Contribution of Forests, Trees and Agroforestry to sustainable Food Security and Nutrition in a time of crisis

03 - 05 Jun 2020 at GLF Bonn Digital Conference 2020

The Forests, Trees and Agroforestry Research Program (FTA) of the CGIAR with its partners proudly invites you to our session at the upcoming GLF Bonn Digital Event!

Forests, trees and agroforestry provide critical contributions to Food Security and Nutrition (FSN) which are ever more important in times of crisis, such as the one we are living now. They provide nutrition dense foods such as fruits and nuts, contribute to livelihoods and to the diversification of production and sources of income, they provide ecosystem services – water regulation, soil fertility and conservation, pollination, temperature regulation – that support farming systems and contribute to their adaptation to climate change. They are an essential component of sustainable and resilient food systems, contributing to the four dimensions of food security and nutrition both for the forest-dependent communities and globally.


The session will present some of the multiple ways by which Forests, Trees and Agroforestry contribute to FSN, and examine their roles in increasing the resilience of food systems and households to ensure stability of FSN. It will feature a mix of short presentations, videos, interventions from actors on the ground, panel discussions and questions and answers with the audience.


Contributions of forests, trees and agroforestry to FSN

Although forests, trees and agroforestry make enormous contributions to FSN, these contributions are not widely appreciated. This part of the session describes some of these essential contributions and their implications. We will review some of the latest evidence from FTA and partners on such things as: how agroforestry can be used to diversify seasonal food production and improve diets in rural developing communities, how working with communities to enhance agrobiodiversity is resulting in better diets, how forests are used by many communities in different parts of the world to provide nutrient rich foods, how forests provide ecosystem services – water regulation, soil fertility and conservation, pollination, temperature regulation – that support food production, and how many of these important functions are put at risk due to deforestation. We will also hear voices from people in landscapes around the world about what some of these contributions really mean in peoples’ everyday lives.

Finally, this session will discuss with participants what, fully acknowledging these many contributions, could mean for practices and policies across a range of stakeholders.


Vincent Gitz

Director, CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA)

Amy Ickowitz

Team Leader,Sustainable Landscapes & Livelihoods

Terry Sunderland

CIFOR Senior Associate; Professor, The university of British Columbia

Prasad Hendre

AOCC Lab Manager, ICRAF

Daniel Ofori

Director/Chief Research Scientist, FORIG

Céline Termote

Scientist, Bioversity International

Leandro Castello

Associate Professor, Virginia Tech University

Mulia Nurhasan

Food and Nutrition Scientist, CIFOR

Caleb Tata Yengo


Bronwen Powell

Assistant Professor of Geography, African Studies, and Anthropology (courtesy), Penn State

Inge Brouwer

Associate Professor, Wageningen University

Stepha McMullin

Scientist, ICRAF





Forests, trees and agroforestry key to the resilience of food systems and stability of FSN

The World Food Programme is predicting famines of biblical proportions, because of Covid 19 and the impacts of the measures to address it, disruptions of value chains, economic crisis… At the same time the COVID-19 crisis has unveiled key vulnerabilities within our current food systems, locally and globally, north and south

What does the COVID 19 crisis shows us about the fragility of our food systems to global crisis? What are the factors that influence resilience of farming systems, value chains and livelihoods? And what can be the role of forests, trees and agroforestry to increase the resilience of landscapes, livelihoods and food systems to shocks and crisis?

The purpose of this part of the session is, starting from the current crisis, to nourish a broader reflection, mobilizing experts as well as testimonies and concrete experiences during previous crisis of various nature, natural disasters, economic crisis, political conflicts, in order to draw lessons that can be of use to make our food systems more resilient to current and future crisis, including climate change.

It will feature an initial discussion on the type of risks and shocks that can impact food systems and households and how forests, trees and agroforestry, essential longer-time components of those systems, can increase resilience. This discussion will be introduced by Vincent Gitz, FTA director and fed by the testimonies gathered during the pre-engagement phase as well as live (including during the first part of the session). Testimonies will be selected in order to represent a broad range of risks: natural, economic, politic, including early consequences of impacts of the covid crisis and of climate change; in a wide variety of contexts.

This initial discussion will be followed by focused discussions around particular ways by which forests, trees and agroforestry do build resilience of food systems and people. This will lead to examine what are the prerequisites and conditions to allow forests, trees and agroforestry to effectively contribute to resilience. Conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources is an essential component, including appropriate seed and seedling systems to make available the right tree for the right use in the right place. National Adaptation Plans can be a powerful instrument to increase resilience of food systems. A panel will draw from these experiences and the feed back from the audience to draw conclusions that can orient research, policy making and action on the ground.


Vincent Gitz

Director, CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA)

François Ruf

Agroeconomist, CIRAD

Clement Okia

Uganda Country Representative, ICRAF

Fergus Sinclair

Leader, Resilient Livelihood Systems, ICRAF

Alice Muchugi

Gene Bank Manager, ICRAF

Julia Wolf

Natural Resources Officer- Climate Change Adaptation, FAO

Cécile Bibiane Ndjebet

President, REFACOF

Jens-Peter Barnekow Lillesø

Senior researcher, University of Copenhagen

Eduardo Sommariba

Head of the program on Agriculture, Livestock and Agroforestry, CATIE

Lalisa Duguma

Scientist, Sustainable Landscapes & Integrated Climate Actions, ICRAF

Bas Louman

Program Manager, Tropenbos International

Ramni Jamnadass

Co- Leader, Tree Productivity and Diversity, World Agroforestry (ICRAF)

Durai Jayaraman

Director of Global Programme at the International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation (INBAR)