Public seminar: Agroforestry for sustainable food production: searching for innovations
Viikki Tropical Resources Institute

Agroforestry for sustainable food production: searching for innovations

Time: Tuesday 22 October 2019 (12:40 – 15:40)Venue: Viikki Campus, lecture room B5 (Building B, Latokartanonkaari 7)

The Viikki Tropical Resources Institute warmly invites the teachers, researchers and students as well as professionals in development cooperation in government service, the private sector and NGOs to discuss new approaches to food security in the Global South using agroforestry as a management tool. Dr Tony Simons, who is the Director General of the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) will give the keynote address. The keynote address will be followed by a panel discussion.  Please contact Eshetu Yirdaw ( for further information.

Seminar Programme

Coffee and registration
Opening of the seminar by the moderator, VITRI Director Prof. Markku Kanninen
Message from the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry (Dean Ritva Toivonen)
Keynote address by World Agroforestry (ICRAF) DG Tony Simons: Critical Choices: Continued Land Mis-Use and Deforestation; or Improved Land Use with Agroforestry and Sustainable Forest Management
Panel discussion: Innovations in agroforestry. Moderator: Prof. Markku Kanninen
Panellists: DG Tony Simons, Assoc. Prof. Hanna Tuomisto, Ms Mawa Karambiri, Assoc. Prof. Mike Starr, Prof. Emer. Olavi Luukkanen and Assoc. Prof. Eshetu Yirdaw
Open discussion with the audience
Concluding remarks by Prof. Markku Kanninen

Critical Choices: Continued Land Mis-Use and Deforestation; or Improved Land Use with Agroforestry and Sustainable Forest Management (Abstract)
Global surface area is stable at around 51 billion hectares of which 14.5 billion hectares is currently above sea level. But sadly sea level is not stable and rising at over 3mm per year. Under  unfavourable climate scenarios sea level could rise to 2 metres by 2100 resulting in a submergence of over 200 million hectares of land. Catastrophic to the 40% of people who live within 100km of the coast, yet sadly we can only partially and indirectly reduce this rise with decreased emissions. In contrast, detrimental land use change, or more aptly described as land mis-use, can be directly reduced with the added benefit of decreases in emissions. Moreover, the scale of land mis-use dwarfs worst case land submergence when we consider there is over 3 billion hectares of degraded land of which more than 2 billion hectares are human-induced (deforestation, over-grazing, mis-managed agriculture, etc).
In the land use, food system, forestry, biodiversity and tree commodity domains, multiple reports point to flawed paradigms, unsustainable practices and impending tipping points. Overlaying these challenges with an accelerated climate crisis leads to pressing needs for policies and responses to be more ambitious, more aligned and more performance driven. Forests and Agriculture cover two-thirds of global land area, provision more than 95% of all human food and provide employment for over half of all adults. Moreover, forest and agriculture also account for 30% of all greenhouse gas emissions, and use 75% of fresh water that is abstracted. Enigmatically though when combined, forest and agriculture make up only 6% of global GDP, and attract even lower financial capital investment ratios. In the face of climate change, habitat loss, and land degradation as well as social disruption and inequality, we urgently need to better reconnect human prosperity and ecosystem resilience to forests and agriculture. Through wiser land use, more innovative solutions, full natural capital accounting and more sustainable enterprises this is possible and achievable.
The speaker will showcase some of the approaches for better land-use and better land-use management taken by CIFOR-ICRAF and partners throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America. Further, these approaches will be discussed in relation to the increased global effort needed on forestry and the recent call for an Earth Forest Summit by European Forest Institute, CIFOR and ICRAF.


You are all warmly welcome!