February / 2024

Our proposal is submitted. Fingers crossed from here. So many plans and ideas 🙂

Optimising And Scaling agroforestry for Increasing climate risk reSilience in degraded rural agricultural landscapes (OASIS).

This builds on our work in the Agrisys Tanzania and Correstor projects, teaming up with brilliant complementary experts in Europe and Africa.

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Agrisys Tanzania – In Arusha. December 2023

Agrisys Tanzania team Eleanor Moore (PhD candidate, climate change mitigation and adaptation through trees), Sheena Davis (PhD candidate: riparian restoration for birds and people), Will Ovenden (PhD candidate: soils, sugarcane growth and climate) and Marion (head of group) travelled to Arusha to present at the Tawiri Annual Meeting.

Beside the team building exercise pictured above, we presented the findings from our research on tree restoration from a biophysical, biodiversity, social and governance viewpoint.

The presentation by Marion: Link here

And the associated paper detailing key arguments: Link here.

Eleanor’s slides: Link here.

And Will’s poster: Link here.

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Agroforestry in Northumberland

Actions to increase tree cover in the North East of England

‘We have a proud and diverse farming community that already demonstrates a growing interest in agroforestry as one tool to be integrated into the management of their farm’

Catch up on our ‘Agroforestry in Northumberland’ project working with farmers to understand what constitutes agroforestry and how ideas for integrating trees into the farm business could be aligned with government incentives offered to promote increase in tree cover in the region.

Press release: Agroforestry – Press Office – Newcastle University (ncl.ac.uk) and policy brief document:

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We won – Established Career Academic Award

Engagement and Place Awards – Who we Are – Newcastle University (ncl.ac.uk)

E&P Awards 2022

Thank you to Newcastle University for allowing us to present our work in the Kilombero Valley and for recognising the innovative collaboration between us and our partners, bringing value to the social, cultural and economic wellbeing in our study landscape.

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Learn about sister project CORRESTOR.

The CORRESTOR project – How it started | CORRESTOR (ncl.ac.uk)

In this project, we work with partners in the study landscape to understand the evidence base used in decision-making for the restoration process for wildlife corridors. Is the evidence base effective? exhaustive?

Funded by the Science for Nature and People Partnership SNAPP Team, we are currently co-creating interdisciplinary evidence that can inform tree restoration in agricultural landscapes in a way that balances the needs of people with the ecological targets of the restoration. Specifically, CORRESTOR aims to

  1. Synthesize data to map benefits and drawbacks from wildlife corridor restoration projects in the agricultural landscape, evaluate conflict tolerance and identify mitigation solutions
  2. Use the evidence to answer questions on what tree species to plant to benefit wildlife and people, and how to manage corridors for ecological and human well-being
  3. Work with farmers (small-holder and industry), government and the conservation sector to co-develop guidance for practice and policy contexts, to guide natural wildlife corridor restoration
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Project update 4

Our systems approach framework has been finalised and published (Frontiers | A Framework to Assess Forest-Agricultural Landscape Management for Socioecological Well-Being Outcomes (frontiersin.org)).

We have translated above conceptualisation into a method framework for data collection and analysis, running a first analysis for evaluating outcomes of restoration interventions for wellbeing indicators and biodiversity indicators (Pfeifer et al. In Press).

The next step will involve the integration of soil data and microclimate data as well as analysis of networks of species interactions to gain further insights into the ecological components of the system. We will use a Structural Equation Model and Bayesian Belief Network to link ecological pathways and social pathways (focus group discussions and emergent narratives).

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Project update 3

And we also just completed the workshops with the government of Tanzania, at District Level. Discussing how trees can (and perhaps cannot) be integrated into the farmed landscape in the Northern Kilombero Valley. This is the first time that we trialled a half virtual approach relying heavily on our skilled team in Tanzania to facilitate the in person tasks, discussing outcomes during panel sessions.

Next? Lots of work to do to follow up on the insights and knowledge gained. And integrate this into our systems model.

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Project update 2

We wanted to know how farmers think about their farms and the management of these farms. Do trees feature in their needs and priorities? If not: why not? If so, which tree species would they want? Where would they want to plant them? On the farm? Along the boundary? Somewhere else?

To find out, Dr Susannah Sallu (Leeds University), Miss Eleanor Moore (PhD candidate in the TROPS lab), Margherita Lala (Leeds University) and Sergio (postdoc on the Agrisys project) set out to plan and organise workshops in our study landscape. Workshops focussing on small- and large -holder farmers and their visions for the futures of the farmed landscape.

These workshops are completed, followed up by focussed interviews. The data are currently being processed by the team. Watch this space.

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Project update 1

The last months have been super busy for the Agrisys Tanzania team. The good news: we have finally completed the data collection in our ecological plots (totalling 142 now).

That also means we have to be super fast processing all data before the project funding runs out officially. Jennifer MacFarlane will help us (as short term research assistant) to process thermal and vegetation greenness scans of vegetation taken on the ground. Chess Ridley will help us (as short term research assistant) to analyse policy documents from the agricultural sector, forestry sector, land management sector and environmental sector to analyse them for ‘conflict’, ‘trade-offs’, ‘biodiversity values’, ‘human wellbeing values’ and ‘food security values’.

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Plans for 2021

We are preparing for our workshops working with small-holder farmers in the Agrisys Tanzania landscape to identify pathways for tree restoration interventions on the farm, around the farms and elsewhere in the landscape. Target time: June 2021. Co-led by Eleanor Moore, Margherita Lala and Susannah Sallu. We are also trialling a remote approach, employing local experts, relying on the continued amazing support of Co-I Deo Shirima and hoping for good internet connection.

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