Native trees and shrubs for the productive rehabilitation of tropical cattle ranching lands
Latin America, much like the rest of the rest of the world, has experienced significant deforestation rates. In this region, the primary driver has been large-scale land conversion to unsustainable uses, like industrial cattle ranching and agriculture. This article recognizes the deep-rootedness of cattle in Latin American economies and cultures, yet stresses the need to shift the paradigm by adopting intensive silvopastoral systems (ISS) that utilize native species.
Goals & Methods
The aim of this study is to offer a new perspective on the importance of shifting the cattle ranching paradigm in Latin Aerica along with exploring the various pay-offs this shift can offer at various levels. It does so by drawing on the progress of research and adaption of ISS in Colombia and Mexico. The analysis focuses on primarily on costs and production of these novel cattle ranching systems compared to traditional ones.
Conclusions & Takeaways
In response to a recent call to halt subsidizing beef production in Latin America, the authors propose a more realistic alternative of ISS that can both contribute to land rehabilitation and allow the continuation of cattle ranching and culture. They offer four main lessons to take into consideration when proposing ISS. The authors conclude that the general structure of ISS can also be adopted in other systems across the tropics.
Native trees and shrubs for the productive rehabilitation of tropical cattle ranching lands. Forest Ecology and Management. 2011;261:1654–1663. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2010.09.027..
- CIPAV – Centro para la Investigación en Sistemas Sostenibles de Producción Agropecuaria, Cali, Colombia
- Environmental Leadership & Training Initiative, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, New Haven, CT, USA
- Fundación Produce Michoacán, Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico