Forests, food sources for humankind

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International efforts to address food insecurity must pay more attention to the role forests play in food production, say a panel of scientists.

A report by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), a body convened by the United Nations, says forests should be considered also as food sources, not only areas for conservation. The concerns of people living in or near forests should be included in the final version of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), one of which currently focuses on ending hunger and promoting sustainable agriculture.

Sustainable development depends on the maintenance of healthy forests and the services they provide.

– Dominic White, United Kingdom branch of WWF

The report’s main emphasis is to recognise the complementary role of forests to agriculture and morevoer promote the awareness that we already depend on forests for supplementing conventional agriculture.

Governments own around 80% of global forests, but management rights are increasingly being transferred to indigenous communities. The authors say that ensuring local people have access to forest resources is vital to helping them sustain an appropriate diet.


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