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Forests, Ecosystem Services and Food Security


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A presentation by Terry Sunderland on 9 December 2016 at Forest and Agriculture Day, CBD COP13, Cancun, Mexico.

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Forests, Ecosystem Services and Food Security

  1. 1. FORESTS, ECOSYSTEM SERVICES AND FOOD SECURITY Terry Sunderland, Principal Scientist & Team Leader, Sustainable Landscapes and Food Systems Forest and Agriculture Day, CBD COP 13 Cancun, 9th December 2016
  2. 2. RE-DEFINING FORESTRY: FUNDAMENTALS FOR ACHIEVING THE SDG’S  Food, nutrition and health  Water, energy and housing  Livelihoods and employment  Climate change adaptation and mitigation  Biodiversity conservation  Resilience and safety nets  To environmental and economic external shocks
  3. 3. CONTEXT From the CIFOR Strategy 2015-2025: • Integration of diverse communities of practice in the sustainable landscapes debate: to be achieved by reconciling the principles of multi-functionality with the practice of managing sustainable landscapes for forestry, food security and nutrition and other benefits. • Increased policy recognition of the need to better integrate the forestry and agricultural sectors: to be achieved by using the landscape approach as the convening factor (c.f. simultaneous yet separate declarations on forestry and agriculture).
  4. 4. FORESTS IN LANDSCAPES • One billion+ people rely on forest products for consumption and income in some way (Agrawal et al. 2013) • 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%-80% 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 (Foli et al. 2014)
  5. 5. THE ORIGIN OF THE “LANDSCAPE APPROACH” 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010 - present 1980s: Integrated Rural Development 1998: Integrated Natural Resource Management (INRM) 1985 onwards: Integrated Conservation & Development projects (ICDPs) Contributing Sciences: Ecosystem Management Landscape Ecology Island biogeography Conservation rooted frameworks e.g. “Ecosystem Approach” 1992: “Landscape Approach” first documented (Barrett 1992) Last decade: (Integrated) Landscape Approach frameworks
  6. 6. EMBRACING THE LANDSCAPE APPROACH – INTEGRATED SOLUTIONS FOR PEOPLE ACROSS SECTORS “Despite some barriers to implementation, a landscape approach has considerable potential to meet social and environmental objectives at local scales while aiding national commitments to addressing ongoing global challenges.” Reed et al. 2016, Global Change Biology.
  7. 7. OPERATIONALISING THE LANDSCAPE APPROACH: HOW? THEORY PRACTICE E.g. Ten principles Real integration Local stakeholders Conservation: WCS, CI Development: USAID LESTARI Private sector: e.g. APP, APRIL Government: e.g. Ministry of Env. & Forestry
  9. 9. FORESTS AND FOOD SECURITY: THE EVIDENCE Seasonality Off-farm income Agriculture
  10. 10. “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. 2011
  11. 11. “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. 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
  12. 12. "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
  13. 13. “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
  14. 14. FORESTS SUSTAINING AGRICULTURE How does landscape configuration maximise the provision of these goods and services for both sustainable forestry and food production? Water regulation Climate regulation Pollination Pest control Foli et al. 2014; Reed et al. forthcoming
  15. 15. GENDER ISSUES “There is strong and clear evidence of the importance of including women in forest management groups for better resource governance and conservation outcomes”. Leisher et al. 2016 “Women and children collect a diverse range of nutritious plant based forest foods while men are primarily responsible for animal protein sources”. Sunderland et al. 2014
  16. 16. IUFRO GLOBAL FOREST EXPERT PANEL REPORT - 2015 “The assessment report provides comprehensive scientific evidence on how forests, trees and landscapes can be – and must be - an integral part of the solution to the global problem of food security and nutrition”.
  17. 17. 2017: LAUNCH OF HLPE REPORT • Much of the recent work on forests and food security has influenced the drafting of the HLPE Report: “Sustainable forestry for food security and nutrition” for the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) • At e-consultation stage, many individuals, civil society and governments provided formal review and feedback: e.g. Russian Federation, Australia, Brazil, Nigeria, India, US & the Netherlands • Report will be released in June 2017 and then officially launched at CFS Annual Congress in October • Probably greatest opportunity to get forests and food security and nutrition onto global food security agenda and policy arena
  18. 18. KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE: SHARING THE EVIDENCE • IUFRO: Getting the forestry community to understand the importance of forest manangement for food security and nutrition • CFS: Getting the nutrition and food security community to understand the role of forests for food security and nutrition • Participation at both forestry and food/nutrition conferences and events over the last 4-5 years
  20. 20. THANK YOU @TCHSunderland