Investment in small-scale farmers ‘could have big payoff’ in the fight against climate change, poverty


aceh_0531When small-scale farmers and producers of forest products band together, they can help rural economies grow, and they constitute a critical but often unrecognized line of defense against global problems such as deforestation and climate change, according to new research. With dozens of case studies from around the world, a pair of reports released Monday at the World Forestry Congress in Durban, South Africa, seeks to show that the world’s 1.3 billion small-scale agriculturalists and foresters, including indigenous groups and local communities, are economically and ecologically influential. The reports recommend investment in them as part of the solution to rural poverty, loss of forest, and rising carbon levels in our atmosphere.