Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 549–554 | Cite as

Agroforestry and Biodiversity Conservation – Traditional Practices, Present Dynamics, and Lessons for the Future

  • Jeffrey A. McNeely
  • Götz SchrothEmail author


The environmental services that agroforestry practices can provide, and especially their potential contribution to the conservation of biodiversity, have only recently attracted wider attention among agroforestry and conservation scientists. This new view is consistent with the ecosystem approach to natural resource management advocated by the Convention on Biological Diversity. This collection of six papers, which is based on a Workshop held in June–July 2004, brings together studies of biodiversity impacts of traditional agroforestry practices from Central and South America, Africa and Asia. The contributions highlight the considerable potential of traditional agroforestry practices to support biodiversity conservation, but also show their limits. These include the importance of sufficient areas of natural habitat and of appropriate hunting regulations for maintaining high levels of biodiversity in agroforestry land use mosaics, as well as the critical role of markets for tree products and of a favourable policy environment for agroforestry land uses. In combination the case studies suggest that maintaining diversity in approaches to management of agroforestry systems, along with a pragmatic, undogmatic view on natural resource management, will provide the widest range of options for adapting to changing land use conditions.

Key words

Conservation of wild biodiversity Convention on Biological Diversity Environmental service Land use change Natural resource management Policy framework Traditional agroforestry practice 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Boffa, J.M. 1999Agroforestry parklands in sub- Saharan AfricaFood and Agriculture Organization of the United NationsRomeGoogle Scholar
  2. Leakey, R.R.B. 1996Definition of agroforestryAgroforest. Today857Google Scholar
  3. McNeely, J.A., Scherr, S.J. 2003Ecoagriculture: Strategies to Feed the World and Save Wild BiodiversityIsland PressWashingtonGoogle Scholar
  4. Michon, G., Foresta, H. 1999Agro-forests: incorporating a forest vision in agroforestryBuck, L.E.Lassoie, J.P.Fernandes, E.C.M. eds. Agroforestry in Sustainable Agricultural SystemsLewis PublishersBoca Raton381406Google Scholar
  5. Schroth, G., Fonseca, G.A.B., Harvey, C.A., Gascon, C., Vasconcelos, H.L., Izac, A.-M.N. 2004Agroforestry and Biodiversity Conservation in Tropical LandscapesIsland PressWashingtonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chief Scientist, IUCN – The World Conservation UnionGlandSwitzerland
  2. 2.Sustainable Landscapes ProgramConservation InternationalWashington, DCUSA

Personalised recommendations