NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Major forest ecosystems could provide answer to
chronic hunger and malnutrition that affects one in nine people
globally, says a report launched by the International Union of
Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO).
that forests have the potential to shield rural communities from
hunger, poverty and poor health.
“Forests are the
building blocks of food security and sustainable development.
There is a compelling case for community level engagement to
re-imagine forests and agriculture systems,” said Assistant
Secretary General for Policy at the UN Department of Economic
and Social Affairs Thomas Gass.
scientists authored the report dubbed “Forests, Trees and
Landscapes for Food Security and Nutrition which was received by
Xinhua on Saturday.
The report reveals
that benefits of trees are manifold to include source of food
for rural communities alongside vital ecosystem services like
water supply and air purification.
according to the report, provide abundant supply of proteins,
vitamins and minerals to the rural poor.
It added that
forests provide animal fodder that enable communities to obtain
meat and milk. Globally, one in six people depend on forests for
food and income while a further 2.4 billion depend on them to
meet energy needs.
The report indicates
that in the Sahel region, trees contribute 80 percent to
household incomes through Shea nut production.
Experts noted that
investments in forest conservation will have multiplier effects
A Scientist at the
Nairobi based World Agro forestry Centre (ICRAF), Stepha Mc
Mullin noted that forests will cushion rural communities from
food insecurity occasioned by climate change and shrinking
and other tree based systems like agro forestry provide a
number of highly nutritious edible tree crops such as fruits,
vegetables, nuts, seeds and edible oils. They can help address
seasonal food and nutrition gaps,” McMullin said.
community should explore innovative policy and funding
incentives to promote sustainable management of forest
Advisor at ICRAF Meine Van Noordwijk urged countries to tap
funds from multilateral agencies and the private sector to
invest in forest conservation.
“There are experiments
with systems that provide a more structural and long-term
funding to forest conservation. They are however pegged on the
ecosystem services they provide to communities,” Van Noordwijk