Silvopasture and Livestock Management

In the pastures of Colombia, cows, crops and timber coexist

Background

This paper highlights the experience of cattle rancher in southwestern Colombia who has actively pursued an alternate style of ranching that, instead of deforesting the land, incorporates trees and shrubs into the pastures. The ranchers practice is largely informed by agroforestry principles. This paper reviews the benefits of this alternative practice and examines the public-private partnerships that make it possible. 

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A Strategy for Scaling-Up Intensive Silvopastoral Systems in Colombia

Background

In Latin America cattle ranching is extensive and is often cultural, yet the dominant practice usually involves low denisty ranching in bare environments. These systems have emerged largely due to policies that politically and economicaly encourage the practice. Conducted in Colombia, this study explores the role of an alternative practice, intensive silvopastoral systems (ISPS) in landscape-scale restoration and addresses the barriers that would prevent a practice shift and the scaling-up of ISPS in Colombia. 

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Sustainable ranching and restoring forests in agricultural landscapes, Panama

Background

Conventional cattle ranching in Panama has led to significant ecological issues, including loss of biodiversity, soil degradation, decreased ecosystem services, and more. This article highlights the experiences of Asociación de Productores Pecuarios y Agro-silvopastoriles de Pedasí (APASPE), a local cattle ranching association pioneering sustainable cattle ranching techniques, along with the capacity building and financial support provided by the Environmental Leadership and Training Initiatives (ELTI) based at Yale University. 

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Increasing local capacities in rural Panama

Background 

While Panama continues to have high levels of biodiversity, the country loss large swaths of forest between 1950 to 2000 primarily due to the expansion and intensification of cattle ranching. Drawing from their work with local ranchers, the authors review the emergence of cattle ranching in Panama along with potential solutions and unique approaches to halting these trends.

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Livestock and Deforestation Central America in the 1980s and 1990s: A Policy Perspective

Background

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Silvopastoral Systems and their Contribution to Improved Resource Use and Sustainable Development Goals: Evidence from Latin America

Background

Of the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations in 2015, livestock can contribute to the majority of them. Specifically, silvopastoral systems, which integrate cattle intensification and natural processes, is often promoted to achieve the joint economic, social, and environmental focus of the SDGs. Using three established silvopastoral systems in Latin American (Argentina, Mexico, and Colombia) as case-studies, this paper applies an analytical framework in order to determine the systems productivity and the socio-economic benefits. 

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Riparian forest recovery following a decade of cattle exclusion in the Colombian Andes

Background

Throughout Latin America, intensive silvopastoral systems (SPS) have been promoted in the face of large-scale international challenges in order to foster forest restoration and deliver key ecological and economical services. These systems increase cattle production on certain lands while removing cattle from other marginal areas with the aim to restore. While there has been extensive acknowledgement of the value of remnant riparian forests, there has been limited studies have examined how these forest recover on abandoned agricultural lands. This study seeks to fill that gap.  

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Partnering with cattle ranchers for forest landscape restoration

Background

In order to address land degradation due to agricultural expansion and intensification throughout Latin America, silvopastoral systems are being promoted as a forest landscape restoration (FLR) approach. Yet, the success of these strategies rely on ranchers voluntary participation and full adoption at a regional scale. The author recognizes a knowledge gap in regards to why ranchers are driven to adopt silvopastoral systems and thus seeks to understand this issue through the examination of a cast study in Colombia. 

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Native trees and shrubs for the productive rehabilitation of tropical cattle ranching lands

Background

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. 

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Carbon Sequestration in Pastures, Silvo-Pastoral Systems and Forests in Four Regions of the Latin American Tropics

background

77% of agricultural land in the tropical Americas is used for pasture (including silvo-pasture and Argo-silvo-pasture), making carbon stocks in this land type an important consideration. This paper presents three-year research results on the evaluation of soil carbon stocks (SCS) in long-established pasture and silvo-pastoral systems (10-16 years under commercial production), native forests and degraded land in four regions of tropical Americas.

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