Agroforestry in Southeast Asia: bridging the forestry–agriculture divide for sustainable development

The national leaders who adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and subsequently signed the Paris Climate Accord agreed to an integrated approach across many now-separate policy domains. Partial solutions that cause larger problems elsewhere are no longer acceptable. In the land-use sector, the separate histories and institutions for agriculture and forestry work against integration. Agroforestry can help as integrating concept to bridge the sectors in a unified landscape perspective.

ASEAN Member States have an opportunity to use the SDGs, climate-policy articulation and the new strategic thrust of ASEAN’s Food, Agriculture and Forestry sector to create a more level playing field. By integrating agriculture and forestry as land uses, focus can shift to function over form in achieving multifunctional tree cover, and helping adaptation, mitigation and ecosystem services.