Mapping Cocoa and Coffee Agroforestry Systems Globally
The United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is aiming to restore degraded ecosystems for the benefit of the planet and people. Restoring 350 million ha of degraded land by 2030 could capture 13-26 giga tons of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. The value of the generated ecosystem services has been estimated to be 9 trillion USD. One of the eight target restoration ecosystems are farmlands.
Agroforestry systems have been heralded to be important contributors to restore farmlands. The benefits for climate, biodiversity, and livelihoods from cocoa and coffee agroforestry systems are becoming well understood. But a major research gap remains to quantify the benefits of these agroforestry systems on a global scale while capturing all the variability between the systems: a global map of cocoa and coffee agroforestry systems.
There is no such map, because until recently distinguishing between cocoa and coffee agroforestry and primary forest has been deemed impossible. However, recent advances in spatially explicit machine learning techniques, very high resolution remote sensing data, and many groundtruthed sites make the success of such a project much more likely.
The Global Agroforestry Network is collaborating with the Crowther Lab to try the impossible: use currently 50,000 sites to map cocoa and coffee agroforestry systems globally.
How you can help
Our preliminary data call was very successful: 50,000 cocoa and coffee agroforestry sites from Mexico, Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Ghana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, India and Indonesia. But for accurate and global predictions of where cocoa and coffee agroforestry systems are located we need more.
If you work on cocoa and/or coffee agroforestry systems and you have spatial information (ideally polygons but simply data points will also work) on these sites, you could be part of this global project. Fill in this Google Form and we will most likely be able to include your data in the global mapping initiative.
What is in it for you, you ask? 1) you will co-author the resulting publication that is using the data to map cocoa and coffee agroforestry systems globally. 2) you will contribute to the first global cocoa and coffee agroforestry map that can inform policy decisions at the highest level - so, do research with impact. 3) you will be a collaborator of the Global Agroforestry Network and significantly expand your own network in the agroforestry community.
Thomas Cherico Wanger
Professor - Westlake University, China