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Changes in Soil Carbon Stocks Across the Forest-Agroforest-Agriculture/Pasture Continuum in Various Agroecological Regions: A Meta-Analysis

Authors: Nilovna Chatterjee, P.K.Ramachandran Nair, Saptarshi Chakraborty, and Vimala D.Nair | Published: November 1, 2018

The contribution of agroforestry systems (AFS) to enhance soil organic carbon (SOC) storage in soil layers due to the presence of deep tree roots are of interest in the context of promoting carbon sinks and greenhouse gas mitigation. To quantify the relative soil C contribution from trees in agroforestry systems (AFS), this study assessed the reported differences in SOC stocks under agroforestry systems in comparison with other land-use systems (Agriculture, Forestry, Pasture, or Uncultivated Land) in various soil-depth classes in four agroecological regions (arid and semiarid, ASA; lowland humid tropics, LHT; Mediterranean, MED; and temperate, TEM) around the world. Using mixed-effect models and a meta-analytical approach, we synthesized data from 78 peer-reviewed studies that generated 858 data points (sites) on SOC stock under various AFS practiced globally. Comparing Agroforest vs. Agriculture or Agroforest vs. Pasture, SOC stocks under AFS were higher by +27% in the ASA region, +26% in LHT, and +5.8% in TEM, but –5.3% in the TEM in the 0–100 cm soil depth.

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New Report Ranks Countries on Food Waste, Nutrition, and Sustainable Agriculture

Author: Marisa Tsai | Published: December 2016

The newly released 2016 Food Sustainability Index (FSI), developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) with the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition (BCFN) Foundation, ranks countries on food system sustainability based off three pillars: food loss and waste, sustainable agriculture, and nutritional challenges.  The index, presented at the 7th International Forum on Food and Nutrition in Milan in December 2016, aims to encourage policy makers to place food and its production issues as high priority items in their policy agendas. According to the FSI, The world population is projected to reach 8.1 billion by 2025. The vast majority of the growth, 95 percent, will come from developing countries, many of which are dealing with the double burden of hunger and rising obesity. Meanwhile, climate change is presenting new challenges to the agriculture sector. By highlighting performance of different countries and identifying best practices, the index establishes a comparable benchmark for leaders around the world to reference and measure their progress in establishing a sustainable food system.  According to the authors, “The FSI is a tool for policymakers and experts to orient their action, for students to be educated, and for the public to conscientiously adjust their behavior for the food of our health and our planet.”

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