Photo: S. Ospina
The work in FUNCiTREE is organized in 9 work packages:
WP1 is responsible for the activities regarding the scientific management of the project, coordination and assessment of the project progress, and the financial and administrative management of the project. WP1 is lead by NINA.
Agro-forestry systems in both Latin America and in Africa have shown tremendous promise however, in many cases, they have failed to become widely adopted by local farming communities. This is not true across the board, however it is evident that when certain criteria are not met and the hope of adoption remains low. WP2 will inventory SPS practised in both the African and the Latin American study sites with a particular focus on the adoption of regional SPS. This work package will focus on several components. First, what are the critical ecosystem functions that farmers desire, or what are farmers hoping to get out of SPS implemented on their farms? Is it simply increased milk or meat production, or resistance to droughts? What are the priorities of local farms both in Africa and Latin America? Second, are current agro-forestry practices meeting these production goals, and what is the relationship between the adoption, or lack of adoption of the AFS and the capacity of the system to meet farmer priorities? WP2 is lead by IER.
Based on the social surveys of WP2 and the list of SPSs found in the three project sites, WP3 assesses the tree species found in each of these areas, and investigate what are the tree species not found in AFS, but within the local species pool which show potential for domestication for AFS locally covering a range of aridity conditions. A species list will be built including rare and/or poorly known species as well as common ones since the objective is to identify new species that can be domesticated for SPS. Based on this list, WP3 identifies species traits which are valued by the farmers and that correspond to the species’ life-history and morphological attributes. WP3 is lead by CIRAD.
Using the species list built in WP3, and knowledge of AFS functions of local, regional and global significance WP 4 will identify the specific ecophysiological species traits of local tree species associated with critical ecological functions including (a) increasing pasture fodder and animal production, (b) improving animal nutrition (c) increasing pasture resistance/resilience to drought and (d) improving long term soil quality at the farm level. This work package will use the ecosystem services list developed by WP2 and will identify critical tree traits that drive the capacity of AFS to provide these critical ecosystem functions. For example, the capacity of an agro-forestry system to improve animal nutrition is directly related to nutrient content and palatability of the tree species incorporated into the AFS. The capacity of AFS to increase pasture production is a function of its canopy traits (LAI, deciduousness and phenology of deciduousness, litter quality etc) and root traits (capacity to fix nitrogen, root depth and architecture, etc.). WP4 is lead by CSIC.
Analysis of species by region would most likely lead to distinct tree species used in each of the three project sites with little overlap. However, clustering species by traits, will produce distinct clusters of species with some degree of overlap between their geographic origin. WP5 will produce a portfolio of trees by traits in relation to their capacity to provide specific SPS functions. The particular role of this portfolio will be to enhance the synergies between the multifunction components of agro-forestry tree species including relationships between soil functions, trees functions, crop functions, and livestock functions. WP5 is lead by CATIE.
WP 6 aims to conduct financial feasibility analysis of SPS and will also contribute to a broader and more participatory analysis beyond the farm level by evaluating alternative techniques for ranking multi-functional AFS across multiple farm and land-use management objectives. In particular, multiple criteria analysis and Bayesian belief networks bring new techniques to the participatory assessment of farm production systems with multiple, uncertain, correlated on- and off-site impacts. Both Bayesian belief networks and multiple criteria analysis offer alternative decision-support approaches for scenarios analysis and ranking decision alternatives. WP6 is lead by NINA.
Using experiences from WP2-6, WP 7 will install trials of multispecies, multifunctional AFS in project sites and a monitoring program will be established for medium and long-term impacts on the provisioning of AFS functions. This work package will work directly with farmers to implement specific tree traits combinations in order to maximize the provisioning of multiple functions. WP7 is lead by ISRA.
FUNCiTree aims to increase the knowledge about livestock SPS to ultimately, increase the degree of adoption of the practice. WP 8 will use the national extension and other communication channels to disseminate the project findings to organisations providing agriculture extension services, NGO’s, national land-planners and decision makers, farmer organizations, various regional and international SPS interest groups and the scientific community. In the region, the GAMMA group at CATIE participates in an extensive Central American network of research and development organisations in the area of livestock production AFS. In Senegal and Mali, the project will use the Millennium Villages partners’ network which includes the World Agro-forestry Centre (ICRAF), and national extension and development organisations. WP8 is lead by CATIE.
FUNCiTREE assembles a GIS platform with digital cartography and other geo-referenced data in each site to help identify the geographical distribution of primary bio-physical and socio-economic factors and to facilitate their adequate and representative sampling. The platform will also serve as a tool for data integration across and work packages, and to visualize and communicate project results. WP9 is lead by CATIE.