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Agroforestry: An Appropriate and Sustainable Response to a Changing Climate in Southern Africa?

Sheppard, Jonathan P.; Bohn Reckziegel, Rafael; Borrass, Lars; Chirwa, Paxie W.; Cuaranhua, Claudio J.; Hassler, Sibylle K. 1; Hoffmeister, Svenja 1; Kestel, Florian; Maier, Rebekka; Mälicke, Mirko 1; Morhart, Christopher; Ndlovu, Nicholas P.; Veste, Maik; Funk, Roger; Lang, Friederike; Seifert, Thomas; Toit, Ben du; Kahle, Hans-Peter
1 Institut für Wasser und Gewässerentwicklung (IWG), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)


Agroforestry is often discussed as a strategy that can be used both for the adaptation to and the mitigation of climate change effects. The climate of southern Africa is predicted to be severely affected by such changes. With agriculture noted as the continent’s largest economic sector, issues such as food security and land degradation are in the forefront. In the light of such concerns we review the current literature to investigate if agroforestry systems (AFS) are a suitable response to the challenges besetting traditional agricultural caused by a changing climate. The benefits bestowed by AFS are multiple, offering ecosystem services, influence over crop production and positive impacts on rural livelihoods through provisioning and income generation. Nevertheless, knowledge gaps remain. We identify outstanding questions requiring further investigation such as the interplay between trees and crops and their combination, with a discussion of potential benefits. Furthermore, we identify deficiencies in the institutional and policy frameworks that underlie the adoption and stimulus of AFS in the southern African region. We uphold the concept that AFS remains an appropriate and sustainable response for an increased resilience against a changing climate in southern Africa for the benefit of livelihoods and multiple environmental values.

Verlagsausgabe §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000125492
Veröffentlicht am 29.10.2020
DOI: 10.3390/su12176796
Zitationen: 26
Web of Science
Zitationen: 25
Zitationen: 32
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Wasser und Gewässerentwicklung (IWG)
KIT-Zentrum Klima und Umwelt (ZKU)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsjahr 2020
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 2071-1050
KITopen-ID: 1000125492
Erschienen in Sustainability
Verlag MDPI
Band 12
Heft 17
Seiten Art. Nr.: 6796
Vorab online veröffentlicht am 21.08.2020
Schlagwörter food security, sustainable land use, conservation agriculture, carbon, environmental benefits, social development, climate-smart agriculture, trees, Southern African Development Community (SADC)
Nachgewiesen in Scopus
Web of Science
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