Be the first to like this
Around one billion people rely to some degree on wild harvested products for food and income, the direct contribution of forests to diets is considerable and often crucial, if often hidden from urban and official eyes. This direct food contribution adds not only considerable calories but also much needed protein and micronutrients to the diets of local populations as well as additional income for buying food. But the contributions forests make to food production may be far more important than data on direct provisioning suggest. The role of forests and their contribution to agricultural productivity is frequently mentioned, but better evidence is clearly needed. The value of ecosystem services to agriculture (including regulation of water flow and quality, pollination services, the tempering of climate change, and other crucial services) has largely been overlooked by policy-makers and businesses. Also little explored is the extent and impact of managing “natural” forests for food and other important products including the fuelwood used for food preparation. The spectrum of forest management for food, ranges from subtle alterations of the abundance of fruit-bearing trees, animals, and other species to the management of forests by creating forest gaps for swidden agriculture. These practices are rarely recognized, little understood, often criminalized.