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Having your forests and eating them too: Why trees are good for you!!


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The future sustainability of agriculture.

Presented by Terry Sunderland

Published in: Environment
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Having your forests and eating them too: Why trees are good for you!!

  1. 1. Having your forests and eating them too: Why trees are good for you!! Terry Sunderland NERD NIGHT! Jakarta, 14th January 2015
  2. 2. What makes a nerd? If you thought these were funny, you are also somewhat nerdy!
  3. 3. Ups and downs of a forestry researcher
  4. 4. THINKING beyond the canopy Forests, biodiversity & agriculture  Agriculture began around 12,000 years ago  Approx. 7,000 plant species and several thousand animal species historically used for human nutrition and health  Since 1900, global trend towards diet simplification  Today, 12 plant crops and 14 animal species provide 98% of world’s food needs  Wheat, rice and maize: provide more than 50% of global calories
  5. 5. THINKING beyond the canopy Effects of diet simplification FeastFamine  More than 800 million people are under- nourished and 200 million children are under-weight  More than 1 billion people are classified as “hungry”  Yet 1 billion people are obese  Greater incidence of Type II diabetes among urban dwellers  Vulnerability to catastrophic events: climate- related, pests and diseases, market forces  40% of all food grown is wasted  IN SHORT: OUR GLOBAL FOOD SYSTEM IS HOMOGENISED, INEFFICIENT AND BROKEN!!!
  6. 6. THINKING beyond the canopy
  7. 7. THINKING beyond the canopy The future of food?
  8. 8. THINKING beyond the canopy And here’s what happens when our food system is really broken
  9. 9. THINKING beyond the canopy Forests: they’re also important  One billion+ people rely on forest products for nutrition and income in some way  One fifth of rural income derived from the environment  Wild harvested meat provides 30-50% of protein intake for many rural communities  75% of world’s population rely on biodiversity for primary health care  60% of global food production comes from diverse small-holder agricultural systems  Long tradition of managing forests for food
  10. 10. THINKING beyond the canopy So what do forests give us?
  11. 11. THINKING beyond the canopy Forests and nutrition  Recent research from Africa has shown there is a strong relationship between tree cover and dietary diversity  That same relationship holds for Indonesia  But it is more complex given the “Indomie-isation” of rural societies
  12. 12. THINKING beyond the canopy How did we evolve with forest foods and medicines? Cassava Your turn to try this one
  13. 13. THINKING beyond the canopy One (really) cool example of a forest product I’ve worked with Oh no, it’s happened again
  14. 14. THINKING beyond the canopy The world is changing... rapidly A “typical person” “consumes” 2.1 ha/year of the Earth’s resources Seven billion people consume more than 14.7 billion ha/year Current global capacity is 11 billion ha/year = ecological deficit: We consume more than 1.3 “Earth’s” a year!!!
  15. 15. THINKING beyond the canopy Indonesia is no exception
  16. 16. THINKING beyond the canopy Climate change is going to happen in our lifetime! We will all be experiencing novel climates by 2050 Aged 47 in 2015 Aged 82 in 2050 (yikes!)
  17. 17. THINKING beyond the canopy Be nice to the Canadians, the Russians, the Chinese and the folks from Northern Europe (especially the Brits) as they’re going to feed the World in the future!
  18. 18. THINKING beyond the canopy Challenges of future sustainable development  Population growth  Gender inequity  Climate change  Food inequity  Globalisation and over-consumption  Continued forest and biodiversity loss
  19. 19. THINKING beyond the canopy But it’s not all bad! (Honest!)  New Sustainable Development Goals post-2015 include specific inclusion of forests  New York Declarations on Forestry and Agriculture – 2014  Zero deforestation commitments by industry  “Landscape approaches” taking centre stage in current development dialogues
  20. 20. THINKING beyond the canopy @TCHSunderland Thus we need nerds like us!!!!