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Climate-Smart Land Use Insight Brief No. 4- Silvopastoral systems for climate change mitigation and adaptation

Explore silvopastoral systems (SPS), a versatile farming technique that provides farmers with a valuable mitigation and adaptation strategy in Southeast Asia.
Multiple Authors
Face of water buffalo surrounded by green vegetation


Deforestation and forest degradation have become especially prevalent in Southeast Asia (SEA). It is estimated that between 2005 and 2015, 79.5 million hectares were lost in the region (Estoque et al. 2019). This loss contributes to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Livestock production, a key part of SEA food systems,also contributes to GHG emissions in the region. Part of the deforestation is a result of clearing land for pastures and space for growing feed to support the livestock industry. Agriculture in the region is also facing many threats from the changing climate; sea-level rise, saltwater intrusion, variable precipitation, rising temperatures, etc.Sustainable livestock practices, especially ones that integrate livestock with crop production and forestry, can reduce environmental impacts and provide potentialclimateadaptation and mitigation strategies.

A practice being implemented in SEA, called silvopastoral systems (SPS),integrates trees and forage with animal grazing as a distinct form of agroforestry. SPS can be implemented inmany methods making it versatile, from planting scattered trees in pasturelands, to intensivehigh-density cultivation of fodder shrubs with improved grasses with tree or palm species.SPS optimizes land use and promotes healthier ecosystems. If SPS are implemented in an inclusive and applicable manner, they can offer farmers adaptation and mitigation strategies to help build capacity and resilience to climate change.

*Download the full publication from the right-hand column. A summary of the key findings is provided below. See the full report for more details