This book gathers fresh and novel contributions from a set of Yale University researchers and associates from the academic, practitioner and development arenas, who intend to provide alternative and sometimes departing insights into some of the pressing environmental and development issues the world is facing today. The book focuses on the functions that agroforestry systems (AFS) can provide when well designed and implemented: their role in rural development as they can improve food sovereignty and contribute to provision of energy for the smallholders; and their environmental functions: contribution to biodiversity conservation, to increased connectivity of fragmented landscapes, and adaptation and mitigation of climate change. The chapters present conceptual aspects and case studies ranging from traditional to more modern approaches, from tropical and temperate regions of the world. Emphasis is placed on the value of indigenous knowledge and how scientific expertise can contribute to identifying marketable products, adding value and finding the proper markets to return the benefits to the producers.
AFS can be profitable at small, medium and large scales if products and services are given their proper monetary recognition. Government subsidies are needed similarly to conventional agriculture, with AFS contributing important environmental services which should be part of the financial equation. Farmer’s associations and rural movements can be instrumental in grouping needs and obtaining fair value for products through certification or other mechanisms. Partnerships among private and public institutions/ organizations are vital for proper implementation of landscape management strategies including AFS. Society is increasingly aware of the environmental issues that plague our world today thus hopefully leading to measures and policies that encourage AFS proper appreciation as a productive, sustainable and environmentally friendly landscape management strategy.