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

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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.

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Correspondence to Götz Schroth.

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McNeely, J.A., Schroth, G. Agroforestry and Biodiversity Conservation – Traditional Practices, Present Dynamics, and Lessons for the Future. Biodivers Conserv 15, 549–554 (2006).

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