EURAF conference sets the direction for agroforestry in Europe for the coming years

3. 6. 2024
At the international agroforestry conference EURAF 2024, the institutions jointly concluded the Brno Agroforestry Declaration on the implementation of agroforestry in Europe. The Declaration focuses on the knowledge and actions needed in the field of agroforestry for landscape features and tree production in Europe. The agroforestry conference was held in the presence of ministers, representatives of the region and the city, as well as presence of EU Commission representatives.

The scientific evidence presented at successive European conferences has enabled EURAF to produce concise policy reports in each of these six key sustainability areas, confirming the potential of agroforestry. The Declaration focuses on the impact of agroforestry on farms and the sustainable development indicators listed in the EU Taxonomy Regulation: climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation, sustainable water resources, pollution control, biodiversity and ecosystems, and circular economy.

The Congress was officially opened by the European Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski, who in his speech stressed the importance of increasing the number of trees in our agricultural landscapes and indicated that agroforestry will become one of the first, if not the first, carbon certification methodology available.

“We in the Czech republic have the largest agricultural areas in Europe, so we need agroforestry to divide these areas into smaller, more diverse units,” said Bohdan Lojka, the newly elected president of the European Federation of Agroforestry. Half of the newly elected steering committee is made up of practising farmers. This is the first time a Czech has become president of the committee.

Delegates noted that only nine Member States have introduced agroforestry measures in their CAP Strategic Plans and called on European policymakers at Union and Member State level to recognise this huge potential and integrate the promotion and support of agroforestry systems into their national agricultural, environmental and climate plans. They also drew attention to compelling evidence that regulatory constraints drastically limit the freedom farmers need to adapt their practices to local conditions and to establish effective mixed farming systems such as agroforestry.

At the 7th European Conference on Agroforestry, held in Brno under the auspices of Minister of Agriculture Marek Výborný and Minister of the Environment Petr Hladík, 396 delegates from 43 countries heard 137 papers on studies exploring the potential benefits of agroforestry. Many of these studies reinforced the scientific evidence of the multiple positive benefits of agroforestry for farm economics, rural landscapes, soil health, biodiversity and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Full text od Brno Agroforestry Declaration:

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