[Bohol, Philippines. 20 March 2014] One of the largest gatherings of agroforestry researchers and advocates opened today in Bohol, the Philippines. Agroforestry is touted by many as the future of global land use and a key to creating a sustainable food supply and environment.
Focussing on the theme, "Agroforestry: Greening and feeding the nations in the 21st century", the 1st International Agroforestry Congress is running 19–21 March 2014 at the Bohol Plaza Resort, Dauis, Bohol, Philippines.
The congress comes at a time when agroforestry is fast gaining attention as a synergistic approach to alleviating the country's environmental and agricultural woes. Put simply, agroforestry is trees integrated with livestock and annual crops. Typically, agroforestry systems not only increase farm productivity and farmers' incomes but protect soils and store carbon.
Critical to our planet's future sustainability, the congressaddresses three main issues: 1) environmental rehabilitation and climate-change adaptation through agroforestry; 2) ensuring food security through agroforestry; and 3) improving the science and practice of agroforestry.
World-renowned keynote speakers include two leading researchers from the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF).
Dr Ravi Prabhu, ICRAF's global Deputy Director General of Research, will directly address how agroforestry can green and feed the nations of the world by returning trees to farm landscapes.
Dr Rodel D. Lasco, who is the coordinator of the ICRAF Philippines office and a lead author of reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, will explain how agroforestry can help farmers adapt to changes in climate, which is probably the most pressing problem facing the world today if we are to feed our ever-growing population.
Several researchers from ICRAF Philippines will also talk about specific aspects of agroforestry that are relevant to the Philippines, Southeast Asia and globally: conservation agriculture with trees; sugar palm as a fuel source; shelterbelts; the role of trees and agroforestry in adaptation to climate change; and sustainable management in Bohol through agroforestry.
Academe, government units and local, national and international agencies are all represented.
Other side events include a discussion about cocoa, coffee and rubber; the 7th General Assembly of the Philippine Agroforestry Education and Research Network (PAFERN); and a field trip and cultural tour through the province.
The congress is jointly organized by PAFERN, University of the Philippines Los Baños' Institute of Agroforestry and Bohol Island State University. ICRAF Philippines is one of the sponsors.
The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya and working in 24 countries in Africa, Asia and South America, is the world's leading research institution on the diverse role trees play in agricultural landscapes and rural livelihoods. As part of its work to bring tree-based solutions tobear on poverty and environmental problems, the Centre's researchers – working in close collaboration with national partners – have developed new technologies, tools and policy recommendations for increased food security and ecosystem health. For more information, visit http://www.worldagroforestry.org.
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