12 September 2015
EXPO 2015 IN MILAN
AGFORWARD supported a successful “Agroforestry Day” at the European Union Pavilion at EXPO2015 in Milan. The photograph above shows the “Tree of Life” situated immediately outside the pavilion.
The meeting, organised by the European Agroforestry Federation (EURAF) and the “Associazione Italiana Agroforestazione” (AIAF), was attended by about 50 people with an interest in the promotion of agroforestry across Europe. The meeting was opened by Rosa Mosquera-Losada who is the President of EURAF. AGFORWARD member, Adolfo Rosati (from CREA), gave a presentation on the nature of agroforestry, and Fabien Balaguer (from AFAF) gave a presentation about a water-catchment focussed agroforestry project in South West France called “Agr’eau”. Tamas Szedlak, from the European Commission, gave a very informative update on agroforestry policies and measures within the European Union. Simone Borelli, from FAO, gave an international perspective on agroforestry, claiming that globally over 1.2 billion people practise agroforestry. Paul Burgess gave a presentation on some of the initial results from the AGFORWARD project suggesting that agroforestry was being practised on about 4-5% of the European land area. Antonio Brunori, Secretary General of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), described how they were becoming involved with the certification of agroforestry products. The initial session concluded with some observations from Faustine Defossez as Senior Policy Officer with the European Environmental Bureau.
In the afternoon, the presentations focused on agroforestry in Italy. Viviana Ferrario, from IUAV, presented some interesting photographs showing the loss of trees and “blended crops” in the Veneto region of Italy between 1943 and 2000. Marcello Mele, from the University of Pisa, focused on the role of agroforestry in livestock systems highlighting how trees were being integrated with beef production in Brazil to market “carbon neutral beef”. AGFORWARD member, Andrea Pisanelli from CNR focused on the update of agroforestry measures in Italy. Giustino Mezzalira, from AIAF, talked about a potential LIFE project to restore a 600 ha traditional agroforestry system. Francesco da Schio, agronomist and farmer, explained how he was successfully using agroforestry on his farm to protect the soil from wind erosion. He explained that introducing trees led to a wider range of benefits. Lastly, Bruna Gumiero, from the University of Bologna, explained the role of trees in nutrient cycling.
Hence by the end of the day, EURAF and AIAF had organised a meeting that clearly demonstrated how agroforestry is helping sustainable food production on the planet, which was also the theme for the overall EXPO.
Balaguer, F. (2015). Agr’eau: Developing a Resource-Efficient, Ecofriendly, Climate-Smart Agriculture across the Adour-Garonne Watershed (South-West France). Presentation at the Agroforestry Event at EXPO 2015, Milan, Italy. 12 September 2015.
Burgess, P.J. (2015). The AGFORWARD Project. Presentation at the Agroforestry Event at EXPO 2015, Milan, Italy. 12 September 2015.
Brunori, A. (2015). PEFC SFM certification: and Agroforestry? Presentation at the Agroforestry Event at EXPO 2015, Milan, Italy. 12 September 2015.
Da Schio, F. (2015). The Farm of Francesco da Schio [In italian]. Presentation at Agroforestry Event at EXPO 2015, Milan, Italy. 12 September 2015.
Pisanelli, A., and Rosati, A. (2015). Agroforestry e PAC in Italia. Presentation at the Agroforestry Event at EXPO 2015, Milan, Italy. 12 September 2015.
Szedlak, T. (2015). Agroforestry in the EU Common Agricultural Policy and in the new EU Forest Strategy. Presentation at Agroforestry Event at EXPO 2015, Milan, Italy. 12 September 2015.