Key to understanding the discussion around Natural Climate Solutions is understanding the terms commonly-used in scientific studies, policy briefs and other literature. This glossary is compiled from a variety of sources, including government agencies and non-profit organizations, to provide plain-English definitions of these terms. Links to the original sources are provided after each definition. In some cases, terms were edited for clarity.

Alley Cropping

Alley Cropping is the cultivation of crops in the alleys between regularly spaced rows of trees or shrubs. (Savanna Institute)

Forest Farming

Forest Farming is the cultivation of specialty crops under existing forest canopies. (Savanna Institute)

Riparian Buffers

Riparian Buffers are strips of permanent vegetation alongside a stream, lake, or wetland. (Savanna Institute)


Silvopasture is the intentional integration of trees, pasture and livestock managed as a single system. (Savanna Institute)


Windbreaks are stripes of trees and shrubs designed to enhance crop or livestock production while providing conservation benefits. (Savanna Institute)