Analysis and evaluation of agroforestry as an alternative environmental design in the Philippines
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Tabora, Panfilo C. Analysis and evaluation of agroforestry as an alternative environmental design in the Philippines.
Agroforestry as a land-use concept and an environmental design was analyzed and evaluated from the Philippines setting. A historical perspective of agroforestry was presented and the study explores the direction that agroforestry has taken in recent years as a socio-economic tool, a conservation strategy and a political expediency.
The concepts of agroforestry were analyzed and used as the bases for evaluation. Five general socially-oriented concepts were examined: social relevance (appropriateness); profitability; balance (equilibrium); versatility and creativity; and longevity and reliability. These were related to five agroecosystem principles: ecological integrity; productivity; stability; flexibility and resiliency; and sustainability and conservation. All these were interrelated to many attributes under a unified ‘Agroecosystem Analysis Framework’.
Seven current programs in the Philippines which promote agroforestry were also examined and evaluated based on the Agroecosystem Analysis Framework. A closer look at the impacts of the programs was done and ratings were given for each program. The Multiple Cropping Program and the Integrated Social Forestry Program came out with the most positive results.
For a closer focus, a site was selected and five cases from the site were evaluated based on a reconstruction of the events and experience in the area over 14 years. The Mixed-Crops Agroforestry (representing the ideal agroforestry) came out with a rating equivalent to the Coconut and Abaca-based Agroforestry. The Industrial Tree Plantation came out with the lowest rating.
The study concludes that agroforestry has a role as an environmental design, but that its usefulness has limitations due to some physical constraints and social and economic values that have to be overcome. Recommendations are provided for policy-making for agroforestry.
Key wordsagroforestry analysis and evaluation environmental design agroecosystem
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