Regional Sustainability


Scaling-up agroforestry area in various forms is a scientific path towards achieving various sustainable development goals (SDGs), especially improving livelihood, reducing poverty, conserving environment and biodiversity, and transforming climate change. In this study, the effort was made to investigate the land potentiality for agroforestry at the district level in Jharkhand State, India by applying geographic information system (GIS) modeling technology using climate (temperature and precipitation), topography (slope and elevation), ecology (percent tree cover and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI)), and social economics (poverty rate and tribal dominance) factors. The results revealed that six districts of Jharkhand State had agroforestry potential greater than 60.00%. The highest agroforestry suitability was found in Simdega District (78.20%), followed by Pakur (76.25%), West Singhbhum (72.70%), Dumka (68.84%), Sahibganj (64.63%), and Godda (63.43%) districts. Additionally, we identified 513 out of 32,620 villages of Jharkhand State potentially suitable (agroforestry suitability ≥80.00%) for agroforestry with the objective of life improvement among marginalized society. Under the outside forest area, 8.58% of the total geographical land of Jharkhand State was wasteland, much of which was found suitable for agroforestry practices. The agroforestry setups in those wastelands can absorb 637 t carbon annually in long run and can provide direct economic benefits to the locals besides additional income for carbon emission reduction. This study concluded that Jharkhand State has plenty of high potential land for agroforestry, and adoption of agroforestry at the village level must be given high priority. This study could guide the nodal authorities to prepare appropriate strategies for scaling the tree cover in agroforestry systems in village-level landscape planning which needs policy attention and investment for achieving 9 out of the 17 SDGs.

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