Dr. Lutgarda L. Tolentino, Chair of the Philippine Agroforestry Education and Research Network (PAFERN), was among the 123 oral presentors during the International Congress and Annual Meeting of the International Society of Southeast Asian Agricultural Sciences (ISSAAS) held on February 23-27, 2009 at the Emerald Hotel, Ratchadapisek Road, Bangkok, Thailand.
Her paper entitled “Multifunctionality of Agroforestry: Is It Real or Just An Imagination”, highlighted the features of the four agroforestry models in the Philippines documented by PAFERN research team in 2008. The models include: a) Fruit Tree-Based Multistorey System in Laguna, Luzon Island; b) Cutflower-based Multistorey System in Laguna, Luzon Island; c) Alley Cropping System in Cebu, Visayas Island; and, d) Integrated/Complex Agroforestry System in Compostela Valley, Mindanao Island.
The paper revealed the multifunctionality of the models in terms of (1) helping address the socioeconomic needs of the farmers and community members; (2) serving as a land use management system for rehabilitating degraded lands; (3) as a strategy for enhancing biodiversity conservation; and (4) showing potentials for carbon sequestration.
The paper is the result of PAFERN’s research project entitled “Characterization and Assessment of Different Agroforestry Models in the Philippines” funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) through the SEANAFE. This study was undertaken to characterize the different agroforestry models in the Philippines, and assess their social, economic and environmental impacts to the farmers, and the farming community, as a whole.