6 May 2015
Forests can play a vital role in supplementing global food and nutrition security but this role is currently being overlooked, a report suggests.
The study says that tree-based farming provides resilience against extreme weather events, which can wipe out traditional food crops.
It warns that policies focusing on traditional agriculture often overlook the role forest farming could play.
The findings were presented at the UN Forum on Forests in New York, US.
The report is the result of a collaboration of more than 60 leading scientists, co-ordinated by the International Union of Forest Research Organisations (IUFRO) on behalf of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF).
“The report is not trying to suggest that people should start relying on forests more than conventional agriculture,” explained Bhaskar Vira, the chair of the panel which compiled the report.
“It is very much about the complementary roles that forests can play alongside conventional agriculture.
“The evidence shows that a large number of people still rely on the food from forests and trees to supplement their diet,” Dr Vira, director of the University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute.
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