Type: Chapter

Agroforestry as a solution for multiple climate change challenges in Africa


C. Mbow

Future Africa at University of Pretoria

E. Toensmeier

Perennial Agriculture Institute

M. Brandt

University of Copenhagen

D. Skole

Michigan State University

M. Dieng

Senegalese Institute of Agricultural Research (ISRA)

Dennis P. Garrity

World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)


Publication date:

02 March 2020

ID: 9781786766328

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With appropriate management, agroforestry helps maintain ecosystem services for food, fiber, wood and biodiversity along with the expansion of bioenergy. This chapter consolidates various data on the role of trees for mitigation and adaptation, including the development of novel bioenergy solutions with trees and shrubs on croplands. Many perennial staple crops are native to the African continent, and expanded production of these species could make a notable contribution to the future food and nutrition of vulnerable communities. In Africa, agroforestry appears to be an effective ecosystem-based adaptation and an efficient carbon sink. Most land-based mitigation pathways require such biological approaches, particularly in Africa where 36% of the land area had an increase in woody cover between 1992 and 2011, mostly in semi-arid regions such as the Sahel, where the combination of positive rainfall and community-driven tree regeneration has resulted in a positive carbon balance. Agroforestry-based bioenergy potential can help meet the objective of climate change mitigation but must be articulated with the catalytic co-benefits of increased food production and food security.

Table of contents

1 Introduction
2 Typology and dynamics of agroforestry in Africa
3 Agroforestry and climate change mitigation
4 Agroforestry, biodiversity, and ecosystem-based adaptation
5 Agroforestry and the bioenergy sector in Africa
6 Conclusion
7 Where to look for further information
8 References