Delegates from across Europe supported the foundation of a European Agroforestry Federation to promote agroforestry, including lobbying for agroforestry adapted policies at the European scale. The inaugural meeting of EURAFF, held at the Ministry of Agriculture in Paris, was well attended with delegates from across Europe participating in person or via an internet broadcast. In France, there is much greater recognition of the multiple benefits of an agroforestry approach. The French Agroforestry Association successfully gained support from the French ministries of Agriculture and Sustainable Development to initiate a dialogue on a European level in order to propose solutions for trees to be considered in the upcoming CAP reforms and create the first European Agroforestry structure. Representatives from across Europe provided an overview of agroforestry systems in their country and it was fascinating to note how diverse these systems were.
The upcoming CAP reform proposals and their impacts on agroforestry were discussed and a major action from the event was the formation of a working group, led by Jo Smith at ORC, to lobby the DGs Agri and Environment in Brussels with recommendations for the inclusion of support for agroforestry within the proposals. An on-line forum has been established for people who wish to get engaged with this issue.
The European Agroforestry Federation will be comprised of national agroforestry organisations; in the case of the UK, this will be via membership of the Farm Woodland Forum. An Executive Committee was elected with a maximum of one member from each country and we have a UK representative, organic agroforester Stephen Briggs.
For more information on ORC’s agroforestry engagement, visit our Eco-Agroforestry webpage.
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