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Agroforestry ‘a good investment’: Mongabay’s Washington Post op-ed (commentary)

18 / 09 / 2018, Mongabaycom News

Mongabay editor Erik Hoffner wrote about the mismatch in funding priorities for climate mitigation solutions for the Washington Post’s global edition, the World Post, on September 11. Too often, he wrote, high tech methods of removing carbon from the atmosphere get attention and investment, when low tech options exist: “In the quest to curb climate change, we must remember that there are low-tech methods at our disposal that can achieve similar results with much less initial investment,” he argued, methods like agroforestry. Using what he’s learned from editing Mongabay’s ongoing series about the reach and effectiveness of this forestry/agriculture hybrid, Hoffner stated that agroforestry is a good investment in climate change mitigation, a much smaller and more easily scalable one than many solutions now in development, and it’s one that pays dividends to the farmer and to biodiversity, plus the climate. Agroforestry is the practice of growing fruit- or timber-producing trees among shrubs like coffee or chocolate, vegetable crops, and medicinal herbs in a system that often mimics a forest. The system produces food, supports biodiversity by providing nesting habitat and forage for animals, builds soil and water tables, and sequesters carbon from the atmosphere. Already implemented on one billion hectares globally according to one estimate, agroforestry also returns profits and produce to the farmer over a longer span of each year, leading to greater food security and higher incomes. Here’s how the opinion piece begins: “In June, the clean energy firm Carbon Engineering announced that it had developed a technique to remove carbon dioxide…

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