NWFP in Agroforestry: Farmer’s Perceptions in Europe

A Presentation by Mercedes Rois Díaz

Part of the "Unlocking the Bioeconomy for Nontimber Forest Products" Webinar Series

April 26, 2022 at 10:30 a.m. EDT / 14:30 UTC

Agroforestry is the intentional integration of trees and shrubs into crop and animal farming systems to create environmental, economic, and social benefits. It has been practiced around the world for centuries. This webinar will focus on the potential of agroforestry to provide a variety of NWFPs, with particular attention to the Galicia region (NW Spain), and the identified driving forces for farmers and foresters to implement agroforestry. Agroforestry is receiving more prominent consideration in European and global policies as it is fully aligned with the UN 2030 Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the European Bioeconomy Strategy. The Strategy proposes actions for leading the way towards a sustainable, circular bioeconomy, and explicitly declares agroforestry as a priority land-use system that makes efficient use of ecosystems services. Despite this objective, agroforestry is not extensively used and not well-known by many farmers and foresters. Effective policies for promoting agroforestry need to be based on the motivations and the barriers affecting farmers and foresters to adopt such practices.

Mercedes Rois Díaz is an independent consultant on forest bioeconomy, with extensive research and management experience, having worked for 17 years at the European Forest Institute. Her main field of expertise is agroforestry systems, and the transfer of scientific results to farmers and forest owners, with special focus on the link to the circular bioeconomy and bioproducts. She also holds experience in diverging issues such as digitalization of the forest sector and the impact of social innovations towards the Sustainable Development Goals. In the last few years, Mercedes grew increasingly interested in raising awareness and the education of kids and youth on the possibilities of the bioeconomy, thus joining a community of #BioHeroes, with the aim of raising awareness on bioproducts and bioeconomy. Most recently she has become involved with the community of European Climate Pact Ambassadors, who inform, inspire, and support climate action in their communities and networks.

This webinar series is hosted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service, The Forest History Society, Renmin University of China, and the IUFRO Task Force.

This event is made possible in part through funding from the Lynn W. Day Endowment.

Mercedes Rois Díaz