A simple solution to combat climate change and forest loss

05 July 2011 | News story

The BusyTrees campaign makes people aware of how agroforestry can be used to combat climate change, fight poverty and protect natural forests and biodiversity. A project of the World Agroforestry Centre.

By CEC member Yvonne Otieno

What is the BusyTrees campaign?
The BusyTrees campaign is making more people aware of what agroforestry is – a technique for mixing trees with crops and livestock to provide a range of benefits for farmers, the environment and wildlife. The World Agroforestry Centre has started the Busy Trees campaign as part of the United Nations International Year of Forests.

How does agroforestry boost biodiversity?
As the populations of developing countries grow, demand for farmland is growing too and forests are being cut down to make way for crops and to provide timber and fuel. As a result, not only do we lose the forests, we also lose the plants and animals that live in them, and a whole host of other environmental benefits as well.

Agroforestry helps to turn this around by meeting people’s need for timber, fuel wood and tree products, sustaining the ecosystem and providing homes for wildlife. It also encourages the return of endangered species and attracts birds, bees and bats which help pollinate plants and spread seeds.

What’s the main aim of the BusyTrees campaign?
The main aim of the campaign is to make sure that policy makers around the world recognize how important these ‘working trees’ are, in combating climate change, fighting poverty and boosting biodiversity.

Policy changes that support agroforestry will have a major impact on climate change, poverty and biodiversity in the coming decades, so we must make politicians aware of how important this issue is.

How is the campaign structured?
The campaign is split into two parts: BusyTrees and the Trees on Farms campaign.

BusyTrees is the fun side of the campaign, designed to give you the chance to voice your support for agroforestry and be seen to be a supporter. More information is available at www.busytrees.com.

The Trees on Farms campaign provides more detailed (but still easy to read) information on the benefits of agroforestry, and includes links to more in-depth articles. You can find out more at www.treesonfarms.com

How can you get involved?
To join the campaign, sign the BusyTrees petition to get more trees on farms here.

The petition will be delivered to key political figures at this year’s COP17 Climate Summit in December, so the campaign needs to get as many signatures as possible before then.

You can also be part of the campaign, and ensure that your voice is heard, by making your own BusyTree, and taking a photo or video of yourself hanging out with the tree and uploading it on the BusyTrees website - www.busytrees.com.

Besides signing the petition, you could also help create awareness by following @busytrees on Twitter and ‘Liking’ the Facebook page.

By supporting the BusyTrees campaign you’ll be helping to combat climate change, reduce poverty and improve biodiversity. Plus you could win some great prizes!

Boosting Biodiversity
As the populations of developing countries grow, demand for farmland is growing and forests are being cut down to make way for crops and to provide timber and fuel. So not only do we lose the forests, we lose the plants and animals (or biodiversity) that live in them, and a whole host of other environmental benefits as well. Agroforestry helps to turn this around by meeting people’s need for timber and fuel wood, sustaining the ecosystem and providing homes for wildlife. It also encourages the return of endangered species and attracts birds, bees and bats which help pollinate plants and spread seeds.
 

For more information, contact Yvonne Otieno – y.otieno@cgiar.org
Elise Meakin – media@busytrees.com