March 15, 2012

Forests on the Menu

A recent special issue of the Centre for International Forestry Research’s (CIFOR) International Forestry Review honed in on the interconnected issues of forestry, biodiversity, and food security. Christine Padoch, Director of the Forests and Livelihoods Programme at CIFOR, introduced the set of articles by drawing together the complex interactions of forests and food systems:

“[Editors Terry Sunderland and Alan Pottinger] have put together articles that focus on a variety of approaches and perspectives, as well as a wealth of data and analysis on the question of what forests contribute to food security, nutrition, and human wellbeing. Together these contributions demonstrate convincingly that two of today’s greatest challenges are not irreconcilable goals: the need to protect forests and the multiple ecosystem services they provide, and the imperative to feed an increasing human population. But these articles, individually and as a group, also show that the links between forests and food security are multidimensional, complex, and often difficult to see, to document and to measure. The key to understanding both the significance of the linkages and the difficulty of measuring them is appreciating diversity in its various forms and dimensions.”

The take-away message of this introduction is very much in line with the goals of the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative. In order to achieve multiple goals of forest and biodiversity preservation, food security, and livelihood support, there is no silver bullet.

“…the answer lies again in diversity: a diversity of approaches, perspectives, methods, and tools.”

Read the full introduction and other articles in the issue on the CIFOR website.

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