New manual promotes trees on farms

16 December 2016

A recently published manual on good rural practices (Manual de buenas practicas rurales) will assist farmers to increase the productivity of their fields and grazing lands by using trees to produce woodfuel, fruits and fodder, stabilize soils, store carbon, assist water infiltration, and generate other benefits. The manual, in Spanish, is a product of ITTO project RED-PD 045/11 Rev.2 (M), which aimed at a quantitative assessment of the goods and services provided by the various types of tropical forests and coastal forests (mangrove forests, tropical flood forests, rain forests and scrub forests on dunes), on the coastal plains of Veracruz in the Gulf of Mexico. These practices aim to contribute to sustainable forest management and to the valuation of coastal forests with similar conditions throughout the Gulf of Mexico and the Mexican Pacific Region.

The manual, edited by Sergio Guevara and his colleagues at Instituto de Ecología, A.C. (INECOL), describes environmentally friendly practices such as live fences, growing trees to produce fodder and shade for livestock and medicines and foods for people; the conservation of trees and other vegetation along rivers and streams to ensure high-quality water; and the use of trees as habitat for pollinizers and for wildlife that spread native seeds and thus help conserve biodiversity. In its final chapter, the manual presents an ideal layout for a 2-hectare paddock for maximizing environmental and economic benefits. 
ITTO project RED-PD 045/11 Rev.2 (M) has also released a comic book, Tiempos de cambio (“Times of change”), in Spanish, the aim of which is to raise awareness among communities about the importance of conserving ecosystems and the benefits and positive impacts that such conservation can bring to their daily lives, including in mitigating the adverse impacts of climate change.
The manual on good rural practices is the seventh book produced by ITTO project RED-PD 045/11 Rev.2 (M). Other works, including papers in scientific journals, post-graduate theses, posters, leaflets and calendars, are available via ITTO’s project search function, and several videos are posted on ITTO’s YouTube channel.