MA4SURE – Mediterranean Agroecosystems for Sustainability and Resilience under Climate Change

 Drought and heat are major abiotic stresses that reduce crop productivity and jeopardize food security in the Mediterranean in the context of the growing impacts of Climate Change (CC). Agroforestry (AF) practices contribute to enhance resilience through Biodiversity (BD) conservation and livelihood diversity, by also bringing economic benefits. Mixed Farming (MF) can reduce chemical inputs and provide more Ecosystem Services (ES). The AF/MF systems combined increase the complexity of Agroecosystems (AE), which requires innovative management concepts. Objectives The overall objective is to characterise sustainable and profitable AF/MF systems, resilient and adaptive to CC. The specific objectives are to: 1) assess the viability and replicability of efficient and resilient AF/MF systems which are climate smart; 2) examine scenarios capable of supporting crop and woody plant productivity while improving soil quality, value chains and green infrastructures as ES providers; 3) deliver effective solutions for ensuring the highest level of performance and spread of AF/MF systems at farm and landscape scale under current and future CC scenarios; 4) provide and improve ES through integrated land and livestock managements that contribute to CC mitigation and adaptation; 5) develop new synergies between agricultural production units to avoid wastes, lessen water overuse and pollution, and offsetting GHG emissions; 6) promote a socioeconomic inclusive approach to AF/MF to ensure equal social and economic benefits; 7) strengthen policy-makers capacity to formulate longer term policies for restoring and improving AE. How Our trans-disciplinary, multi-actor approach includes the early involvement as partners of the project of stakeholders and end-users in developing the concept of the project, methods and framework. We combine the AF/MF conceptual framework of FAO with socioeconomic evaluation. The multisectoral partnerships planned permit to address the biophysical evaluation of the multispecies cropping system, the service and benefits provided to the society and the final economic evaluation of these systems. Relevance AF/MF systems are more resilient than most of the prevailing modes of agricultural production. By combining woody perennials with forage and food crops, arid and semiarid areas can produce food for human consumption, forage for livestock, and contribute to the energy needs of households. Therefore, AF/MF technologies are important to control desertification and improve the dryland production systems, and are an important tool for mitigating CC.

Deadline 31/08/2024

Programme PRIMA

Institute IBBR – Institute of Biosciences and Bioresources

Contact Cristina Vettori

Role Partner