The Montpellier Fourth World Congress on Agroforestry follows earlier World Congresses on Agroforestry in Orlando (USA) in 2004 (Working Together for Sustainable Landuse Systems), Nairobi (Kenya) in 2009 (Agroforestry - The Future of Global Land Use) and New Delhi (India) in 2014 (Trees for Life: Accelerating the Impacts of Agroforestry).
The Congress’ theme is "Agroforestry - Strengthening links between science, society and policy".
The choice of this three-fold theme “science-society-policy” follows the recognition that:
- Agroforestry has a role to play in most of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals
- Climate change presents a formidable challenge that has to be addressed by the world, with agroforestry potentially playing a key role for both climate change adaptation and mitigation
- Global Climate policy (Since Paris’ COP21) has for the first time internationally accepted emission reduction targets, and most countries will be reporting on emissions from Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU). However, countries will need good science to quantify the role that trees and forests can play in mitigation and adaptation, and effective social dialogue to enable greenhouse gases mitigation projects and policies to be implemented
- The European Union has a climate policy of "encouraging the sustainable intensification of food production, while optimizing the sector's contribution to greenhouse gas mitigation and sequestration, including through afforestation", but Member States are increasingly asking whether agroforestry can be an alternative to large-scale afforestation
- Organizations which certify sustainable management of forests and agriculture (e.g. PEFC, FSC, GlobalGAP) are becoming interested in certifying areas of "Trees outside Forests"
- 45% of world agriculture has a tree crown cover of more than 10%, as shown in a study by ICRAF
- Citizens and consumers globally are seeking the development of alternative solutions to intensive agriculture
- France is particularly active in the above and has a policy for "50% of its farmers to be using agroforestry by 2025", and has actively promoted the 4‰ Action Plan to increase carbon storage in soils.
Objectives of the Congress
The Montpellier Fourth World Congress on Agroforestry addresses a wide range of key agroforestry research issues, gather facts and figures from developing and developed countries and supports a collaborative effort with broad social participation. World-known keynote speakers have been invited to make sure that today’s important agroforestry research questions are all addressed. Nevertheless, the Congress also welcomes a variety of stakeholders to foster social interactions and special attention is given to vulnerable countries and populations. The overall objective of the Congress is to contribute to the strengthening of agroforestry science and practice in order to provide opportunities for further developing links between science, society and policy and to bridge the science-policy gap.
To achieve these objectives, the Congress includes:
- High level plenary sessions with world-class scientists, policy makers and other key personalities
- Focused parallel sessions dealing with all major agroforestry research topics
- Participatory poster sessions with ample time for exchanges
- Interactive sessions organized with citizens, private sector and policy makers, including field-based sessions
- Dialogue among stakeholders in networking spaces and round-table style sessions
- A choice of (optional) field trips in order to provide participants the possibility to discover agroforestry as it is implemented by farmers
- Sponsoring of participants from developing countries
- Global dissemination of congress information and public relations through the extensive networks of participating and sister institutions
- Strong communication with local, national and international media
- Website and social networks specifically dedicated to the congress
- Live-streaming and simultaneous interpretation (French/English) for all plenary sessions
- An exhibition area for sponsors, scientific editors and scientific manufacturers
Montpellier Agroforestry 2019 is a green congress
- Carbon offset of participants’ travel (Climate contribution)
- Local catering and local producers
- Special food requirements
- No useless goodies provided
- Limited printed material, WIFI and USB memory stick preferred
- Environmentally friendly public transportation encouraged