Supporting farmers in the transition to agroecology to promote carbon sequestration from silvopastoral systems

Sara Burbi, Rodrigo J. Olave


ilvopastoral systems, or silvopastures, have the potential to provide a wide range of ecosystem services to benefit the environment and society in relation to climate change, in particular carbon sequestration. However, being considered highly diversified and integrated systems, silvopastures present several challenges in the evaluation of their performance to support their adoption in different environmental contexts with the purpose of increasing carbon sequestration from agroforestry. While such evaluations and predictions of carbon sequestration potential can be achieved by researchers with long-term experimental studies and scenario-based modelling, farmers and land managers may need sufficiently accurate yet simplified methodologies to estimate the impact of land use and land use changes from forestry (LULUCF). This can be achieved with decision-support tools and participatory work where farmers and researchers engage in sharing and co-creating knowledge on best agroecological practices. This work sets out to review the current knowledge on carbon sequestration from silvopastures and the state of the agroforestry sector in the UK. It then proposes a methodology to integrate agroecological practices and knowledge generated using scenario-based LULUCF modelling to identify practical farm management strategies. It highlights potential barriers to and drivers for innovation in the UK agroforestry sector, including the impact of farmers’ attitudes to climate change and silvopasture, and the impacts of networks of influence, community of practice, and the current provision of extension and advisory services. Finally, it illustrates how a decision-support system tailored for the agroforestry sector can benefit farmers in their transition to silvopastoral farming systems by adopting agroecological principles.


silvopasture, carbon sequestration, land use changes, farmer engagement, decision support tools, knowledge integration, agroecological transition

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