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The Contribution of Traditional Agroforestry to Climate Change Adaptation in the Ecuadorian Amazon: The Chakra System

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Abstract

This chapter presents the contribution of “chakra,” a traditional agroforestry system, to climate change adaptation and biodiversity conservation in Ecuador’s Amazonian communities. IPCC’s methodology was used for the estimation of carbon sequestration in soil, biomass, and cacao plantations. Carbon levels in multiple systems of land use were measured through temporary plots. Chakra is efficient to adapt to climate change due to higher levels of carbon sequestration and tree diversity in comparison to other forms of land use. Chakra allows for sustainable use of forests by combining cultivation of the Ecuadorian finest aromatic cacao, controlled timber extraction, production of staple food, and conservation of medicinal plants. Chakra enables Amazonian communities to contribute to both food security and well-being and conservation of the region’s high biodiversity. The chapter informs policy makers and communities about the importance of strengthening traditional agroforestry to achieve environmental and social sustainability. The Amazon region is a vulnerable ecosystem, where adaptation to climate change depends on the extent to which the options for land use are compatible with the conservation of biodiversity and the provision of the ecosystem services that sustain local communities’ livelihoods. The chapter provides solid evidence that this might be possible through traditional agroforestry.

Keywords

  • Ecuadorian Amazon
  • Climate change
  • Traditional agroforestry
  • Sustainability
  • Cacao

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Torres, B., Maza, O.J., Aguirre, P., Hinojosa, L., Günter, S. (2015). The Contribution of Traditional Agroforestry to Climate Change Adaptation in the Ecuadorian Amazon: The Chakra System. In: Leal Filho, W. (eds) Handbook of Climate Change Adaptation. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-38670-1_102

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