Biodiverse, Productive, and Socially Just Silvopastures: a Solution for the Brazilian Drylands

Felipe Machado Pinheiro (University of Florida (UF) School of Natural Resources and Environment and Tropical Conservation & Development Program, PhD candidate Intedisciplinary Ecology, Gainesville, FL, 32611, US)
Patrick Hunt (UF Latin American Stuides, Tropical Conservation & Development Program, MA student, Gainesville, FL, 32611, US)

Abstract


Drylands constitute more than 40% of global land and are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. In many of these drylands, livestock activities are a major form of land-use. In Brazil, the two major dryland biomes, Cerrado and Caatinga, play a key role in the country’s livestock activities. While important economically, these activities also contribute to the emission of high amounts of greenhouse gases. One suggested strategy for mitigating the impacts of climate change is the adoption of silvopastoral systems (SPS) which combine trees, pasture, and animals simultaneously on the same unit of land. Farmers in the drylands of Brazil have a long history of practicing SPS. The practice of silvopasture is relevant to both climate change and the economy, but not necessarily to the issues of biodiversity loss and economic inequality. The lack of interdisciplinarity in rural agricultural development projects in the past, such as those related to the “Green Revolution”, resulted in the aggravation of economic inequalities and biodiversity loss. The present work, focusing on the Brazilian Drylands, reviews these issues to justify the need for interdisciplinary projects considering multiple variables like soil quality, tree density, biodiversity richness, and farmers’ perception. 


Keywords


Agroecology; Livestock; Agroforestry; Climate Change; Mitigation; Adaptation; Dessertification; Arid regions

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30564/jrb.v2i3.2102

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