Agroforestry is often discussed as a strategy that can be used both for the adaptation to and
the mitigation of climate change e ects. The climate of southern Africa is predicted to be severely
a ected by such changes. With agriculture noted as the continent’s largest economic sector, issues
such as food security and land degradation are in the forefront. In the light of such concerns we
review the current literature to investigate if agroforestry systems (AFS) are a suitable response to the
challenges besetting traditional agricultural caused by a changing climate. The benefits bestowed by
AFS are multiple, o ering ecosystem services, influence over crop production and positive impacts on
rural livelihoods through provisioning and income generation. Nevertheless, knowledge gaps remain.
We identify outstanding questions requiring further investigation such as the interplay between trees
and crops and their combination, with a discussion of potential benefits. Furthermore, we identify
deficiencies in the institutional and policy frameworks that underlie the adoption and stimulus of
AFS in the southern African region. We uphold the concept that AFS remains an appropriate and
sustainable response for an increased resilience against a changing climate in southern Africa for the
benefit of livelihoods and multiple environmental values.