Food Security and Nutrition, the Role of Forests | Nutrition & Health |

17 May 2013, CIFOR -- With a growing global population, much of the current discourse on food security is focussed on increasing and expanding agricultural production. Much of this expansion is speculated to be at the expense of natural systems. ...

Forests and tree-based agricultural systems contribute directly and indirectly to the livelihoods of an estimated one billion people globally. Wild foods are important for food security and nutrition while trees and forests are vital for their role in the provision of ecosystem services to agriculture. The alarming expansion of large-scale industrial production systems in tropical regions threaten the contributions of forests and tree-based agriculture systems to food security, diets and nutrition in the tropical regions of the world in particular may threaten the potential contributions of forests to the food security, diets and nutrition of a growing world population.


The role of forests in supporting human food security and nutrition remain largely under-researched and understood. With food security and nutrition high on the agenda in many political and scientific spheres, it is crucial to understand the contribution of forests and trees to a food secure and nutrition-sensitive future. This improved understanding will be essential for building on synergies and minimizing trade-offs between biodiversity conservation and sustainable agriculture in order to feed an estimated global population of nine billion people by 2050. 

....We [CIFOR] believe that forests, biodiversity conservation and agro-ecology should feature prominently in political and scientific discourse on agricultural production and the concomitant challenge of sustainable forest management. Greater attention to the direct and indirect benefits of forest in food security, livelihoods and nutrition should enhance local and global efforts to end hunger and improve the nutrition of communities living in forested areas as well as those living in areas removed from forests..