Patrick specialises in Agroforestry, the ancient practice of combining trees in agricultural landscapes, a simple and cost-effective solution that helps smallholders farmers multiply their yields and may hold the key to restoring a third of the planet's abandoned farms and feed a growing population in a warming world.
While human-caused environmental change is typically seen as a 20th-century or industrial-era phenomenon, advances in archaeology have exposed the extraordinary impact humans have had over our planet's past and future.
Countering the pristine earth myth, Patrick describes how ten thousand years ago, the Southwestern Amazonia comprised approximately 4,700 artificial forest islands within a treeless, seasonally flooded savannah.
On a recent visit to Niger, he witnessed how local farmers have used the legendary nitrogen-fixing Faidherbia Albida tree to transform 10 million hectares of the Sahara and established the world's most extensive human-managed parklands and highly productive farmland.
He also offers advice to farmers considering agroforestry and young people seeking a career in agriculture and conservation.
To learn more about Agroforestry, please visit them.
Recommended reading: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2162-7