International DAAD Alumni Seminar "Climate change and biodiversity in Latin America: Agroforestry systems - a compromise between economy and ecology"
26 March - 1 April 2017, Universidad de Costa Rica & CATIE, Costa Ricain the framework of the ReCALL-Alumni-Program "Biodiversity and Climate change: Adaptation strategies of Agriculture and Forestry in Central- and South-America?"
We conducted an International DAAD Alumni Seminar entitled "Climate change and biodiversity in Latin America: Agroforestry systems - a compromise between economy and ecology" 26 March - 1 April 2017 at the Universidad de Costa Rica and CATIE.
13 international experts from Central- and South-America and a group of professors and postdocs from the Faculty of Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology, Georg-August-University of Goettingen (http://www.uni-goettingen.de/en/19852.html) met with members of local universities and research institutions in Costa Rica.
By means of presentations and discussions, visits of regional facilities and agroforestry enterprises, we got in contact with institutions and organizations involved in the agroforestry sector.
Nosotros realizamos un Seminario Internacional de ex-alumnos auspiciado por el DAAD con el titulo: "Climate change and biodiversity in Latin America: Agroforestry systems - a compromise between economy and ecology" ("Cambio climatico y biodiversidad en Latinoamerica: Sistemas agroforestales, un compromiso ecologico y economico"), se llevo acabo entre el 26 de Marzo y el 1 de Abril en la Universidad de Costa Rica y el Catie.13 expertos internacionales de Centro y Sud America, y un grupo de profesores y posdoctorantes de la Facultad de Ciencias Forestales y Ecologia Forestal, de la Universidad de Goettingen se reunieron con miembros de universidades locales e institutos de investigacion en Costa Rica.
Por medio de presetanciones y discusiones, visitas a centros regionales y emprendimientos agroforestales, nos mantenemos en contacto con instituciones y organizaciones relacionadas en el sector agroforestal.
Seminar goals and concept
The Agriculture and Forestry sectors need to continue providing food and raw materials for up to ten billion people within the coming decades. Production improvement, the use of new areas and the transformation of land use systems that have been introduced in recent decades led to an increase of food production in many parts of the world. This is often accompanied with environmental damages along the entire value-added chain, ranging from the deterioration of ecosystems and biodiversity, the release of greenhouse gases, to the pollution of air, water, and soil. Even now, the use of natural resources often exceeds the regenerative capacity of the systems. The livelihoods of people who depend on natural resources become less predictable and migration may be the result. Agricultural production is therefore subject to a higher volatility in the product availability, which then affect the world-market prices and trading. Biodiversity plays an important role for the functionality of agricultural and forest ecosystems and diverse ecosystem services. Therefore, the sustainable and resource efficient management of land-use systems is a growing challenge. However, in this context the arrangement of scientific-technical, economic, social, and environmental aspects is complex and integrating analyses are still rare. Agroforestry systems diversify and sustain production in order to increase social, economic and environmental benefits for land users. They range from traditional to modern land-use systems, where trees are managed together with crops and/or animal production. The exchange of best practice examples, the preservation of traditional knowledge, joint research planning or the preparation of recommendations / guidelines for the implementation aim at improving agro-forestry systems in changing environments. We used the alumni seminar to provide a dialogue forum joining international experts working on these land-use systems with members of local universities and research institutions in Costa Rica.
Key aspects of the alumni seminar were:
- Agroforestry systems
- Forest monitoring / remote sensing
- Ecosystem services: contemporary significance and potentials
- Sustainable use of natural resources
- Economic aspects and agroforestry / forestry policy
The Alumni seminar facilitated networking between the participants and scientists, land users and local authorities in Costa Rica. By means of presentations and discussion fora, visits of regional facilities and agroforestry enterprises, the participants got in touch with institutions and organizations involved in the agricultural and forest sector and furthermore had the opportunity to develop and exchange ideas with renowned experts during the seminar.
The alumni seminar was hosted by the University of Costa Rica and CATIE, organized in cooperation with the Centre of Biodiversity and Sustainable Land Use (CBL), University of Göttingen. It was offered by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and costs were be mainly covered by funds from the DAAD provided by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
The seminar program included:
- Keynotes, sessions and workshops related to the main topics
- Scientific presentations by the participating alumni
- Group work activities and professional networking opportunities
- Field visit to the Caribbean region