Priorities, Perspectives and Use of a Community Forest and Homegarden Composition of Surrounding Residents in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico
Fields of Interest:
Afgroforestry, homegardens, climate change, biodiversity, food security, food sovereignty,
In the face of land degradation and fragmentation, climate change and increasing development pressure on the Earth’s terrestrial ecosystems, agroforestry systems have the potential of reconciling land management for production for food and timber with services that comprise carbon sequestration, biodiversity conservation, and climate change mitigation. One such system that is common among smallholders is the homegarden. Homegardens are small production systems high in crop diversity that are meant primarily for the personal consumption of members in a household. They are an integral part of food security and sovereignty for people and, on occasion, a source a household income. Besides these benefits, residential yards, including in cities, have been found to hold a high number of plant species, have high plant heterogeneity and provide ecosystem services that could contribute to urban sustainability.
This project will take part in the Río Hondo Barrio in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico; a community that comprises smallholders that surround a community-managed forest approximately 27.5 hectares in size. The purpose of this study is to provide a record of the interests of the smallholders in the management of this community forest while simultaneously exploring the role played by the small-holder homegardens in local plant diversity and food security among other uses of household plants.