Squaring the Circle: Is Agroforestry Compatible with Modern Capitalism?
World Agroforestry (ICRAF), Belgium
The evidence that the inclusion of trees in agricultural production systems brings, on average, more benefits than disadvantages is overwhelming and comes from almost all biomes on our planet. Further, the benefits agroforestry trees provide are likely to increase as the heterogeneity of weather is boosted by worsening climate change conditions. Lastly, many classes of natural catastrophes can be mitigated to some extent by trees: mangroves dampen tsunamis, deep-rooted trees prevent some landslides, hedges and tree alleys reduce waterborne soil erosion, etc. As a dual Belgian and German citizen, I am particularly struck by the July floods that killed over 200 of my countrymen and were worsened by monoculture land use patterns in both forestry and farming.
Contact Address: Patrick Worms, World Agroforestry (ICRAF), Brussels, Belgium, e-mail: p.wormscgiar.org