An EU-wide conference on agroforestry will take place in Italy this month to address the role of agroforestry in the European Green Deal.

The European Agroforestry Federation (EURAF) has announced that the sixth annual European Agroforestry Conference 2022 will be held in the city of Nuoro, on the island of Sardinia, from May 16 to May 20.

The conference is part of a cycle of biennial events ran by EURAF.

The theme – or “mission” – of this year’s conference is ‘Agroforestry for the Green Deal Transition’, which the EURAF says is part of “the ambitious European manifesto towards the development of an advanced, carbon neutral and circular economy”.

“Agroforestry has a fundamental role in supporting the European Green Deal, representing the integration of agricultural and forestry practices, supporting the inclusion of trees in the fields or the integrated management of forests and livestock,” the organisers said.

They argue that agroforestry can contribute to support policies aimed at preserving already existing forests; appropriately implementing trees in farming systems; and involving local communities and stakeholders.

The conference will be attended by researchers, students and agroforestry professionals.

The location of this year’s conference is significant, as it will partially focus on the traditional agroforestry systems of southern Europe, specifically systems in the Mediterranean.

The announcement of the conference comes in the same week that a new international report argued that investment in forestry on a global level should increase fourfold by 2050.

The 2022 State of the World’s Forests Report said that forests have potential to help mitigate climate change, but only if further investment is provided.

The report, which was launched this week at the World Forestry Congress, outlines three “pathways” for investment to be targeted: maintaining existing forests; restoring degraded land and expanding agroforestry; and using forests products sustainably.

“Total financing for the forest pathways needs to increase threefold by 2030 and fourfold by 2050, for the world to meet climate, biodiversity and land-degradation neutrality targets,” the report claims.

According to the report, the estimated required finance for forest establishment and management alone could amount to $203 billion/year (€192 billion/year at the current exchange rate) globally by 2050.