Food security and nutrition: The role of forests


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The presentation of Terry Sunderland, Principal Scientist within the Forests and Livelihoods Programme at CIFOR, at IIED's Biodiversity Team's seminar Natural Resource Management - Forests, Food Security & Nutrition, and Why Gender Matters, on 8 April 2014.

The presentation, Food security and nutrition: The role of forests, makes the case for a paradigm shift, away from one that emphasises the trade-offs between food security and conservation, to one that acknowledges the essential contributions that forests and trees make to the sustainability of nutritionally balanced food and agriculture systems of the world.

More information on IIED's work on forests:

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Food security and nutrition: The role of forests

  1. 1. THINKING beyond the canopy Forests, trees and agroforestry: What role in food security and nutrition? Terry Sunderland IIED, London 8th April 2014
  2. 2. THINKING beyond the canopy Forests Trees and Agroforestry: Conceptual framework
  3. 3. THINKING beyond the canopy Themes Smallholder   produc.on   systems  and   markets   Management   and   conserva.on   of  forests  and   trees   Landscape   management,   biodiversity   conserva.on,   ecosystem   services  and   livelihoods   Climate   change   adapta.on   and   Impacts  of   trade  and   investment   Intermediate  Development  Outcomes  (IDOs)   System  Level  Outcomes  (SLOs)   Theme 1 Theme 2 Theme 3 Theme 4 Theme 5 Cross-cutting themes: Gender Communications Sentinel Landscapes Monitoring, Evaluation and Impact Assessment
  4. 4. THINKING beyond the canopy Forests, food security and nutrition •  One billion+ people rely on forest products for nutrition and income in some way (Agrawal et al 2013) •  One fifth of rural income derived from the environment (Wunder et al 2014) •  Wild harvested meat provides 30-50% of protein intake for many rural communities (Nasi et al 2011) •  80% of world’s population rely on biodiversity for primary health care (IUCN 2013) •  40% of global food production comes from diverse small-holder agricultural systems in multi-functional landscapes (FAO 2010) •  Long tradition of managing forests for food (IUFRO 2013) •  Forests sustaining agriculture: ecosystem services provision (CIFOR forthcoming)
  5. 5. THINKING beyond the canopy CIFOR’s food security research •  Rooted in historical research on NTFPs / landscapes •  Funded projects •  Publications •  Conference attendance and scientific dissemination •  Blogs and media coverage •  Close collaboration with range of partners •  Emerging team of in-house specialists
  6. 6. THINKING beyond the canopy Hypothesis: Trees and Forests are important for dietary quality & diversity § Collection of nutritious NTFPs § Farming mosaics may promote more diverse diets § Agroforestry and fruit production § Ecosystem services of forests for agriculture § Availability of fuel wood § Provision of ‘back up’ foods for lean season = safety nets
  7. 7. THINKING beyond the canopy Is there evidence? §  Several recent papers discussing some of these plausible links (Colfer et al., 2005; Vinceti et al., 2008; Arnold et al., 2011), but few data to support §  Recent paper by Johnson et al. (2013) finds that net forest loss is associated with reduced dietary diversity in Malawi §  The bigger picture?  
  8. 8. THINKING beyond the canopy •  Study using DHS data from 21 countries integrated with GIS data on % tree cover to estimate the relationship between tree cover and child nutrition indicators •  CIFOR project collecting dietary intake information from mothers and children in study sites in five African countries Testing the hypothesis
  9. 9. THINKING beyond the canopy We Integrate: •  Nutrition data from Demographic Health Surveys with •  % tree cover data from GLCF (2003 and 2010 MODIS data at 250 m resolution) (as well as other sources for other controls) investigate whether there is a statistically significant relationship between indicators of dietary quality and tree cover Study using USAID’s DHS data
  10. 10. THINKING beyond the canopy Sample: about 93,000 children between ages 13 and 59 months in over 9,500 communities (21 countries )
  11. 11. THINKING beyond the canopy •  3 Dependent Variables: DDS; Fruit & Vegetable consn; Animal Source Food consn •  Independent Variables: Ø  % Tree Cover and % Tree Cover2 Ø  Mother’s education Ø  Father’s education Ø  Wealth Index Ø  Rural Dummy Ø  Child age & age2 & age3 Ø  Distance to Rd Ø  Distance to closest city of 10,000 Ø  Aridity Index Ø  Elevation Ø  Sex of child Ø  Currently breastfeeding Ø  Month of interview Ø  Country dummy Regressions
  12. 12. THINKING beyond the canopy •  There is a statistically significant positive relationship between % tree cover and Dietary Diversity •  Fruit and Vegetable Consumption first increases and then decreases with tree cover (peak tree cover is ca. 45%) •  There is no statistically significant relationship between tree cover and Animal Source Foods Results
  13. 13. THINKING beyond the canopy •  The results of the DHS study give an indication that there are interesting relationships, but are far from offering an explanation •  DHS data are coarse •  The GIS data don’t tell us the kinds of trees/forests •  Data can’t explain WHY children in areas with more trees have more diverse diets •  Country level regressions give heterogenous results •  So…. So what?
  14. 14. THINKING beyond the canopy Publications & dissemination 2013 •  Discussion Paper: summary of CIFOR’s strategy and approach •  Three expert papers for FAO in advance of Food Security Conference (May) •  Paper on relationship between tree cover and nutrition in Africa (Global Environmental Change) •  Special issue Unasylva •  CIFOR blogs, social media, Reuters, Voice of America radio, Mongabay & other media coverage D I S C U S S I O N P A P E R Food security and nutrition The role of forests Terry Sunderland Bronwen Powell Amy Ickowitz Samson Foli Miguel Pinedo-Vasquez Robert Nasi Christine Padoch
  15. 15. THINKING beyond the canopy Forests and trees outside forests are essential for global food security and nutrition Summary of the International Conference on Forests for Food Security and Nutrition FAO headquarters, Rome, Italy, 13–15 May 2013 Influencing the agenda?
  16. 16. THINKING beyond the canopy Forests, food security & nutrition projects •  The new agrarian change? Land sparing and land sharing in (Sentinel) landscapes (DfID/USAID) •  Nutrition and trees in Sub-Saharan Africa: a comparative regional analysis (DfID/USAID) •  Agro-industrial expansion and impacts of the food security of forest dependent livelihoods (DfID) •  Nutritional and ecological benefits of forest and tree cover on vegetable collection, production and consumption in semi-arid areas: Ethiopia and Burkina Faso (ADA) •  Systematic review: Forests sustaining agriculture - the contribution of forest-based ecosystem services to agricultural production (DfID) •  Integrated Research in Development to improve Livelihoods in Northern Province, Zambia (Irish Aid, with World Fish) •  Ca. US$2.5 million project portfolio p.a.
  17. 17. THINKING beyond the canopy New approaches for integrating agriculture and NRM at the landscape scale? •  “Eco-agriculture” (Scherr and McNeely 2006) •  “Agroecology is complimentary to conventional agriculture and needs scaling up” (United Nations 2011) •  “New agriculture needed…” (UNDP 2011) •  “Agro-ecological approach” (World Bank 2011) •  “Integrated management of biodiversity for food and agriculture” (FAO 2011)
  18. 18. THINKING beyond the canopy THINKING beyond the canopy The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) is one of the 15 centres supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Thank you!