Can the wood produced from agroforests qualify for "green certification," i.e. grown according to accepted principles of sustainable management? How might certification affect the operation of an agroforestry practice? Can the use of agroforestry practices help forestland owners become certified? These are some of the issues explored in the following survey of the interactions between sustainable forest management, certification and temperate agroforestry.
Quebec City, Canada has been chosen as the site for the 10th North American Agroforestry Conference in 2007. The AFTA Board of Directors gave preliminary approval to the proposal submitted by Alain Olivier of the Departement de phytologie to host the conference at a special meeting in early December. This will be the third time the biennial conference series has been held in Canada (after Guelph, 1989, and Regina, 2001).
The AFTA Board of Directors has approved a proposal from the Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Agricultural Management (CINRAM) at the University of Minnesota to host the 9th North American Agroforestry Conference in 2005. Preliminary plans are to hold the meeting in Rochester, MN in June. The conference theme will be "Generating Economic and Environmental Benefits from Agroforestry Systems." Although CINRAM will take the lead, the Southwest Badger RC&D in Wisconsin will be working closely with CINRAM to plan and carry out the event.
In the works for over a year, the new and updated AFTA website debuts in January, 2004. The web design and transition to a new domain (aftaweb.org) was made possible in part by a grant from the Allen P. and Josephine B. Green Foundation to support our Agroforestry Outreach Initiative.
Through the new website, AFTA aims to bring agroforestry information to a much wider audience than in the past. The Web is the most cost-effective way for a small nonprofit organization like AFTA to broadcast our "message" to those interested in agroforestry both in North America and around the world. We're expanding both the depth and reach of information provided to both the public and our members.
In short, our aim is to create and maintain a comprehensive and up-to-date resource of information on temperate agroforestry in North America.
Although this column is customarily reserved for the "President's Message," I have once again usurped the space until our current President, Jim Lassoie, returns later this month from his sabbatical in China. Unlike "Lake Wobegon," the last quarter has not been a quiet one for AFTA.
I have been busy working behind the scenes on the almost total make-over of the AFTA website, our public face to the world. If you're reading this online, you will have found our new home at www.aftaweb.org.
We invite you to click through and explore the new and revised content. Personally, I expect the site to be constantly "under construction;" it is a work in progress that will never be completely "finished." Our aim is to create an information resource that you will want to bookmark and revisit over and over again to read up-to-date news from the world of temperate agroforestry.