Agroforestry pp 833-855 | Cite as

Socioeconomic and Policy Considerations in the Adoption of Agroforestry Systems: An Ecosystem-based Adaptive Governance Approach

  • K. Akamani
  • E. J. Holzmueller


Owing to the shortfalls in conventional approaches to forestry and agriculture, agroforestry has been receiving attention among researchers and policy-makers since the 1970s as an alternative land use strategy in tropical systems. Agroforestry is a promising strategy for deriving a range of benefits, such as food and water security, ecosystem health, energy security, and human health particularly in developing nations. Agroforestry is also posited as a means of producing various ecosystem services necessary for mitigation and adaptation to climate change impacts. In spite of these expected benefits, the adoption of agroforestry policies has been limited, and the potential contributions of agroforestry to resilience and sustainable development remain unrealized. Drawing from theoretical insights in ecosystem management and adaptive governance, this chapter discusses the potential benefits of managing agroforestry systems as complex adaptive social-ecological systems. Ecosystem-based adaptive governance holds promise as a framework for increasing the adoption of agroforestry as a land-use strategy for achieving sustainable development and social-ecological resilience by promoting a more inclusive and dynamic approach to developing locally-based agroforestry models. The modified taungya system in Ghana and other relevant case studies are used to illustrate the argument.


Adaptive governance Adaptive management Adoption Ecosystem management Resilience Social-ecological systems Sustainable development 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ForestrySouthern Illinois UniversityCarbondaleUSA

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