CIFOR invites you to its presentations at the 54th Annual Meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, with scientists speaking on tropical landscapes, agrarian change, deforestation and restoration, and many other topics.
11:00 - 13:00
Agrarian Change Project Symposium: The impacts of agrarian change on local communities: Sharing experience from the field
[presented by Terry Sunderland]
Background: Trajectories of land use change poses great challenges in sustaining rural livelihoods and environmental benefits. In the recent past decades, the south-eastern upland landscape of Chittagong Hill Tracts region in Bangladesh has experienced changes in agricultural land use accompanied with forest conversion and the establishment of monoculture plantations. However, there is a lack of understanding on the changes and associated livelihood impacts on rural households. This study examines how the agriculture and forest-based livelihood provisions have interacted over recent years and assess the implications of this agrarian change on food security and income.
Methods: We interviewed 304 households with structured questionnaires in three sites (ie. remote, intermediate and on-road). The questionnaires covered information regarding the changes of agriculture and forest land uses and associated contributions to food production and income at household level.
Results: In over half of the households surveyed, the respondents experienced a decrease of their overall farm land with a concomitant loss of crop variety and livestock resources. Farming area relatively increased in the remote site associated with land/forest clearing activities, with almost 90 percent households perceived decrease of the forest cover, yet food sufficiency and annual income remain low here. While farming areas decreased in intermediate- and on-road sites but increased monoculture fruit garden, intensive cash crops and wage activities contributed to greater food production and income. Two-thirds of the households experienced more travel time and distance required for forest product collections in the landscape. While the loss of forest cover largely affected intermediate- and on-road communities in accessibility and availability of the forest products, fuel wood and fruit availability increased to a certain extent due to the planting of trees on farms and monoculture establishment.
Discussion and conclusion: Overall the study has provided insights into agrarian changes with both positive and negative social-ecological outcomes. We recommend that further investigation of integrated strategies for landscape management might be effective to deal with the various changes and complex problems of food production and conservation at the landscape scale.
[presented by Bronwen Powell]
Background: The majority of deforestation in tropical forests has resulted from agricultural expansion. A shift in the discourse around food security towards increasing attention to nutrition and dietary quality, paired with growing evidence that people living in areas with more forest cover have better dietary quality than those living in areas with less forest cover has pushed the conversation beyond a dichotomy of trade-offs between conservation and food security. The pathways linking forest cover and dietary diversity are not yet understood. Intensification of agricultural production may help explain these links; driving both homogenization of crop species, and thus diets, as well as the loss of forest cover. The role of agricultural practices and production diversity as a pathway from agrarian change and intensification to changes in both landscape structure and human diets has not been well studied. This presentation will include emerging evidence and new research directions.
Methods: Data from more than 2000 household surveys across different agrarian systems ranging from subsistence farming to intensive monocultures multiple tropical countries were collected. We examine household agricultural practices to better understand the impact of different agrarian systems on the diversity of food production and the relationships between food production diversity and diet in different agricultural settings.
Results: Results showed that total richness of crop types produced by households was greatest in subsistence agricultural systems and lowest in intensified agricultural systems. We also found that certain foods were more likely to be produced or gathered in different agrarian systems, particularly in subsistence systems and mixed agrarian systems. In many settings crop richness (production diversity) is associated with dietary diversity, these data will enable testing this relationship across different levels of agricultural intensification.
Discussion/Conclusion: There is growing evidence the production (crop) diversity is linked to dietary diversity and diet quality, however the role purchased food and market integration is poorly understood. These relationships have not yet been examined in relationship to agricultural intensification, landscape structure or landscape diversity. Building on these and other data sets, there is great potential to expand the understanding of how landscape structure impacts diet and if and how food production acts as a pathway for these relationships. These avenues of investigation also hold important insights for the growing body of research examining the relationships between landscape structure and ecosystem services for agriculture. Understanding the balance of food production vs. local consumption is particularly important for maintaining livelihoods, and to inform the management of landscape that must provide multiple benefits simultaneously.
Background: Changing demands for agricultural products driven by ongoing population growth and shifting socioeconomic demographics is leading to transitions in dietary patterns throughout the developing world. Global demand for agricultural products is expected to increase by 1% per year over the period of 2007-2050—equivalent to a 60% increase in production over the same period. Concurrently, a global nutrition transition is manifesting itself in the increased demand for certain agricultural commodities, in particular vegetable oils, refined carbohydrates and animal source foods. Smallholder family farms still dominate global agricultural systems, comprising 98% of all farms and covering 52% of agricultural land. Yet, these farms are increasingly becoming commercialized and transitioning away from diverse subsistence systems towards specialized market orientated operations leading to dramatic shifts in the scale and nature of agricultural landscapes.
Methods: How these agricultural transitions affect the environment, ecosystem service provisioning, and the livelihoods, well-being and health of local populations is a key focus of this project. To answer these questions, we have applied a novel methodological approach as part of the Agrarian Change Project which aims to explore the nature of forest loss and landscape-scale agricultural transitions in tropical forested areas across seven countries. We examine how commodity-driven changes in agricultural landscapes manifest themselves as dietary transitions at the local scale which represents an often overlooked social dimension of tropical conservation.
Results: Here we present evidence to support the notion that deforestation and agrarian intensification of landscapes can drive nutritional transitions at a local scale and that agricultural commercialization may improve food security, but its effects upon dietary diversity are yet to be fully understood.
Discussion: Understanding the roles that forests play—beyond the maintenance of biodiversity and ecosystem services—in the diversity of rural diets may provide conservationists with yet another tool to address issues surrounding land use change, rapid rural development and the associated environmental impacts.
11:00 - 16:00
Multiple-use forests: can forest conservation and socio-economic development be combined?
A landscape perspective on biodiversity conservation and management in oil palm mosaics
11:00 - 16:00
Conservation challenges in the agro-forest frontier; past present and future
Yucatan 1 & 2
The Role of Tropical Secondary Forests in Conservation and RestorationPresently, secondary forest regrowth following agricultural land use represents a major component of human modified landscapes across the tropics. In this panel, researchers from different disciplines, organizations, and countries, will discuss the importance of second-growth forests for conserving and restoring biodiversity, and recovering ecosystem functions and services. The panel will address questions regarding the biophysical, socio-economic, and cultural opportunities and limitations of secondary forest for conservation and restoration, and on the role of second-growth forest in achieving international goals such as the United Nations Aichi Biodiversity Targets.
Robin Chazdon (University of Connecticut)
Miguel Martínez Ramos. Senior Researcher at the Instituto de Investigaciones en Ecosistemas y Sustentabilidad, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México