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Sustainable Forestry for Food Security and Nutrition: FTA for better food systems and improved nutrition: Needs of Stakeholders and priorities for research
Food Security and Nutrition
FTA for better food systems and
Needs of Stakeholders and
priorities for research
3rd July 2019
Forests and livelihoods: the evidence
• One billion+ people rely on forest products for
consumption and income in some way (Agrawal et
• Safety-net during times of food and income
insecurity (Wunder et al. 2014)
• Wild harvested meat and freshwater fish provides
30-80% of protein intake for many rural
communities (Nasi et al. 2011; McIntyre et al. 2016)
• 75% of world’s population rely on biodiversity for
primary health care (WHO, 2003)
• 40%-60% of global food production comes from
diverse smallholder agricultural systems in complex
landscapes (FAO 2011; IFAD 2016)
• Long tradition of managing forests for food – e.g.
shifting cultivation (van Vliet et al. 2011)
• Forests sustaining agriculture through ecosystem
services provision (Reed et al. 2017)
Three categories of forest-dependent people can be
• Forest dwellers, including indigenous peoples,
who depend primarily on forest for their FSN and
• Rural people living in or at the margins of forest
• People engaged in forest related economic
activities, whether formal or informal.
Worldwide, 1 to 1.7 billion people are estimated to
Direct provision of food
Although forest foods represent only 0.6 percent of
global food energy supply:
• Nutrient-rich forest foods make an important
contribution to dietary diversity and quality,
• Bushmeat, fish and insects are an important
source of protein and other nutrients in many
countries, not only in rural but also in urban area.
• 4.6 Mt of bushmeat are extracted annually from the Congo
Basin and 1.3 Mt from Amazonia.
• In Madagascar, loss of access to wild bushmeat would
result in a 29 % increase in the number of children with
Forests and food security:
the missing pieces?
Provision of woodfuel
Globally, woodfuel represent 6 percent of the total
primary energy supply (27 percent in Africa).
2.4 billion people rely on woodfuel for cooking. In
Africa, two-thirds of the households use woodfuel
as their main fuel for cooking.
764 million people use woodfuel to boil and sterilize
2.5 million people die each year due to the effects
of long-term smoke inhalation.
In 2011, the gross value added in the formal forest
sector represented USD 606 billion (0.9 percent of
the global GDP).
When including the informal sector, this figures
increases to almost USD 730 billion, including:
• USD 88 billion for NWFPs collection, and
• USD 33 billion for construction and energy.
Payments for Environmental Services (PES)
represents an estimated USD 2.4 billion.
Employment in the formal sector
In 2011, worldwide, the formal forest sector
employed 13.2 million people.
An estimated 40-60 million people are employed in
the informal forestry sector,
Including at least 41 million people engaged full
time in woodfuel production
Available data suggest that women:
• play a lesser role in the formal forest sector and
in informal activities that generate income,
• and are largely confined to the collection of forest
products for subsistence use.
More gender-disaggregated data are needed to
• the gender repartition of roles in forest activities,
• and the gender distribution of benefits from
forests at the household level.
Forests and trees deliver numerous ecosystem
services essential for agriculture and FSN in the
long term, including:
• Water regulation (quantity, quality),
• Soil formation, protection and nutrient circulation,
• Biodiversity (forests host the major part of
• Pollination and pest control,
• Climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Forests sustaining agriculture
How does landscape configuration maximise the provision of
these goods and services for both forestry and food
Contributions to resilience
Forests and trees play a crucial role to strengthen
resilience of food systems, and ecosystems to
climate change, natural disasters or economic
They act as a safety net in period of scarcity or
conflicts, contributing to a diversification of sources
of food and income.
These additional sources of food and income can
be particularly important for the more vulnerable
Contrasted evolutions (1990-2015)
• Decrease in primary forests in the tropics (62
million ha) and subtropics (6 million ha).
• Growing importance of planted forests in
terms of surface (from 4 to 7 percent of total
forest area) and production (46.3 percent of
• Important potential for forest and landscape
restoration: more than 2 billion ha worldwide
Increasing and competing demands
• Increasing demand for food due to population
growth (9.7 billion in 2050) and changing
• Demand for wood and fibre is expected to
double by 2030. (planted forests could represent
69 percent of wood production by 2050).
• Increased recognition of the protection roles of
forests (for biodiversity, soil and water) and of
their recreational, spiritual and cultural value.
This creates new challenges and opportunities.
climate change and FSN
• Signs of climate stress are already apparent
• Healthy forests could play a crucial role to
strengthen ecosystem and forest-dependent
people’s resilience to climate change.
• Forest mitigation potential could reach nearly 14
GtCO2 eq/year through reduced deforestation and
improved forest management.
• Following the Paris Agreement, most countries
have integrated forestry in their national
determined contributions (NDCs).
Ways forward: SFM for FSN
Enabling conditions to SFM for FSN :
• Preserve permanent forest land and develop
appropriate forest management plans.
• Promote an integrated landscape approach
moving beyond the debate on land sparing vs.
• Ensure full and effective participation of relevant
stakeholders in forest policies and forest
• Adopt a rights-based approach.
“Forests are a major repository of
food and other resources that
play a crucial role in food security.
In addition, maintaining diversity
in agricultural production
systems leads to increased
resilience to shocks particularly in
the context of a changing
climate”. Editorial: Arnold et al.
“Our main findings can be summarized as follows: there is a statistically significant
positive relationship between tree cover and dietary diversity; fruit and vegetable
consumption increases with tree cover until a peak of 45% tree cover and then
declines; and there is no relationship between animal source food consumption and
tree cover. Overall our findings suggest that children in Africa who live in areas
with more tree cover have more diverse and nutritious diets”. Ickowitz et al., 2014
“The relationship between biodiversity and nutrition, suggests that we need to pay
close attention to the potential of integrated approaches. We must also seek to
understand what the implications are for policy and what the messages to policy
makers should be. Primarily, it suggests there is a need for more systems and multi-
sectorial approaches to address the contemporary concurrent challenges of
sustainable food systems that include forestry, conservation, agriculture, food
security and nutrition”. Powell et al., 2015
“Areas of swidden/agroforestry, natural forest, timber and agricultural tree crop
plantations were all associated with more frequent consumption of food groups
rich in micronutrients. The swidden/agroforestry land class was the landscape
associated with more frequent consumption of the largest number of
micronutrient rich food groups. Swidden cultivation in is often viewed as a
backward practice that is an impediment to food security in Indonesia and
destructive of the environment. If further research corroborates that swidden
farming actually results in better nutrition than the practices that replace it,
Indonesian policy makers may need to reconsider their views on this land use”.
Ickowitz et al., 2016
“This research adds to the growing body of evidence
that forests and forest-based ecosystems are
associated with dietary quality and nutrition…”
"Our findings suggest that deforestation and land use change may have unforeseen
consequences on the quality of local people’s diets. A better understanding of the
contribution of forest foods to local diets is needed to understand the true impact
that the loss of forests may have for nutrition in the face of agricultural expansion.
If indeed forests substantially contribute to dietary quality in some areas as the
results here imply, forest loss may result in unforeseen, adverse consequences on
nutrition for local people." Rowland et al. 2016