060 Halting Deforestation While Ensuring Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security: How to Do It?

Calling for Stronger Multi-sectoral Collaboration through Innovations


  • Switzerland
  • Forestry Department of FAO
  • Tree Planet Inc.


In light of the increasing recognition of the role of forests in food security and nutrition, the 41st Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in 2014 requested the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) 2 to prepare a report on “Sustainable Forestry for Food Security and Nutrition”. The report was officially launched in June 2017 as a major contribution to the Policy Convergence process of the 44th Session of the CFS in October 2017.

The outcomes of the Policy Convergence process on “Sustainable Forestry for Food Security and Nutrition” from the 44th Session of CFS3 calls for stronger collaboration and investment in social and technical innovations across all relevant sectors, including forestry, agriculture, water, industry, trade, tourism, food security and nutrition.

The event will offer an opportunity to discuss how to bring different stakeholders together to thrive for sustainable forestry, sustainable agriculture and improved food security and nutrition. In particular, a couple of examples from unconventional sectors such as video game and hospitality industry will be featured exploring their roles while emphasizing the importance of innovation and technology.

Key speakers/presenters

  • Sooyeon Laura Jin, Forestry Officer, Forestry Policy and Resources Division, FAO
  • Hans Martin Dreyer, Director, Plant Production and Protection Division, FAO
  • François Pythoud, Ambassador, Permanent Representation of Switzerland to FAO
  • Hyungsoo Kim, CEO, Tree Planet Inc.
  • Mischa Tripoli, Economist, Trade and Market Division, FAO
  • Josef Schmidhuber, Deputy Director, Trade and Market Division, FAO

Main themes/issues discussed

  • Forest pathways to the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • The importance of cross-sectoral collaboration
  • The application of innovation and technology in promoting sustainable forestry, sustainable agriculture and improved food security and nutrition
  • An example of social innovation: TreePlanet (e.g. Crowdfarming to finance reforestation)
  • An example of technical innovation: potential of the application of blockchain and Smart Contracts for food and agriculture
  • Collaboration with private sector

Summary of key points

1.    Achieving the 2030 Agenda would require multisectoral collaboration which can be complimented by social and technical innovation

2.    The role of sustainable forestry in achieving SDG 2, 13 and 15 is crucial

  • Deforestation largely is driven by other sectors including the agriculture
  • The interface between policy and practice would require innovative approached from all stakeholders
  • Public-Private Partnership should be looked into more actively
  • Integration of knowledge across sectors is needed to support evidence based decision making processes

3.    Tree Planet takes a creative approach in reforestation by connecting people to trees and creating personal value

  • Planting trees as part of school projects or in a video game gives people a sense of familiarity and responsibility for trees
  • Forests with a specific social purpose, such as memorial forests (e.g. Seoul Memorial Forest), are integrated in a daily life and serve as refuge for society

4.    Tree Planet’s approach facilitates closer connection between producers and consumers brings value to both parties

  • Crowd Farming cuts out the intermediaries enabling farmers to profit twice as much from the sales of their products; makes ecological farming viable; increasing the sustainable production
  • Restoration through permaculture-farming ensures land use and fostered nature

5.    Blockchain technology could enhance the current monitoring capacities in agricultural value chains and the trade efficiency in the following ways

  • Enhanced traceability and higher quality transactions
  • Disintermediates transactions
  • Building a digital identity
  • Monitoring international agreements: it can improve the implementation and monitoring of international agreements through enhanced accountability and transparency (e.g. WTO agreements on agriculture, Customs duties, Paris Agreement on Climate Change)

6.    Blockchain technology and its relevance for food and agriculture

  • Adopting new tracking methods can lead to a smaller number of necessary intermediators, reduced food fraud and increased transparency
  • Better information and data can be used by policy makers to design accurate and more effective food and agricultural policies
  • The food and agricultural market and trade could be simplified and the speed of trading goods could be accelerated, leading to less food waste and more sustainability
  • Information equality and easy access could level the playground for all market participants

7.    Automatic production can be facilitated by applying Smart Contracts combined with blockchain technology

  • High quality information can be used for sustainable and effective food and agricultural production based on actual needs

Key take away messages

  • Multisectoral collaboration is key to halt deforestation, achieve food security and nutrition, and everyone has a fair share of responsibility and a role to play
  • Public-private partnership would be key across all relevant sectors (e.g. forestry, agriculture, trade, rural development etc.)
  • New technologies and innovative ways need to be explored and applied for sustainable forestry, agriculture and food security
  • Personal connection and a sense of responsibility is important to halt deforestation and such a concept can be applied to social innovation (e.g. TreePlanet business models; https://treepla.net/eng)
  • Further research in blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) – which can lead to improved transparency, fairness and sustainability –  is needed, to assess its full potential to contribute to the 2030 Agenda and SDGs

CFS - Side Event 060: Halting Deforestation While Ensuring Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security: How to Do It?