Contribution of forests and trees to food security and nutrition

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Key messages

  • Forests, trees and agroforestry play a key, often undervalued, role to support food security and nutrition (FSN), in its four dimensions (availability, access, utilization and stability).
  • Forests, trees and agroforestry provide: (i) diverse and nutritious foods (such as nuts, oils, vegetables – leaves, flowers, roots –, fruits, bushmeat, fish, herbs, saps, mushrooms, tubers and insects), and feed for livestock; (ii) bioenergy for cooking and boiling water; (iii) income and employment (both formal and informal); and (iv) ecosystem services indispensable for agriculture and food production, now and in the future.
  • All these contributions need to be better considered by policies aiming at strengthening food security and nutrition, towards SDG2.
  • The contributions of forests and trees to FSN allow a broader and richer understanding of the notion of people’s “forest dependence”, with local to national and global dependences.
  • Maximizing the contributions of forests, trees and agroforestry to FSN requires policy coherence and integrated landscape approaches.
  • Agricultural policies need to better integrate the specificities of tree crops and the multiple benefits provided by the integration of trees in farming systems.


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