| Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability (1993) |
|2 Pacific Island agroforestry: Functional and utilitarian diversity|
Existing models and the need for appropriate innovation
How can agroforestry be encouraged so that the many advantages of tree-rich agro-ecosystems are more widely realized? How can an arborocultural strategy be maintained or intensified? We suggested earlier that functioning models have long existed within the Pacific, and that these should provide the region with the basis for modern interventions and the further evolution of agroforestry systems. Modified forms have developed with urbanization and some forms of commercial agriculture. A few of the possible models are described in the case-studies in the following chapters.
Although there will remain a continuing need for innovation and for the modification of existing agroforestry systems, it should be remembered that the existing systems have never been static; they are the product of constant evolution and selection over centuries or millennia and are evidence of the continued willingness of Pacific Island agroforesters to make rational decisions to adapt their systems to changing conditions and technologies. Because the existing systems are largely endogenous, rather than imposed in accord with the beliefs of urban-based governments or aid-funding agencies, the incremental improvement of existing systems - as by the introduction of appropriate new species, varieties, and technologies - offers a strong, locallybased means of promoting sustainable development in the small-island states of the Pacific Ocean.