Attribution: Please use this identifier to share, cite, or link to this item:
Title: Social and environmental trade-offs in tree species selection : a methodology for identifying niche incompatibilities in agroforestry
Authors: German, Laura A.
Kidane, Berhane
Shemdoe, Riziki
Date: 2006
Publisher: AHI, Kampala, UG
Series/Report no.: AHI working paper / African Highlands Initiative; no. 9
Abstract: Natural resource degradation in highland regions is of increasing concern to the global community due to its role in aggravating poverty and the loss of environmental services to local and downstream users. The integration of trees into smallholder farming systems has been promoted as a means to enhance rural livelihoods while reversing the degradation of soil, water, biodiversity and related environmental services. Yet in addition to these benefits, negative impacts of trees on certain stakeholders or system components have also accompanied such efforts – suggesting that important trade-offs accompany these efforts. This paper presents a methodology for diagnosing problems stemming from cultivation of certain tree species in specific landscape niches. Data derived from the application of this methodology in two sites in the eastern African highlands are presented. Participatory diagnoses of landscape-level problems suggest hat the negative impact of trees on water resource availability and crop yield are of critical concern to smallholder farmers. Ethnoecological data highlight the properties of different tree species that determine their suitability to specific farm and landscape niches. These data point to important opportunities for more socially- and environmentally-optimal integration of indigenous and exotic tree species into agricultural landscapes, and highlight the critical importance of local knowledge in forging solutions appropriate to contemporary realities.
Project Number: 101592
Project Title: African Highlands Resource Management - Phase III
Access: IDRC Only
Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
128043.pdf324.56 kBAdobe PDFView / IDRC staff only    Request a copy
Show full item record