Towards climate-smart sustainable production models
Our long-term vision is that producers, companies and governments implement measures and policies that support climate-smart, sustainable agrocommodity production models. These climate-smart, sustainable production models should avoid deforestation and include (elements of) climate-smart agricultural practices. Besides, they offer a positive value proposition and fair living income for producers, taking the different needs and interests of men, women and youth into account. Women, men and youth are equally represented in producer associations and in decision-making processes.
On this page you will find links to publications, interview articles, news items and external resources, and more. We will continue our work and share our findings through regular updates on this site. So, come back soon to find out more!
The incorporation of trees on farms, known as agroforestry, has the potential to contribute to resilient livelihoods, climate change mitigation, and biodiversity conservation. But, despite its many benefits, the widespread adoption of agroforestry still faces numerous challenges.
In Ghana, cocoa is traditionally grown in agroforestry systems, but over time farmers increasingly switched to monocultures, with negative effects on long-term production levels and farmers’ resilience. We have supported cocoa farmers to bring back trees into their farms.
Many farmers in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, have been converting rubber agroforests to monoculture oil palm plantations, decreasing diversity in the landscape. We want to reverse this trend, by making rubber agroforestry attractive again. What have we done and learned?
Agroforestry has long been considered as a key practice for sustainably improving and diversifying farm incomes, nutrition, and resilience to economic and environmental shocks. The ecological benefits are proven, and there is no shortage of technical knowledge. But its widespread adoption remains elusive. Is it that the economic benefits for farmers are not enough, or not perceived to be enough? Or are there other reasons?
Late on 5 December 2022, EU decision-makers have concluded their negotiations for an EU deforestation Regulation which is the first in the world that takes significant steps to tackle global deforestation. We celebrate this historic agreement. Ambitious accompanying measures and partnerships are, however, essential to make a true transition on the ground.
In 2021, hundreds of farmers throughout the Bafwasende landscape started to establish cocoa agroforestry systems on previously deforested lands, with the help of Tropenbos DR Congo. This is a major step towards more sustainable farming and improved livelihoods.
Tropenbos Ghana helped to develop 12 Village Savings and Loan Associations in the Juabeso-Bia and Sefwi-Wiawso landscapes. This has provided cocoa smallholders with access to finance to invest in climate-smart practices, such as diversifying their crops and improving irrigation.
The European Commission's proposed EU Regulation on deforestation-free products is a welcome step towards a higher ambition to tackle global deforestation, and forest degradation and to level the playing field for companies. Smallholders (and especially women) are some of the most marginalised actors in global supply chains. They produce a third of the world’s food supply and represent a large share of the producers in sectors included in the scope of the proposal (such as coffee, cocoa and palm oil). They often depend on large operators to buy their product and to decide the price.
Deforestation and forest degradation are important sources of biodiversity loss, greenhouse gas emissions and human rights abuses. It is widely understood that EU consumption destructs tropical forests around the globe; the EU has therefore the responsibility to urgently act. Voluntary steps to make supply chains deforestation-free are not sufficient to address the problem of imported deforestation.
In this short video we present how the villagers of Laman Satong in West Kalimantan prevented their forest from being converted into an oil palm plantation by applying for a village forest permit. But they did not ban oil palm completely.
Before the advent of oil palm plantations in Kalangala islands on Lake Victoria, subsistence agriculture and fishing were the dominant economic activities. However, oil palm plantation monoculture is now the leading economic activity and has resulted in vegetation and land use changes. The oil palm plantations came with many wide ranging negative impacts from deforestation, land grabbing, shift in the agricultural systems, food insecurity to loss of livelihoods among others. This video highlights lessons from Kalangala to raise awareness of the negative impacts of oil palm plantations, so that investors and communities make better informed decisions in the future.