Open call for participation in the Young Scientist Session on Agroforestry

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EFI is providing an opportunity, including financial support in the amount of 750 euro, for Young Scientists in the field of agroforestry from EFI Associate and Affiliate member organisations to participate and give a 10-minute presentation on their research, and participating in a panel discussion in the 2023 EFI Conference.

Agroforestry is an ancient agricultural practice that is still widely implemented in several European countries. It is a dynamic system combining trees, crops and/or livestock on the same area of land. Examples are the dehesa in Spain (oak trees with livestock grazing or crops underneath) and the Fennoscandian area (including Finland, Norway, Sweden and a part of Russia), where reindeer husbandry is practised. Agroforestry is gaining renewed interest due to its many economic and environmental benefits.

The main types of agroforestry include silvopastoral and silvoarable systems, forest farming, hedgerows, riparian buffer strips and kitchen gardens. A comprehensive European project on agroforestry suggests that it covers a total area of more than 15 million hectares in the EU, or 52 million hectares if reindeer husbandry is included.

With proper management, multifunctional agroforestry systems can provide many environmental benefits. They contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation, protect the soil, enhance biodiversity and improve the overall condition of landscapes. They are also beneficial to the local rural economy, as those improved landscapes offer cultural and recreational opportunities. Moreover, agroforestry farmers can diversify their production, reduce some costs and achieve better productivity.

However, agroforestry is usually more complex and knowledge-intensive than conventional agriculture and may involve a greater administrative burden.

EFI is arranging a session at the EFI Annual Conference on 20 September 2023 (14:30-17:00 CET) in Novi Sad (Serbia), where the Agroforestry concept will be presented. This will be followed by a discussion on how agroforestry can contribute to creating more resilient landscapes, while offering new economic and social opportunities. The session aims to showcase the ongoing research of Young Scientists in this field in Europe.

The presented research shall address one or several of the following sub-topics on agroforestry:

  • contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation,
  •  fostering sustainable development and efficient management of natural resources such as water, soil and air;
  • contributing to the protection of biodiversity, enhancing ecosystem services and preserving habitats and landscapes;
  • promoting employment, growth, social inclusion and local development in rural areas, including the bioeconomy and sustainable forestry.

Read full grant call and apply here