Associação Terra Sintrópica is located in Mértola, a town in southeastern Alentejo with a semi-arid climate and high vulnerability to desertification and climate change. It is a region with a dry climate, with high summer temperatures and one of the regions most affected by drought in all of Europe, an aspect severely aggravated by all climate scenarios. With these conditions, it is not surprising that Mértola is among the regions of Europe most susceptible to desertification. The vulnerability described above, induces severe limitations not only to agricultural activity, but also to other economic activities, such as tourism, which is affected by climatic comfort, which leads to high economic weakness that accelerates migration and depopulation. This vicious circle of resource degradation and depopulation is difficult to break. And it is with this conjecture that the Associação Terra Sintrópica was born in November 2018. Despite these climatic limitations or perhaps because of its existence, Mértola is also a territory of resilience, creativity and high social capital. Values ​​intrinsic to this association that tries to transform these weaknesses into strengths and make this territory a territory-experience for new solutions.

Projects include a Nursery and Garden of Forgotten Varieties - horticultural varieties, herbaceous perennials, fruit trees and medicinal herbs used in the territory of Al-Andalus, including native species or species that have been introduced and disseminated since the Islamic period - and Forest Gardens - promotion of vegetable gardens in schools, according to the principles of syntropic agriculture, with the aim of promoting regenerative productive practices and a greater connection between future consumers and agroecological production.

AIAF is a free and independent association open to all and currently composed mainly of agronomists or forestry technicians, operators, agricultural entrepreneurs and simple enthusiasts who see agroforestry as an opportunity to promote the rebirth of a healthier, more sustainable and liveable countryside, aware of the great planetary challenges such as climate change but careful to do their part in the area.

Climate Farmers emerged with a simple yet bold idea:

To build the infrastructure to scale regenerative agriculture in Europe. The unparalleled potential of regenerative agriculture to store carbon in the ground and restore healthy ecosystems, all while improving the livelihood of farmers must be brought to its full potential. We are developing a three-pronged approach to facilitate this transition through:
Gathering all available information on regenerative agriculture via an open community. Our experts review, qualify, and make the information available for farmers in the form of best-practices.

Making the results of regenerative agriculture measurable and accessible. Our monitoring enables farmers and third-party stakeholders to assess the positive outcomes for soils, ecosystems and climate.

To enable more farmers to take the step into regenerative agriculture, we develop financial instruments for the transition period. As a society, we must de-risk the change to regenerative practices and enable public payments for public goods.

AFAF is an platform for exchange and partnership between farmers, field tree operators, research, political decision-makers, communities, administrations ... A force for proposals at the national and international level, it works for that the tree finds its place in agricultural systems. The missions of AFAF are to: - Inform, support and advise, share, exchange experiences and knowledge between the various actors and civil society, advise project leaders, support the establishment of local structures, ensure the transfer of knowledge between research and the field. - Ensure better consideration of the tree in political schemes - Beyond ensuring regulatory monitoring, promoting agroforestry, it also means working to ensure that regulations evolve. - Participate in research projects - Ensuring that the tree gains ground through investment in innovative and international research projects. - Support the establishment of local support structures for agroforestry projects. - Establish relationships with European and international partners

The German Association for Agroforestry (DeFAF) founded in 2020 is an organisation committed to all issues related to the establishment, management, and promotion of agroforestry systems in Germany. DeFaF considers agroforestry land use as a promising and future-oriented instrument that will contribute significantly to the protection of the climate, soil, and water as well as to the promotion of biological diversity in agriculture landscape and animal welfare. In order to do so, DeFaF supports any kind of agroforestry forms used both in conventional and ecological farming. Therefore, DeFaF is open to anyone interested in agroforestry and considers itself as a point of contact for farmers interested in these practices, strengthening also knowledge transfer between practice and science. In fact, DeFaF has created a database for the agroforestry systems already existing in Germany in order to create a complete documentation and identify best-practices examples. 

Network for the exchange of experiences, knowledge, data, information and projects of the local agri-food systems of local entities, to make visible food policies with an agroecological approach, political communication towards higher scales and generation of common resources.

The aims of the Irish Agroforestry Forum are (not in order of priority) to:
a. Promote the potential and benefits of agroforestry as a multifunctional land use option that integrates trees into agricultural and horticultural systems at a range of levels and spatial orientations, to sustainably produce nutritious, wholesome food and quality timber while delivering a wide range of ecosystem services.
b. Promote, demonstrate and encourage agroforestry best practice by coordinating and organising educational and training activity focused on advisors, consultants, officials/inspectors and farmers/landowners.
c. Encourage innovative on-farm trials, transfer knowledge derived from existing trials and highlight potential areas for future research.
d. Act as a coordinated voice for those practicing and promoting agroforestry. To collate ideas and feedback and to advise and make submissions to the appropriate policy makers on the potential issues surrounding agroforestry support and measures, so to encourage the expansion of agroforestry and enhance its delivery of services.
e. Develop proposals to introduce trees onto farms towards supporting the goal of sustainable and resilient land use, while delivering a wide range of ecosystem services and public goods on the island of Ireland.

Eco Ruralis is a peasant association, which operates nationwide, with over 13,000 members in all counties of the country. The association was founded in 2009 and represents the interests and rights of farmers, small producers and people working in rural areas in Romania. The vision of the association includes the right to use (multiply, change, improve) and sell peasant seeds, the right to land and market access, as well as the right to take part in the implementation and decision-making of public policies in agriculture and food.

WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) offers people the chance to volunteer on organic farms. Volunteers (WWOOFers) provide labor to Host Farmers (Hosts) in exchange for food and accommodation. WWOOFers benefit from the experience through the process of cultural exchange as well as being able to discuss and learn how to practice organic agriculture. Host Farmers benefit through the help they receive from volunteers to sustain their farms. WWOOF is a volunteer program and no money can ever be exchanged between a host farmer and volunteer. WWOOF Romania was established in 2008 with 3 host farms and now it has grown to include 48 host farms. In 2013, Romania joined the Federation of WWOOF Organizations (FoWO), which is a global network of 40 national WWOOF organizations that promotes the organic food movement and the benefits of knowledge exchange on farms. Their role is to provide information about organic and traditional farms in Romania and facilitate collaboration between WWOOFers and Host Farmers.

Polish Agroforestry Association is a non-governmental organization, whose mission is to increase awareness of the values of trees in the agricultural landscape and to promote the practice of agroforestry across Poland. The association’s goals are to undertake, coordinate and support initiatives related to the sustainable development of rural areas and to contribute to better links between science, economy, and nature and landscape protection in Poland in the context of agroforestry systems.


Dr. Sara Burbi - Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience - Coventry University, Ryton Gardens Campus, CV8 LG, UK
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