News / Africa

Conference Emphasizes Forests’ Key Role in Food Production

Logo of International Conference on Forests for Food Security and Nutrition Logo of International Conference on Forests for Food Security and Nutrition
x
Logo of International Conference on Forests for Food Security and Nutrition
Logo of International Conference on Forests for Food Security and Nutrition

Multimedia

Audio
Kim Lewis
The first International Conference on Forests for Food Security and Nutrition concluded in Rome on May 15. It was sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Forestry experts left the meeting optimistic about progress made toward getting policy makers to include forests in their food security deliberations.

FAO said the conference aimed at fostering increased appreciation of the crucial role forests, trees, and agroforestry systems can play in improving the food security and nutrition of rural people, especially in developing countries.

In addition, FAO discussed ways of integrating knowledge of forests systems in policy decisions at the national and international levels. 

Forestry experts and scientists attending the conference left excited about the possibilities of what the future holds as policy makers begin to understand the crucial role forests play in food sustainability. 

“The main challenge has been getting forests and food security onto the global agenda,” said Terry Sunderland, principal scientist at the Centers for International Forestry Research (CIFOR.) “This conference really did highlight how important forests and trees are in complex landscapes, for food security and nutrition.”

Sunderland lamented that previous discourse about food security was rather redundant.

“When people talk about food security, we think in terms of more rice, more wheat, more agricultural commodities rather than the role of forests and trees in achieving food security,” he said.

The CIFOR scientist said the recent conference is helping change the focus.

“The recognition of that has sort of been embraced much more widely by policy makers and others at this meeting.  And the conference statement basically is headed, in that forests and trees are essential to global food security,” he said.

Sunderland said evidence presented at this week’s conference underscore the importance of placing forests and forested landscapes on the food security agenda. He noted that forty percent of the world’s food is grown by small-holder farmers in complex landscapes. 

“Up to 1.6 billion people derive some form of income or contribution to their livelihoods from forested landscapes,” he said.

Sunderland emphasized the need for people everywhere to recognize and accept these figures. He said this week’s conference was instrumental in highlighting that point.

You May Like

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Yearsi
X
December 18, 2014 5:13 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Years

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid