Trees on Farms for Livelihoods, Conservation of Biodiversity and Carbon Storage: Evidence from Nicaragua on This “Invisible” Resource

  • Eduardo Somarriba
  • Geovana Carreño-Rocabado
  • Freddy Amores
  • Willan Caicedo
  • Samuel Oblitas Gillés de Pélichy
  • Rolando Cerda
  • Jenny C. Ordóñez
Part of the Advances in Agroforestry book series (ADAG, volume 12)


Trees-on-Farms (TonF) are ubiquitous. Farmers obtain numerous goods and services from their trees, which help them to cope with their livelihood needs and contingencies, climate change, and other stresses. Some benefits from trees on farms are extensive to the global society. Decision and policy makers as well as development leaders are not consciously aware of the extent, (in terms of area covered, human population involved, contribution to national and local economics, etc.) and importance (for rural livelihoods and provision of ecosystem services) of trees on farms. As a consequence, they do not include this important natural resource in their territorial development and nature conservation planning. Trees on Farms are “invisible” in most forest legislation in the world. This has to be changed. Unfortunately, the inaccuracy and lack of enough detail of current TonF assessments impedes the estimation of the actual benefits derived from them, which in turn inhibits evidence-based planning and policy development. In this chapter we document the role of TonF in providing livelihoods, conservation of tree diversity, and storage of carbon in aboveground biomass in 90 smallholder farms in North-Eastern Nicaragua. This knowledge can help in the design of restoration efforts, and can also contribute to support policy and institutional enabling environments to motivate farmers to retain, manage and use TonF.


Basic grains Cacao Coffee Ecosystem services Homegardens Pastures Timber 



This research was funded by the CGIAR research program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA), ICRAF and CATIE.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eduardo Somarriba
    • 1
  • Geovana Carreño-Rocabado
    • 1
    • 2
  • Freddy Amores
    • 1
  • Willan Caicedo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Samuel Oblitas Gillés de Pélichy
    • 1
  • Rolando Cerda
    • 1
  • Jenny C. Ordóñez
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE)TurrialbaCosta Rica
  2. 2.World Agroforestry Centre – ICRAFTurrialbaCosta Rica

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