A Planetary Health Perspective on Agroforestry in Sub-Saharan Africa

Todd S Rosenstock, Ian K Dawson, Ermias Aynekulu, Susan Chomba, Ann Degrande, Kimberly Fornace, Ramni Jamnadass, Anthony Kimaro, Roeland Kindt, Christine Lamanna, Maimbo Malesu, Kai Mausch, Stepha McMullin, Peninah Murage, Nictor Namoi, Mary Njenga, Isaac Nyoka, Ana Maria Paez Valencia, Phosiso Sola, Keith ShepherdPeter Steward

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Human activities change the structure and function of the environment with cascading impacts on human health, a concept known as “planetary health.” Agroforestry—the management of trees with crops and livestock—alters microclimates, hydrology, biogeochemistry, and biodiversity. Besides the nutritional benefits of increased fruit consumption, however, the ways agroforestry affects human health are rarely articulated. This review makes that link. We analyze the pathways through which tree-based farm and landscape change affect food and nutrition security, the spread of infectious disease, the prevalence of non-communicable diseases, and human migration in Sub-Saharan Africa. The available evidence suggests that, despite some increased risks of infectious disease, agroforestry is likely to improve a diverse range of pressing health concerns. We therefore examine the factors determining agroforestry use and identify three drivers of social and environmental change that will determine the future uptake of agroforestry in the region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-344
Number of pages15
JournalOne Earth
Issue number3
Early online date22 Nov 2019
Publication statusFirst published - 22 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes

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    Rosenstock, T. S., Dawson, I. K., Aynekulu, E., Chomba, S., Degrande, A., Fornace, K., Jamnadass, R., Kimaro, A., Kindt, R., Lamanna, C., Malesu, M., Mausch, K., McMullin, S., Murage, P., Namoi, N., Njenga, M., Nyoka, I., Paez Valencia, A. M., Sola, P., ... Steward, P. (2019). A Planetary Health Perspective on Agroforestry in Sub-Saharan Africa. One Earth, 1(3), 330-344. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oneear.2019.10.017