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AGFORWARD News: July 2014
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In this Newsletter:

Welcome to the AGFORWARD Newsletter

What is Agroforestry?

First On-Farm Meetings

First General Assembly Meeting

2nd European Agroforestry Conference

New Book on "Wood-Pastures in Europe"

European Agroforestry Federation

Acknowledgements

Contact Details

Subscription Details


Welcome to the AGFORWARD Newsletter

AGFORWARD (AGroFORestry that Will Advance Rural Development) is a new four-year FP7 research and development project that is promoting agroforestry in Europe. The AGFORWARD team include participants from 15 countries across Europe.

The AGFORWARD project team are seeking to achieve the following:
1. to understand the current extent of agroforestry in Europe,
2. to identify, develop, and field-test innovations to improve agroforestry systems, by working with farmers,
3. to evaluate those innovations at field-, farm- and landscape scales,
4. to promote appropriate agroforestry systems, through policy development and by sharing best practice (such as through this newsletter).

The aim of this newsletter (which we will distribute at least quarterly) is to highlight the activities and successes of the AGFORWARD project. We hope that you will find the newsletter useful. This FP7 European project started in January 2014 and will continue until December 2017.

If you do not wish to receive the newsletter, please unsubscribe using the weblink at the base of this newsletter. Alternatively if you have not received this newsletter directly you can subscribe using the same link.

Regards

Paul Burgess
AGFORWARD Project Co-ordinator


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What is Agroforestry?

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In academic and policy environments, "agriculture" is often considered as a separate sector from "trees, woodlands and forestry". However in practice, European farmers and land owners commonly integrate trees with farming. Such systems have traditional names such as: dehesa, montado, streuobst, parklands, wood-pasture, alley cropping, buffer-strips, shelterbelts, grazed orchards, and woodland poultry and egg production. A collective term for such systems (which sit between agricultural monocultures and forests) is agroforestry.

In AGFORWARD we have defined agroforestry as the practice of deliberately integrating woody vegetation (trees or shrubs) with crop and/or animal production systems to benefit from the ecological and economic interactions. It can occur at field-, farm- or landscape-scales.

The potential benefits of agroforestry are numerous. In some systems, the focus is to improve resource efficiency and profitability and to get two products rather than one from the same land. In other systems environmental benefits such as soil protection, temperature moderation, and reduction of water runoff are key. Elsewhere landscape, recreation, and animal welfare are the major benefits. However in almost all systems, there is a need to consider the financial, production, environmental and cultural effects together; this complexity makes agroforestry an important area for research, development and practice.


First On-Farm Meetings

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During June, July, and August, AGFORWARD is hosting workshops with farmers and other stakeholders in a range of locations across Europe using a participative "bottom-up" approach. For example, the Organic Research Centre in the UK held a workshop on woodland poultry production, with the aim of identifying the key issues and challenges to the sector.

We anticipate that about 40 such groups focused on particular aspects of agroforestry will be established across Europe. These will be grouped into four themes: i) existing agroforestry systems of high natural and cultural value, ii) the integration of grazing or intercropping in orchard, olive, or high value timber systems, iii) the integration of trees into arable systems, and iv) integration of trees into livestock systems.


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First General Assembly Meeting

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The first General Assembly Meeting of the AGFORWARD project, held at Cottbus in Germany, was attended by 50 delegates. The Co-ordinator, Paul Burgess, gave a project update and introduced the AGFORWARD Project Administrator: Dr Kenisha Garnett. This was primarily a working meeting....


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2nd European Agroforestry Conference

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Members of AGFORWARD played a key role in the 2nd European Agroforestry Conference held at Cottbus in Germany on 4-6 June 2014. The conference organised by the European Agroforestry Federation (EURAF) was hosted by Prof Dirk Freese of Brandenburg University of Technology. Outgoing EURAF president Dr Christian Dupraz explained that the new European agricultural policies gave opportunities for national governments to support the integration of trees with farming. The implementation of these policies was being determined at a national level.

The conference theme was how to integrate science and policy to promote agroforestry....


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New Book on "Wood-Pastures in Europe"

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AGFORWARD researchers Tobias Plieninger (University of Copenhagen) and Tibor Hartel (Sapientia University of Transylvania, Romania) have edited a new book called “European Wood-pastures in Transition: a socio-ecological approach”. Wood-pastures are important elements of European cultural identity and have an exceptional ecological value. This important book provides a new perspective on the varying types of European wood-pasture; it examines their social and ecological value, the role of governing institutions, threats, and conservation approaches. The book is now available from the publisher: Earthscan from Routledge (enter code DC361* for a 20% discount)


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European Agroforestry Federation

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The European Agroforestry Federation is one of the partners in AGFORWARD. This European Federation aims to promote the use of trees on farms across the different environmental regions of Europe. It has over 250 members from 18 different European countries.

Working with EURAF, the AGFORWARD project is seeking to promote the adoption of agroforestry in Europe. In some European countries there are established national groups focused on improving agroforestry practice. Some of these can be found on the AGFORWARD website. However if you are in a country without an association, then please do contact Anja Chalmin at EURAF.


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Acknowledgements

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The AGFORWARD project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 613520.


Contact Details

Paul Burgess, AGFORWARD Project Co-ordinator, Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedfordshire, MK43 0AL, UK ([log in to unmask])

Kenisha Garnett, AGFORWARD Project Administrator, Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedfordshire, MK43 0AL, UK ([log in to unmask])

Anja Chalmin, European Agroforestry Federation AGFORWARD contact ([log in to unmask])

Fabien Liagre, Leader of the AGFORWARD Dissemination work-package ([log in to unmask])


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