Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability
|Collections||ANU Resources, Environment & Development Group (RE&D)|
|Title:||Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability|
|Author(s):||Thaman, Randolph R|
Manner, Harley I
Decker, Bryce G
|Publisher:||United Nations University Press|
|Series/Report no.:||Asia-Pacific Environment Monographs (APEM)|
The replacement of forest with human domesticates figures as one of the most ancient relationships between humanity and the environment. What is new is the rate and scale at which forests are being cleared to make way for agriculture. With the possibility looming of a total loss of tropical forests, there is now a lively interest in making the place where farming and forests meet more harmonious. Agroforestry - which, simply expressed, might be understood to refer to farming with trees rather than without - represents a powerful harmonizer between the two competitors. This book describes the diverse traditional agroforestry systems that have evolved over thousands of years in the Pacific islands. Based on extensive field observations and a wide range of published sources, this study of the agroforestry systems and their hundreds of component trees - including detailed data on 100 of the most useful trees in the Pacific - of Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia shows how these systems and their component trees have contributed environmental stability and profound utilitarian value to Pacific Island societies for millennia and thus argues convincingly for the wisdom of protecting and using the existing systems and trees in current forestry, agricultural, and agroforestry development projects, rather than replacing them with introduced systems and plants or allowing them to deteriorate because of commercial pressures or ignorance. As the most comprehensive single source on agroforestry to date, this book will be a must for scholars as well as development agents, planners, aid officials, and foresters.
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