23 September 2021 | Reading 9 mins.

Agroforestry: The age-old future of Europe’s agriculture

Pines and vines at Restinclieres, France.

Photo: AGFORWARD

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Patrick Worms
Senior Science Policy Advisor, World Agroforestry Centre

Patrick Worms, Senior Science Policy Advisor, World Agroforestry Centre

A history on the forgotten but enduring practice of agroforestry and the role it can play in shaping the future of Europe’s sustainable agriculture.

In 2019, just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the application of Big Data to archaeology revealed hitherto unsuspected insights into the extraordinarily long time we humans have been impacting our planet.

We all remember the story we were told at school: about seven or eight thousand years before the birth of Christ, Neolithic people started domesticating cereals and some animals, in what is today the Middle East, and this agricultural revolution then spread around the world. What ArcheoGLOBE, an online platform for assessing past human impacts, revealed, was something that some paleobotanists and paleoclimatologists had begun to suspect: not only was the story far more complicated than that, but it was also far more inspiring.

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