Forest and Trees

Forests and trees play significant roles in the lives of Pacific Islanders, economically, socially, culturally and environmentally. In many Pacific island countries, especially on the smaller islands and atolls, agroforestry and tree crops provide most of the food, medicines, construction materials, firewood, tools and myriad of other products and services that cannot be replaced with imported substitutions. For the larger countries, forests have contributed significantly into their economic development in terms of foreign exchange earnings, employment and infrastructure development. Thus, a major challenge for Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) is to ensure sustainable management of their scarce and diminishing forest and tree resources, taking into account demands for economic development and the social and environmental needs of their growing populations, LRD-SPC is addressing this under its Forest & Tree programme.

Agroforestry – The future of global land use
Thursday, 25 February 2010 10:27
The 2nd World Congress of Agroforestry was held at the United Nations Conference facilities in Nairobi, Kenya 23–28 August 2009.
The congress was jointly hosted by the World Agroforestry Centre (formerly known as ICRAF) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

It was attended by more than 1200 participants from all over the world. Its overall theme was ‘Agroforestry, the future of global land use’. The sub-themes were ‘Food security and livelihoods’; ‘Conservation and rehabilitation of natural resources’; and ‘Policies and institutions’.

Researchers, educators, scientists, practitioners and policy-makers from around the world freely exchanged ideas, knowledge and experiences on agroforestry and its positive impacts on food security, poverty alleviation and stewardship of the global environment.

Agroforestry has a key role in addressing the challenges of food security while conserving the natural resource base upon which agriculture depends.

The science and practice of agroforestry will offer useful directions in solving the problem of how to feed a growing population while protecting the environment. There is also an enormous opportunity to diversify livelihoods and incomes via the emerging carbon markets.

This includes the renewable energy sector, but also the growing prospect of smallholder farmers earning an income by conserving forests, practicing conservation agriculture and increasing tree cover on their farms – which sequester carbon.
Cenon Padolina of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s (SPC’s) Forests and Trees Programme was invited to the congress and made a presentation entitled ‘Promoting agroforestry in the Pacific’, while Prof. Randy Thaman of the University of the South Pacific (USP) and Dr Lex Thomson, Team Leader for SPC’s Faciliating Agricultural Commodity Trade (FACT) project, made a joint presentation titled ‘Agroforestry on the frontline against climate change, biodiversity erosion and global recession: Agroforestry as a basis for sustainability in the Pacific Islands’.

SPC, through its Forest and Trees Programme, is actively promoting the concept and practice of agroforestry throughout the Pacific Islands, primarily through training/workshops to build capacity at national and local community levels.

Support is being provided to set up demonstration trials and community nurseries, identify and collect threatened tree species and cultivars, collect information on native tree propagation and diversification, plant trees in crop land areas, develop intercropping and multi-storey tree-gardens, assess nutrient deficiencies, develop propagation techniques and better understand how to plan and implement programmes for the protection and enrichment of existing systems. 
Strong emphasis is also being placed on promoting awareness on the importance of protecting and disseminating knowledge of traditional agroforestry systems and integrating this knowledge with scientific technology.

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We acknowledge our major donors/partners in supporting Forestry initiatives in the Pacific