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The right to food? Protected areas, access and food security

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Presented by Terry Sunderland at Society for Ethnobiology Conference, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, 9th May 2019

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The right to food? Protected areas, access and food security

  1. 1. The right to food? Protected areas, access and food security Terry Sunderland Society for Ethnobiology Conference University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada 9th May 2019
  2. 2. Context • Recent years have seen the development of discourse on the contributions of forests to dietary diversity and nutrition • Compelling and comprehensive evidence-base has emerged • Policy environment has recommended better access to wild foods should be promoted • But how does this sit with conservation implementation, or, more specifically, expansion and management of protected areas?
  3. 3. Forests and livelihoods: What do we know? • 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%-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)
  4. 4. “We show that Indigenous Peoples manage, or have tenure rights, over at least 38 million km2. This represents over a quarter of the world’s land surface and intersects with about 40% of all terrestrial protected areas and ecologically intact landscapes”.
  5. 5. Source: Sunderland et al. 2013. Evidence-based conservation in the Lower Mekong. Routledge.
  6. 6. Forests and food security
  7. 7. “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. 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
  8. 8. "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
  9. 9. “This research adds to the growing body of evidence that forests and forest-based ecosystems are associated with dietary quality and nutrition…”
  10. 10. Policy recommendations: • “Enhance the role of forests in environmental processes at all scales without compromising the right to adequate food of forest- dependent people” • “Recognize and respect land and natural resource tenure and use rights over forests and trees for food security and nutrition”
  11. 11. The right to food: Enshrined in global discourse • 1941 - U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt includes right to food one of the freedoms: “The freedom from want.” • 1948 - Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognises the right to food as part of the right to an adequate standard of living: • 1966 - The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, reiterates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with regard to be free from hunger. • 1974 - Adoption of the Universal Declaration on the Eradication of Hunger and Malnutrition at the World Food Conference. • 1996 - The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) organises the 1996 World Food Summit in Rome, resulting in the Rome Declaration on World Food Security. • 2007 - UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) • 2009 - Adoption of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, making the right to food justiciable at the international level.
  12. 12. Conservation Initiative on Human Rights ”Common principles” • Respect human rights • Protect the environment • Promote human rights within conservation programmes • Encourage good governance
  13. 13. Arbitrary arrest of people exerting their customary rights is a daily occurrence, but the age of social media means such incidents now have a global resonance….. This particular Tweet went semi-viral. Aside from the obvious, what’s wrong with this image???
  14. 14. "One of the problems is in the way the eco-guards are being trained. They are not being taught to distinguish between poachers and the Baka. When an eco-guard comes across an indigenous person, they assume he is a poacher. The eco-guard searches them, confiscates their game, takes their tools; sometimes they beat them. There are concerns that Pygmies are abandoning their semi- nomadic lifestyle "at alarming rates" because they are afraid to enter the forest”. John Nelson, Forest People’s Programme quoted by Cultural Survival (2016)
  15. 15. “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
  16. 16. "The likelihood of being poor was reduced in households living near multiple-use PAs (IUCN categories V and VI, ~1/3 of all PAs in our database), as compared to similar households living further than 10 km from a PA. This suggests that multiple-use PAs lead to improved environmental conditions experienced by nearby households and that their accessibility—unlike categories I to IV PAs—then allows people to benefit from a greater abundance of useful plants and animals via harvest and sales at markets, resulting in income that can be spent on household assets. Last, tourism alone did not improve children’s health outcomes; improvements were seen only in combination with proximity to multiple-use PAs."
  17. 17. Moving forward? • Protected areas are not (often) isolated, but part of broader multi-functional landscapes • If conservation is rooted solely in restricted access PA’s, rights will continue to be compromised, food security outcomes remain uncertain • Integrated approaches to sustainable land management and economic development: de- coupling sectorial approaches • “Landscapes that work for biodiversity and people” (Kremen & Merenlender. 2018. Science)
  18. 18. “The note provides an overview of existing guidance and guidelines which could complement existing decisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity, including a rationale for addressing the landscape perspective in land-use planning; multilateral efforts to improve sustainable use of biodiversity at the landscape level”.
  19. 19. Pristine wilderness??
  20. 20. terry.sunderland@ubc.ca @TCHSunderland Contribute: New journal: Frontiers in Forests and Global Change: Forests and People: https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/forests-and-global-change/sections/people-and- forests

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