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Forests and Nutrition in Indonesia

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Finding links between child nutrition and the proximity of children to dense forests.

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Forests and Nutrition in Indonesia

  1. 1. Forests and Nutrition in Indonesia Amy Ickowitz, Dominic Rowland, Bronwen Powell, Mohammad Salim, Terry Sunderland SCB Asia Melaka, August 2014
  2. 2. • Prevalence of stunting in children under 5: • 29% of Indonesian households have a caloric intake below RDA • About 30% of Indonesians are stunted • Poor dietary quality • About 40% of Indonesians suffer from one or more micronutrient deficiencies , the most common : • iron, vitamin A, zinc and iodine • The average Indonesian consumes 102 kg of rice per year with very low quantities of vegetables, fruits and animal source foods (BPS 2008) Food Security and Nutrition in Indonesia
  3. 3. • Discussions on forests vs. food security • Implicitly about calories • But if focus is on dietary quality… • consumption of micronutrient-rich foods (fruits & veg and animal source foods) • Then it is possible that forests actually make a contribution to food security Forests and Food Security
  4. 4. Why might forests and tree-filled landscapes be important for dietary quality?  Collection of nutritious NTFPs  Farming mosaics may promote more diverse diets  Agro-forestry and fruit production  Ecosystem services of forests for agriculture  Availability of fuel wood  May provide ‘back up’ foods for lean season
  5. 5.  Several papers discuss some of these plausible links (Colfer et al., 2005; Vinceti et al., 2008; Arnold et al., 2011), but little empirical evidence  Johnson et al. (2013) finds that net forest loss associated with less dietary diversity in Malawi  Recent paper by CIFOR food security team finds that there is a positive relationship between tree cover and child dietary diversity in a sample of 21 countries in Africa Is there evidence?
  6. 6. • Children living near forests in Indonesia have better quality diets than children living in other rural areas because • They have access to micronutrient-rich forest foods (wild fruits, vegetables, bushmeat) • More likely to practice shifting cultivation and/or agroforestry which more likely to offer greater variety of foods Hypothesis
  7. 7. • Also likely to be income poor and have less market access • So possible that others can afford to buy more, nutritious foods in markets • Are micronutrient-rich foods readily available in rural markets? • Can the relatively poor afford them? • Do they choose to buy them? But…
  8. 8. We merge • Indonesian Demographic Health Survey (DHS) data from 2003 • Frequency child ate from various food groups in the last 7 days with • GLCF MODIS data (250 m resolution) on percentage tree cover & MOF data on vegetation classes • Along with several other variables from various data sets • We run several regressions to see if there is a statistically significant relationship between frequency of consumption of various foods and tree cover Testing the hypothesis
  9. 9. • Number of times in the last 7 days child (between 1 and r5 years old) ate: • Vitamin A rich fruits • Vitamin A rich vegetables • Green leafy vegetables • Other fruits and vegetables • Animal Source Foods • Legumes • Dairy • We restrict sample to rural areas and only one observation per mother Dependent Variables
  10. 10. Independent Variables % Tree Cover Child characteristics  Age  Age squared  Currently breastfeeding  sex Household Characteristics  Wealth index  Mother’s education  Father’s education  Muslim Community Characteristics  % 5km band overlapping with palm oil concession  Distance to coast  Distance to city  Aridity  Elevation
  11. 11. Sample: about 3300 children between ages 6 and 59 months in 25 provinces across Indonesia
  12. 12. Main Results Natural Forest: Statistically significant positive relationship between area of community in natural forest and frequency of consumption of: • Animal Source Foods
  13. 13. Area with medium tree density positively associated with frequency of consumption of: • Vitamin A rich fruit • Green vegetables • ‘other’ fruits and veg • Animal source foods Areas with timber plantations positively associated with frequency of consumption of: • Vitamin A rich fruit • Orange veg • Other fruits and veg • legumes Other Results
  14. 14.  There is no statistically significant association between areas under agricultural plantation and consumption of micronutrient rich foods Another interesting result
  15. 15.  Children in areas with more natural forest consume animals source foods more frequently  Children living in areas with more timber plantations consumed fruits, vegetables, and legumes more frequently  Children living in areas with more land area in medium- tree cover class characteristic of swidden agriculture and agroforestry appear to have the most micronutrient-rich diets;  Children living in areas with more area in agricultural plantation did not have any nutritional advantage Conclusions
  16. 16.  We have found preliminary support for the hypothesis that forests and tree-filled landscapes are important for nutrition in Indonesia  We need more detailed and fine-grained data to help us understand how and why children in areas with more tree cover in Indonesia consume fruits and animal source foods more frequently • But we think we have enough evidence to say that discussions of forests vs. food security need to become more nuanced and consider dietary quality Conclusions
  17. 17. THINKING beyond the canopy Thank you!

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