighted, together with issues related to labour, but most importantly the lack of an agroforestry-adapted legislation. Way forwards promoted by participants were the potential use of agroforestry for biomass production and its relevance in developing climate change resilient farming systems. The use of case studies of “pioneer farmers” could also promote benefits of agroforestry in terms of employment generation, enhanced biodiversity and greater knowledge sharing among farmers, researchers and policy-makers alike.
Figure 2: Some pictures taken during the workshop “Does tree fodder have a role to play in today’s livestock farming in the UK?” organized by the Organic Research Center, Elm Farm, Newbury, England.
Source: Sara Burbi (Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR) at Coventry University, United Kingdom, sara [dot] burbi [at] coventry [dot] ac [dot] uk (sara [dot] burbi [at] coventry [dot] ac [dot] uk)), May 2017.
The seminar on agroforestry systems: an inheritance with future was held last 2 nd-3th June in Bragança (NE Portugal) at the Agrarian School of Polytechnic Institute of Bragança. The co-organizers of the meeting were Portuguese Society of Forest Science - SPCF and Mountain Research Center - CIMO. During the seminar there was a field visit to the Vila Boa de Arufe farm.
The president of EURAF, María Rosa Mosquera-Losada attended the conference and gave a presentation titled “Agroforestry in Europe” that was included in the session dedicated to “The current status and future prospects of agroforestry”. Mercedes Rois presented the perceptions of European farmers on agroforestry, as an output of the work under AGFORWARD project. The speakers of the conference presented several topics concerning: i) the current status and future prospects of agroforestry, ii) traditional and emergent agroforestry systems, iii) ecological aspects, iv) products and services derived from agroforestry systems, v) Socioeconomic aspects of agroforestry systems
Figure 3: On the left, poster of the conference and on the right, picture taken during the field visit to the Vila Boa de Arufe (Photo: Marina Castro).
Source: Marina Castro and Amilcar Teixeira (Mountain Research Center, Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, Portugal), June 2017.
A fascinating herder festival was held in Olaszfalu, Hungary, on 3th June 2017. The morning session included a professional forum focused on the Hungarian wood pastures and was organised principally for herders and advisors. Over sixty people took part in the program which included a technical workshop, followed by a field trip in the local wood pasture system, a trade show of pastoral and silvopastoral products, all embedded in a series of festivity programs. During the one-day festival exhibition, folk dance and folk music, geo-tour, herbaceous tour, shepherd trials, toys and fair were awaiting visitors.
The event offered a good opportunity for disseminating the results of agroforestry research and innovations related to wood pastures within the AGFORWARD project and introducing the aims of the national agroforestry innovation network under preparation in AFINET project.
A short video is available about the event at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfwSnAeK2eA.
Figure 4: On the left, knowledge transfer from shepherd to shepherds, on the middle, field trip after technical workshop and on the right, products of Hungarian wood pastures.
Source: Andrea Vityi (EURAF National Delegate for Hungary) and Anna Varga (Hungarian Academy of Sciences), June 2017.
Herdade da Sanguinheira is a 620 ha farm located in the Portuguese Ribatejo region (Abrantes Municipality), dedicated to silvopastoral agroforestry activities. Its area is occupied by: i) 450 ha of pure cork oak stands (montado); ii) 30 ha of Pinus pinea silvopastoral area; iii) 25 ha of irrigated agricultural land for permanent pasture production; iv) 100 ha of Eucalyptus globulus plantations; v) 15 ha of water and social area.
Figure 5: On the left, Pinnus pinea plantation (grafted trees) with irrigation and improved biodiverse pastures installation for sheep grazing, in the middle montado area showing tree regeneration protection (to types of tree protectors according to tree size) and on the right, temporary water line protection.
Livestock farming is focused on sheep for meat production. After the installation of improved and biodiverse pastures in 2004/2005, and the maintenance of the permanent pastures in the irrigated land, the number of animals was able to increase from 450 to the current 950. The animals are managed according traditional silvopastoral practices that imply the alternated movement of the sheep along seven management units, according to climate and pasture conditions that are permanently assessed. Although 100 ha are dedicated to Eucalyptus globulus plantations for pulp production, animals are allowed to enter this area. Since grazing is limited due the low amount of pasture, animals are observed using this area for resting and freshening in the shade available due to the high number of trees per hectare.
Figure 6: Sheep grazing at the farm Sanguinheira de Codes, Portugal.
In the recent Pinus pinea plantation grafting techniques that will allow early and increased cone (thus, pine nuts) production were employed. In addition, the irrigation system and the installation of improved biodiverse pastures allows using the area for animal grazing just a few years after the tree plantation and grafting.
Two of the most frequent issues related to the montado system management are the promotion of tree natural regeneration and shrub control practices. Herdade da Sanguinheira has established a detailed management strategy for coping with these issues. This is based on the rotation of the intervention practices in one of the seven management units each year, focusing on tree regeneration protection, shrub control and fertilization. Trees are marked previously to shrub control operations and protectors are selected according to tree size. In addition, were large clearing areas are found, tree plantation might be carried out.
The sustainable management practices of Herdade da Sanguinheira have been recently recognized with the awarded 2016 forest and sustainability prize.
Source: Joana Amaral Paulo (EURAF Secretary), June 2017.
The AGFORWARD (Agroforestry that will Advance Rural Development) consortium held its Fourth General Assembly at Herdade do Freixo do Meio (Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal) on 17-19th May. The host was Alfredo Cunhal Sendim of Herdade do Freixo do Meio, a farm that manages 440 ha of cork oak and holm oak montado agroforestry systems. The farm also includes portions of irrigated land, vineyards, olive groves and biodiverse pastures. Some of the products from the farm are directly marketed in a farm shop in Lisbon.
The meeting was organised by João Palma and the team of the Instituto Superior de Agronomia (ISA) at the University of Lisbon. In total about 60 researchers from 14 countries attended the meeting. During the meeting the AGFORWARD partners participated in workshops ranging from agroforestry innovations to agroforestry economic modelling and policy development with the project aim of promoting agroforestry in Europe. The next and last AGFORWARD meeting will be held in Brussels at the end of this year.
Figure 7: Participants in the Fourth General Assembly of the AGFORWARD project at Herdade do Freixo do Meio (Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal).
Source: Nuria Ferreiro-Domínguez (University of Santiago de Compostela), May 2017.
Partners of the AFINET project, the European project that aims to promote innovation in agroforestry, headed to the UK in June for their second partners meeting. Hosted by the Organic Research Centre, the two day meeting gave partners an opportunity to discuss their approaches to establishing their Regional Agroforestry Innovation Networks (‘RAINs’), as well as share progress in the development of the project website and knowledge cloud. During one of the hottest weeks of the UK summer, partners visited a range of local agroforestry systems, including a traditional wood pasture (Hungerford Common), a mature silvopastoral alley cropping site (Bill Acworth at Little Hidden Farm), as well as the inspirational highly diverse organic vegetable system at Tolhurst Organics.
Some of the AFINET partners then attended the first large scale UK Agroforestry Conference, hosted by Cranfield University, and organised by the Woodland Trust and Soil Association. Attended by around 250 people, including over 130 farmers and foresters, the day featured presentations by EURAF members Mike Strachan, Fabien Balaguer, Patrick Worms and Paul Burgess amongst others, as well as an inspiring session showcasing a range of agroforestry farmers talking about their reasons for integrating trees into their farming systems. The conference wrapped up with surgery sessions, including one hosted by AFINET partners. Conference delegates were invited on an agroforestry tour of Europe, with the opportunity to sample agroforestry products from nine countries. Links to the slides, farmer films and a summary of the Twitter activity are available on the conference page.
The agroforestry energy continued the following day with the annual Farm Woodland Forum meeting, hosted by Paul Burgess at Cranfield University. Morning presentations included an overview of agroforestry policy in the countries of the UK and Ireland, coordinated by EURAF vice-president Gerry Lawson, and a series of talks exploring different aspects of agroforestry in practice. In the afternoon the group visited the apple silvoarable system of Stephen and Lynn Briggs, on the fenland soils of Cambridgeshire.
A very intense and truly inspiring week!
Figure 8: Some pictures taken during the AFINET partner meeting, the Agroforestry Conference and the Farm Woodland Forum meeting in UK.
Source: Jo Smith (EURAF National Delegate for UK, Principal Agroelogy Research, Organic Research Centre, Elm Farm, Newbury, UK), June 2016.
The Association for temperate Agroforestry (AFTA) held its biennial conference on 26-29 June 2017. The conference organized in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA, included researchers and farmers oral and poster sessions. Farms implementing agroforestry –mainly silvopasture- as well as research sites were also visited, showing the advancement of agroforestry in the USA.
During the last day of the conference, a policy session was organized and moderated by Dr. Gregory Ormsby Mori. The four presenters explained how agroforestry policy is implemented in Canada (Dr. Henry de Gooijer), México (Dr. Ana Isabel Moreno Calles) and Europe (Dr. Rosa Mosquera-Losada) as well as in the USA (Dr. Susan Stein). The presentations were followed by a lively discussion on how to improve policy measures all around the world. EURAF president (Dr. María Rosa Mosquera-Losada) and national delegate for Italy (Dr. Adolfo Rosati) participated in the discussion and, based on EURAF experience, provided some suggestions to AFTA members on how to improve lobbying for agroforestry policy in the USA. The conference was broadcast in streaming to allow anyone to participate.
Figure 9: María Rosa Mosquera-Losada (EURAF President) during the AFTA conference.
Source: María Rosa Mosquera-Losada (EURAF President) and Adolfo Rosati (EURAF National Delegate for Italy), June 2017.
Open PhD opportunity at Reading University, UK
The overarching aim of this studentship is to work with the Woodland Trust to provide them with sufficient evidence to encourage and optimise integrated tree use on agricultural land. More info here.
Public consultation on the database directive: application and impact
The main objectives of the consultation are to collect up-to-date information on: i) the evolution of the market related to databases, ii) the use and the impact of the copyright and the sui generis protection regimes on the database makers and users and iii)the application of the Database Directive and possible needs of adjustment.
More info here.
15th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology
The 15th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology will take place in Rhodes, Greece, during 31st August - 2nd September 2017. An Agroforestry session is organized within the conference. More info here.
Agroforestry: crossing competences between researchers, advisors and stakeholders
The meeting “Agroforestry: crossing competences between researchers, advisors and stakeholders” will take place in Paris during 7th September 2017. The meeting is organized by the RMT Agroforesteries. More info here.
IUFRO Anniversary Congress 2017
The International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) is organizing its 125th Anniversary Congress “Interconnecting Forests, Science and People”. The congress will take place in Freiburg, Germany, from 19th - 22nd September 2017. The Congress will include an agroforestry session “Agroforestry - the future of land use management?”. More info here.
XI Congress of the Italian Society of Forestry and Forest Ecology
The XI Congress of the Italian Society of Forestry and Forest Ecology will take place in Roma, Italy from 10th to 13th October 2017. A session focused on agroforestry will be organized. More info here.
Conference on Non-Timber Forest Products and Bioeconomy
The Finnish Natural Resources Institute and the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland will host a joint conference covering basic and applied research about Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) as a part of the bioeconomy. The Conference will be held during 28th - 30th November 2017 in Rovaniemi, Finland. More info here.
2nd European Symposium on Pollarding
The 3-day event, open to all agricultural practitioners and stakeholders, natural resource managers and researchers, will take place in the Basque Country, France during 1st – 3rd March 2018. Call for contributions will be open soon. Save the date!
4th European Agroforestry Conference
The 4th European Agroforestry Conference will take place in Nijmegen, Netherlands during 28th - 30th May 2018. More details to follow in due time.
This is your newsletter! If there’s anything you think should be included, please send suggestions to euraf [at] agroforestry [dot] eu (euraf [at] agroforestry [dot] eu) for the next issue.
Editors-In-Chief: Nuria Ferreiro-Domínguez and María Rosa Mosquera-Losada
Editorial Committee: María Rosa Mosquera-Losada, Gerry Lawson, Joana Amaral Paulo, Anastasia Pantera, Fabien Balaguer, Jeroen Watté, Bert Reubens, Olivier Baudry, Emil Popov, Vania Georgieva Kachova, Bohdan Lojka, Alain Canet, Yousri Hannachi; Norbert Lamersdorf, Heinrich Spiecker, Konstantinos Mantzanas, Andrea Vityi, Andrea Pisanelli, Adolfo Rosati, Robert Borek, João Palma, Josep Crous-Duran, Óscar Crespo Pinillos, Manuel Bertomeu, Johanna Björklund, Felix Herzog, Mareike Jäger, Mark Vonk, Emiel Anssems, Jo Smith, Mike Strachan, Vasyl Y. Yukhnovskyi, Ganna O. Lobchenko, Nuria Ferreiro-Domínguez, Mercedes Rois-Díaz.
English Reviewer: Mercedes Rois-Díaz
This Newsletter is edited in Lugo (Spain) by EURAF (ISSN 2445-2556)
- Towards 50% of farmers using agroforestry by 2025 -