Climate Change Impacts, Agroforestry Adaptation and Policy Environment in Sri Lanka


Despite its low emissions of greenhouse gasses (GHGs), Sri Lanka is considered as a vulnerable small island nation under climate change. Agroforestry, which uniquely integrates trees into land use systems, has historically contributed to climate change adaptation in Sri Lanka. Hence, the promotion of agroforestry practices is vitally important to enhance the resiliency of the country to future climate change. This paper reviews the literature and discusses the adverse impacts of climate change on agriculture and forestry, the effects of adapting agroforestry on climate changes, and important policies for promoting agroforestry adaptation in Sri Lanka. The adverse impacts of climate change on agriculture and forestry are identified as follows: endangerment of natural assets; prevalence of pests, diseases and invasive species; agriculture and forest damage; and high levels of food insecurity. The adaptation of agroforestry impacts climate change by increasing the tree cover outside forests, enhancing forest carbon stocks, conserving biodiversity, reducing risks and damage intensity, maintaining health and vitality, and scaling up multiple benefits. Changing regulations and legislation, developing awareness and capacity, planning for climate-smart agroforest landscapes, offering no-regret options and implementing climate change adjustment programs are discussed as important policy measures. It is concluded that agroforestry, along with favourable policy, has an important role in climate change adaptation by enhancing resilience to climate impacts on farming systems.

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De Zoysa, M. and Inoue, M. (2014) Climate Change Impacts, Agroforestry Adaptation and Policy Environment in Sri Lanka. Open Journal of Forestry, 4, 439-456. doi: 10.4236/ojf.2014.45049.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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