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Every piece of land is in use either converted from forest into multi-uses.Boundaries tree corridor can raise farm forest vs climate change


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Summary

The boundaries tree corridor agro farming is an approach to which it practices in agricultural landscapes, grasslands or urban open spaces. It applies to a piece of farm land in the agricultural landscapes where by every farm owners should leave a buffer of some meters for tree corridor planting zone in the boundaries. This is because the converted forest land cover into multi-land uses have became enormously in the last decades. The restoration of such deforested lands probably will involves high costs from demolition  of established town and cities or villages, infrastructure and social services that built in the converted lands. It also requires ceasing of agricultural lands in many rural areas especially tropics where majority of their citizens depend their livelihood means from agricultural activities.

The approach could be one of the bests in tree restoration as it engages majority of people and every piece of farm lands, from lower to upper level in the communities. According to FAO's Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA, 2010) around 13 million hectares of forest were converted to other uses or lost through natural cause each year in the last decade. In tropical forest lands, a quantitative assessment of deforestation levels and trends is hindered by differences in national approaches to forest monitoring, countries use different frequencies, classification systems and assessment methods which make it difficult to obtain  consistence data at the global level (Domenico G and Alessandra, 2011). The establishment of farm forests through boundaries tree corridor agro farming method ensures significant impacts and sustainability of the project areas even in the future spatial expansion of towns and cities where necessary as these  will remain or change into urban forests and open spaces.

The size of the buffer for tree planting could be categorized according to the farm sizes. Emphasis should be in fruit trees, timber, shadow, friendly to crops,water and soil.


What actions do you propose?

Because the practices of this approach entails ‘any’ individual person owning a piece of farm land in the agricultural landscape therefore, some actions have to be taken into account for appropriate implementation.  It will include policy and /or regulation amendment, global and national awareness, and various incentives to reach farm tree planting objectives.

Policy and/or regulation: - The adoption of the boundaries tree corridor agro farming method will highly demand efforts from international and nationals such that existing agriculture and environmental policies or regulations are institutionalized or translate  this into individual country's document for directives and adoption. By drawing example of Tanzanian urban regulations that any individual person owning a minimum plot size of 300 (15mx20m) sqm, must leave 1.5m from left and right sides as setbacks for various purposes including emergencies and accessibility. This has become very know and practicable to many developers in urban areas. Translating this example into agricultural landscapes, would become possible, effective and practicable with the help of regulations. Moreover, the crucial thing is awareness and education that will make people understand the importance of the farm forest not only to climate change mitigation, but also to socioeconomic benefits from effective utilization of  it.

Global and national awareness: - The method will require great understanding and attention from higher levels of decision making to the local level implementers. This will parallel goes with the action of influential people like politicians, experts in governments and non government organizations, and stakeholders in climate change to take this approach into their lips to the third party community for adoption. Also to proclaim that farm owners are the beneficiaries, and actors in tree planting. Through this action it will reduce some of the un-necessary obstacles from the community and foster tree planting since that these groups are trusted by the communities. 

Incentives: - different types of incentives may be offered from international  to local government levels and NGOs. It includes various Subsides to the farmers in distribution of proper seedlings  especially fruits trees, shadow trees, timber species, fertilizers, pasture species, crop and water friendly plants . Also the carbon market tool here can be very useful as an important incentives to the farmers. The carbon market will increase awareness to the farmers towards farm forest, motivate communities to voluntarily planting trees in their boundaries, and through this trade, people can increase their standard of living from income generation.

Another action is to prepare schedule that shows categories of buffer for tree planting which will be determined by the size of the land farms. This is because farmers own different sizes of farms but all should be involved in climate change mitigation. This proposal found five best categories for good implementation of boundaries tree corridor agro farming method.

            i.    Up to 1 acre farm size, the owners must leave 2m from each side of the farm boundaries where the same applies to the neighbours. If both follow into this category, this makes a width of 4m boundary tree corridor agro farming area.

          ii.   Greater than 1 acre up to 5 acres, farm owners must leave 5m, the same to his/her neighbours which make 10m width boundaries tree corridor agro farming zone. But the total could change if neighbours own large or small farms.

         iii.      Greater than 5 acres up to 20 acres the farm owners must leave 10m and the neighbours too, which makes 20m boundaries tree corridor agro farming zone. Unless follow into other categories, the buffer size will change.

        iv.      Greater than 20 acres and above, must leave 25m each side of the boundaries for boundaries tree corridor agro farming. The same applies to the neighbours thus make buffer of 50m width. Although it could vary if neighbours follow under other categories.

          v.         Farm estate or plantations, the owner must leave 50m for boundaries tree corridor agro farming in every 20ha. The system here would create a farm lots structure like.


Who will take these actions?

The governments. Ministry for agriculture, Lands or Environment are responsible in integrating or translating the approach into existing regulations/ policies for implementation. The method should be taken as one of the best approach to increase soil productivity, food nutrients humidity and water conservation and that the role of government is in facilitation, incentives, awareness, education, creation of good environment for non government sectors to participate fully in conservation. Also it is responsible to land use planning and proper land management.

Individuals; These are the tree planting and replacement key persons.

Local and international NGOs. they have role in incentives, awareness and education to the communities.

Business; tree species production to make seedlings available to the farmers.


Where will these actions be taken?

Basically the approach is appropriate in the tropics where deforestation has taken place at high rate in the last decades in addition to that, the majority of  people are small farmers. therefore different categories of boundaries tree corridor agro farming zones will be found here. However, the approach applies to other regions for sustainability as long as the agricultural activities are taking place whether in small or large scale.


How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?

It is difficult to obtain data on total sizes of small individual farms or forest in many tropics or developing countries as mentioned by Domenico G. and Alessandra, (2011). Also from daily expansion of farms as a result it is difficult to calculate the total number small farmers. Nevertheless, this proposal holds the ideal that from extensive deforestation of tropical forests, degradation of sensitive ecosystems in the last decades to farms and settlements, we can at least restore forests in farms in simplest and holistic manner.

Considering James E. Johnson and at el (2009), one acre (6x7 foot spacing) tree farm yield 1,037 trees. In the category one, that one acre (4047 sqm) will offer an area of 494.5 square meters total to plant 126 trees. This is 12.2% of one acre land for mitigation, conservation and other economic benefits. In total 300,000,000 trees are expect from this project in Tanzania , however, the number could increase. Other countries depending on total farm landscapes.


What are other key benefits?

socioeconomic:Provides food nutrients to human and animals from fruits, diversify income sources by selling fruits and bee keeping activities while it reduces boundary conflicts and pollination to the crops and plants.

Soil productivity:Fallen tree leaves provide soil humidity, compost materials and reduce erosions. during rain some of these nutrients percolate into the soil, others transported to the farm landscape as a result of making it productive. It has role in water purification, retention and conservation which increases ecosystems.

Animals improvement:the corridor can be used for growing livestock fodder, animal walkways to pasture lands, wildlife animal movement corridor, habitats or shelter belts and increases ecosystems.

Cultural and festival occasions:Unique landscape features available in the farm forests could attract cultural festival activities.

Esthetic:The grown up boundary  forests with a systematic arrangement in the agricultural landscapes gives good views and beauty.


What are the proposal’s costs?

There is a cost of losing a piece of land at most 12.2%  in an acre farm land however, more productivity in the future as tree leaves are fallen. In Tanzania the cost of growing trees (category one-126 boundary trees) for an acre farm could reach up to 200 USD. Therefore, a total of 250, 000,000 USD would be needed country wise. The cost varies by country, tree species, and farm sizes available.


Time line

The short term 15 year: within the first 5 years, immediately changes should be policy or regulation changes, public awareness and education, seedlings distribution to farmers, replanting and monitoring actions in the rest of the time.

The medium term (15-50): To evaluate and measure the effectiveness of the tool, against climate change effects, social economic changes and wildlife assessment

long term (50-100): Assessment of climate change effects.

 


Related proposals

Smallholder Tree Farming for Better Land management in Tropics by Sumon: Both involve tree planting (agro farming) in the farm to increase tree cover in the agricultural landscapes but differ in the mechanisms on how to implement. They just differ in approach, targets but all aim at improving land management, socioeconomic and environment enhancement.

Agro Forestry by Hira: While Hira involves a system of land use in which harvestable crops are grown among or around crops or pastureland, the boundaries tree corridor agro farming method by Dickson targets to create farm forests in organized manner,specific number of trees in the farm by leaving a buffer for tree planting in the boundaries for sustainability, but each with a purpose to increase trees in the farmlands for multiple uses.


References

Domenico G. and Alessandra, (2011). Tropical deforestation:  Current Trends and Potential Sustainable Policies

(FRA, 2010). Global Forest Resources Assessment

James E. Johnson and at el (2009). Economics of Producing an acre of White Pine Christmas trees

Pennsylvania Historical Association (2012). A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies, Vol.79, No.4

www.climatecolab.org.contests/2016/Land-use-agriculture-forestry-livestock).