Forest, trees and agroforestry: Better livelihoods and ecosystem services from multifunctional landscapes

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Scientific community is concerned to address contemporary issues of food production and conserve tropical forests that support the livelihoods of millions of people. A review of the literature on deforestation, forest utilization, and landscape management for ecosystem services was conducted to investigate the effect on peoples' livelihoods and the sustainability of forests in Bangladesh as a case. Results reveal that the current rate of deforestation is at 0.3% per annum meaning that, with current trends, in two decades little or no forest cover will exist in Bangladesh making the livelihoods of millions of people who depend on forest resources extremely vulnerable. We ask; can better implementation of forest policies and landscape management contribute to curb the current level of deforestation? Agroforestry systems in particular are a promising strategy to sustainably deliver food, nutritional and income security, ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation across the landscape. However, for agroforestry to become a viable livelihood venture that simultaneously delivers all these benefits, a mixture of economic and institutional support from the state is needed instead of market driven approaches or project based interventions.

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