The research group of Silviculture Division, International Union of Forestry Research Organisations organized a two-day online conference on the topic ‘Agroforestry systems in the world: differences and similarities’, which was attended by delegates from different countries including India, Kenya, Ethiopia, USA, Spain, Nepal, Nigeria, Cameroon, Vietnam, Germany, Bangladesh, Austria, etc.
The conference addressed the ongoing activities on bio-physical and socio-economic aspects. There were 26 presentations on issues of tree-crop interaction, ecosystem services, and the adoption of on-farm trees for socio-economic considerations. Dr. Ana Cristina Gonçalves from Portugal, Dr. Swoyambhu Man Amatya from Nepal and Dr. Sanjeev Chauhan, Director of Research from Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni took the initiative in organizing this conference. Sheila Ward from Puerto Rico was also invited as an additional moderator.
John Parotta, US Forest Service Research & Development was the chief guest in the opening session where he stressed on the importance of the trees not for material but for the ecosystem services which are becoming more important in the present changing climate regime. He said agroforestry practices are unique and through their proper application each objective of economy, conservation of resources and social acceptance can be met. Agroforestry practices are designed to fit specific niches within the farm to meet specific landowner objectives. He stressed on the role of trees for the sustainable developmental goals and mitigation of GHGs in the atmosphere, which otherwise is an area of concern for scientists and policy planners the world over. The conference concluded with the announcement to organize a similar activity for the stakeholders in adopting scientific agroforestry with diverse combinations for economic and environmental concerns of the farmers in particular and the society in general.