New Horizon Europe project focusing on the expansion of agroforestry

ReForest – Agroforestry at the forefront of farming sustainability in multifunctional landscapes in Europe – is a 4 year-long Horizon Europe project, bringing together 14 institutions from 10 European countries with extensive expertise in this field. The consortium, which includes ORC, will focus on supporting agroforestry in Europe and removing the barriers preventing its wider use. The project coordinator is the Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences of the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, represented by the Department of Forest Management.

The ReForest Project officially started on the 1st of July 2022 and the kick-off meeting was held on 12-13 September in Prague and was attended by Will Simonson, Charlotte Bickler, Janie Caldbeck and Colin Tosh. More here.

“We know that agroforestry is a very good alternative to modern agricultural monocultures, our project aims to facilitate its adoption in Europe.“

Martin Lukáč, ReForest coordinator

What is agroforestry? Agroforestry is a method of farming that combines the cultivation of woody plants with some form of agricultural production. Crop or animal production integrates tree cover on one plot of land, expanding the range of benefits farmers and society gain from it. Current barriers to expanding agroforestry, such as lack of support, knowledge and experience, are common to most conventional agricultural and land management approaches in Europe. The ReForest project aims to create conditions where agroforestry becomes one of the most attractive land management systems.

Recent research shows that agroforestry is capable of enhancing numerous ecosystem services, their provision typically far exceeds that delivered by conventional agriculture. ReForest will use existing knowledge of temperate agroforestry systems to co-create solutions to key barriers that hinder farmers’ wider adoption of AF in the EU and associated countries. The project will analyse real-world ecological, economic and social potential and limitations of agroforestry. We will develop decision-making, verification, and financial support tools covering the entire value chain from the concept, design, linking stakeholders, system creation, monitoring, user feedback, and adaptation to societal and farming needs.

HORIZON EUROPE, the programme financing ReForest is being financed, is a key EU programme supporting research and innovation in the period 2021–2027 with a budget of almost EUR 100 billion. The REFOREST project application was submitted to the Land, Ocean and Water call for climate action, specific topic: HORIZON-CL6-2021-CLIMATE-01-08: Agroforestry to meet climate, biodiversity, and agricultural sustainability goals.

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