Graduated in Agricultural Science at the University of Palermo, Pietro Oieni is currently Director of the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies where he has been working since 2017 after being employed at the State Forestry Corps since 1987. During his career in the State Forestry Corps he had been involved in the business management of agro-zootechnical production unit; the state nature reserves; the National Park of Circeo. Along with such activities, he had been dealing with forest fires prevention both at the operational and planning level. In 2018, he moved to the Directorate of Office III of DG Forests of MIPAAF where he has been working, specifically on the forestry supply chains ranging from wood production, (inside and outside forests), to agroforestry and the forestry non-wood productions. Because of his experience in the forest fire sector, he was designated by MIPAAF within the specific inter-institutional coordination body at the National Civil Protection Department.


Agroforestry cannot be easily classified at institutional and administrative level. However, such a modern but, at the same time, ancient land use system can provide so strong environmental, productive and landscape performances that it can rightly be considered an almost infinite source of models for good agricultural and forestry practices to be promoted far beyond the current standards. Among the many types of agroforestry supported by the General Forestry Directorate of the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies (MIPAAF), there are specific commitments in favor of poplar cultivation for timber production, the cork oak cultivation and the exploitation of the rich world of forestry non-wood products. Furthermore, agroforestry provides opportunities for land use planning that, under certain conditions, can guarantee a significant prevention and containment of the increasing wildfires risk in connection to the current Climate Crisis. Such actions have been possible through recent important regulatory national interventions coordinated by MIPAAF, in strong collaboration with local administrations (Regional and Autonomous Provinces offices), for guidance, planning and implementation. Interventions of this kind go far beyond the institutional activities and were developed to make agroforestry emerge out of the niche of exclusively forestry interests. Agroforestry systems and practices have been penalized by legislative and administrative definitions and classifications making agroforestry marginal for the rural development of Italy. An effective synthesis to counteract such limits was set up by developing important objectives and actions to support agroforestry, together with many stakeholders, through a participatory approach. This was possible also by means of the TUFF, the National Forestry Strategy Consolidated text of forestry supply chains (Legislative Decree 34/2018) and involving AIAF, the Italian Agroforestry Association, concerning the agroforestry actions.
The participation at EURAF2022 will be able, on one side, to foster a confrontation with the experiences of the ministries of other countries in order to strengthen agroforestry policy at EU level and, on the other, to encourage interdisciplinary collaborations to make agroforestry a resource for rural developments, within the goals of the ecological transition, according to the recent European New Green Deal and Farm to Fork Strategy.


Tobias Plieninger is a Professor of Social-Ecological Interactions in Agricultural Systems at the University of Göttingen and the University of Kassel (Germany) and currently Vice-Dean of Research (FB11) at the University of Kassel. He is a sustainability scientist with a commitment to inter- and transdisciplinary research at the social-ecological interface. In particular, he studies rural landscape change, ecosystem services, and sustainability transformations. His research focuses on the complex relationships between agriculture, forestry, nature conservation, and other sectors of natural resource management. He received a PhD in Forest and Environmental Sciences in 2004 (University of Freiburg). Before he held positions at the University of Copenhagen and the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. He is Lead Author in the IPBES Transformative Change Assessment and Associate Editor of “Landscape and Urban Planning”, “People and Nature”, and “Sustainability Science”. Plieninger is co-editor of three academic books: “The Science and Practice of Landscape Stewardship“ (Cambridge University Press), “European Wood-Pastures in Transition“ (Routledge), and “Resilience and the Cultural Landscape“ (Cambridge University Press). In 2019, 2020, and 2021 he was recognized as a Highly Cited Researcher by Clarivate/Web of Science. Twitter: @PlieningerLab. Blog:


A social-ecological agenda for agroforestry in the Mediterranean region
Agroforestry is at the nexus between agriculture, forestry, nature conservation, and other sectors. It is increasingly recognised as a key strategy for implementing the UN-Sustainable Development Goals across the world’s production landscapes and attracts substantial interest from a diversity of scientific disciplines and practice and policy fields. However, a major challenge – whether in science, policy, or practice – is to merge this large number of disciplines and fields into an integrated systems perspective that is crucial for enabling agroforestry to contribute to multiple Sustainable Development Goals. Over the past 20 years, social-ecological systems has developed as a vibrant research area, advancing the understanding of the interlinked dynamics of environmental and societal change. Using case examples from the Mediterranean region, this keynote will highlight the usefulness of social-ecological research approaches to better understanding agroforestry as a system. Firstly, the presentation will highlight how a historical perspective on the origin and development of agroforestry systems over time can improve understanding of their future trajectories. Secondly, research on social-ecological values can elicit how agroforestry provides ecosystem services that are meaningful to the well-being of a diverse range of beneficiaries, and which trade-offs may arise between different values and beneficiaries. Thirdly, the presentation will explore the role of products, value chains, and social-ecological innovations in supporting the sustainability of agroforestry systems. The paper concludes by proposing six key steps to strengthen social-ecological agroforestry research and to capitalize on agroforestry for sustainable landscape management: (i) moving towards an “agroforestry sustainability science”; (ii) understanding local land-use trajectories, histories, and traditions; (iii) upscaling agroforestry for landscape-scale benefits; (iv) promoting the multiple economic, environmental, social, and cultural values of agroforestry; (v) fostering inclusive forms of landscape governance; and (vi) supporting the innovation process of agroforestry system analysis and design.


Marie Gosme got her PhD at INRA Rennes on spatio-temporal modelling of soil-borne plant diseases and subsequently worked on epidemiological and evolutionary models at the University of Cambridge, UK. She joined the Agronomy team at INRA Grignon to work on population dynamics of insects and pathogens at the landscape scale, taking into account the spatial configuration of cropping systems and non-crop habitats. She now works at INRAE Montpellier, in the ABsys research unit, studying agroforestry systems and more specifically the effect of trees on crop growth, development and yield in current and future climate. She is the coordinator of a recently accepted horizon Europe project on using digital tools to help agroforestry meet climate, biodiversity and farming sustainability goals.


Industrial agriculture considers and manages agricultural production as an industrial process which must be rationalized, simplified and optimized for production, leading to a number of societal and environmental problems. Agroecology, as a science of complex systems and as a set of practices relying on biodiversity, changes this agricultural paradigm. Agroforestry is a good example of agroecological practices because it relies on plant diversification, in terms of species diversity and most importantly in terms of functional diversity, it promotes associated biodiversity and produces a number of ecosystem services. However, the increased complexity of agroforestry systems compared to monocrops make it more difficult to understand the functioning of these systems, to design such systems and assess their performances. My research objectives are to produce knowledge and tools that can help researchers as well as farmers to overcome such difficulties designing sustainable and resilient agroforestry systems that will both produce and benefit from ecosystem services.


Teresa Pinto-Correia is a geographer, Professor at the University of Évora, with a record of publications on the dynamics of silvo-pastoral systems and the processes of change in European rural landscapes at multiple scales. She has long worked with Mediterranean land use systems and their management. Teresa research aims to provide novel conceptualization and evidence of the uniqueness and complexity of transition processes affecting Mediterranean rural landscapes today, as well as the validation of specific management models out of maintstream path-dependency and towars novel sustainability solutions. Director of MED ( where a systemic and interdisciplinary research is applied to Mediterranean agriculture and environment. Vice-Chair of the Mission Board on Soil Health and Food, from Horizon Europe.


Research and Innovation towards the sustainable development of silvopastoral systems
Silvo-pastoral systems of Iberia, Montado and Dehesa, and around the Mediterranean basin, are paradigmatic examples of European and world silvopastoral systems. They occupy in total 4 M hectares of generally considered marginal land and unlike many other of Europe’s silvopastoral systems, they persist. They include a large variability in soils and morphology, as well as in structure and composition, e.g. tree density, vertical vegetation structure and state of conservation. In the long term, these systems have shown to be highly resilient to the impact of extreme natural or socio-economic phenomena and long term changes in the agricultural and forestry sectors. They can be a source of knowledge to be applicable to current (and future) silvopastoral territories in other regions across the world.
However, the preservation of silvopastoral systems is increasingly threatened by the effects of global economic forces and socio-cultural changes. Agricultural intensification and specialization are increasingly driven by external financial interests and global market forces, and consequently the patterns of farm ownership, employment and production are changing at an unprecedented scale. These changes affect also the territorial capital.
In face of these pressures, finding new pathways for the farming strategies and practices is highly challenging. In the case of silvopastoral systems, besides their inherent qualities and the trends they are subject to, there are now also new societal demands as they can provide multiple ecosystem services and public goods. This demand increases the complexity of their management, as new actors and expectations need to be integrated. Surprisingly, the social and institutional drivers of the changes taking place and also the possible solutions for launching a sustainability transition, remain almost unseen, by science and by decision makers at different governance scales. The existing scientific literature on Dehesa/Montado pays little attention to its social dimension. While there is already a tradition of scientific research on the ecology and productive capacity of silvopastoral systems, texts on the social fabric of these systems are very limited.
There is an issue of governance, as learning how to live with uncertainty and finding new governance mechanisms and institutional arrangements to deal with the present and future challenges can be a pathway to improved resilience. Innovation requires the integration of the multiple actors which have a stake and an impact on the Montado and Dehesas. Governance mechanisms can foster innovation and facilitate the processes of transition towards sustainability that need to occur.