Forest Conservation Efforts – NFP, Western Ghats, etc.

Silvopasture Systems for Local Climate Resilience


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Silvopasture

Mains level: Read the attached story


Central Idea

  • Amidst the global decline of natural resources and forests, silvopasture systems emerge as a relevant solution to counter deforestation trends.

What is Silvopasture?

  • Silvopasture is a sustainable land management practice that integrates trees, forage crops, and livestock grazing on the same parcel of land.
  • The term “silvopasture” is derived from the Latin words “silva” (forest) and “pastura” (pasture), emphasizing the combination of forestry and pasture practices.
  • In this system, carefully selected trees or tree species are planted or retained on grazing lands or pastures.
  • The trees can be scattered throughout the pasture, arranged in rows, or established as windbreaks and hedgerows.
  • Livestock, such as cattle, sheep, or goats, graze freely within the area, utilizing the available forage while benefiting from the shade and other advantages provided by the trees.

Advantages offered

Enhanced Climate Resilience
  • Silvopasture systems regulate local climate conditions, buffering against temperature and wind extremes.
  • Trees provides shade and reduces heat stress for livestock and other animals, promoting a more favorable living environment.
Carbon Sequestration
  • Trees act as natural carbon sinks, sequestering significant amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
  • Such systems can store 5-10 times more carbon than pastures without trees, contributing to greenhouse gas mitigation and combating climate change.
Soil Enrichment
  • Extensive root systems of trees within silvopasture plots contribute to nutrient cycling, improved soil stability, and enhanced soil quality.
  • Effectively combats erosion, making the soil more resilient and fertile.
Improved Microclimatic Conditions
  • Foster milder microclimatic conditions compared to open pastures.
  • Livestock experience reduced heat stress due to the shading provided by trees, leading to improved animal welfare.
Biodiversity Conservation
  • Promotes habitat diversity, creating a suitable environment for a variety of plant and animal species.
  • Provides a sustainable habitat for native wildlife, contributing to biodiversity conservation.
Sustainable Land Use
  • By integrating trees with livestock grazing, silvopasture supports sustainable land management.
  • Allows for livestock farming while preserving and restoring forested areas, offering a practical solution to deforestation trends.
Water Storage and Infiltration
  • Enhance water storage potential by improving soil infiltration rates.
  • Presence of trees helps retain water, reducing runoff and contributing to water conservation.
Economic Benefits
  • Improved farm income through increased productivity and reduced input costs.
  • Integration of multiple elements on the same land optimizes resource use and enhances overall farm profitability.


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