Key messages

Food Security

  • Forests and trees on farms are a source of food and cash income for more than a billion of the world's poorest people.
  • An estimated 2.4 billion people rely on wood fuel, including charcoal, for cooking and boiling water. The use of wood as a source of energy is vital for local economies, and for maximizing the palatability and nutritional value of foods that require cooking and for water sterilization.
  • Forest products (non-wood and timber) are often the basis of small-scale enterprises. Such products can be particularly important in arid and semi-arid areas where agricultural products are vulnerable to external threats such as drought or extreme weather events.
  • Forest foods and tree products, such as leaves, fruits, seeds and nuts, roots and tubers, mushrooms, honey, wild animals and insects, have been important components of rural diets for millenia and provide nutrient-rich supplements for rural households.

Livelihoods

  • 80% of the world’s forests are publicly owned and therefore strengthening policy, legal and institutional frameworks that improve local people's rights to access and manage forest resources goes a long way to improve livelihoods.
  • For millions of people living in poverty, forest and tree resources not only provide food, fuel for cooking and heating, medicine, shelter and clothing, but they also function as safety nets in crises or emergencies.
  • Rattan, bamboo, paper fibers, cloth fibers, traditional thatching materials, ethnic foodstuffs and spices, medicinal plants, fruits and seeds are examples of non-wood forest products and of the wide range of forest products managed by local communities.

Videos

Forest and Farm Facility amplifies the potential of forest and farm producer groups The Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) works directly with producer organizations to help them become stronger, amplify their potential and connect with each other. [more]
Forests for food security and nutrition Forests provide an estimated one billion people globally with nutritious foods. Their products are consumed directly by people living in and around forests and are also sold, generating income for rural populations. [more]
Boosting income and forest cover in Viet Nam In Viet Nam, food security and forest cover have both increased significantly in the last 25 years thanks to economic and agricultural reforms as well as an increased emphasis on community-based forest management. [more]
State of the World’s Forests 2016: Forests and agriculture - land use challenges and opportunities Agriculture remains the most significant driver of global deforestation. However, it is possible under certain conditions to achieve sustainable agriculture and food security while also halting deforestation. [more]

 

All food security and livelihoods videos 

Publications

  

 
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Expert interviews

Eva Muller FAO Forestry Director FAO Forestry Director, Eva Muller, talks about why forests are important to food security. [more]
Community-based forestry discussed at Asia-Pacific Forestry Week Upon the opening of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Week, Dominique Reed, FAO Team Leader of Social Forestry, talks about the potential of community-based forestry and its ability to address climate change. [more]
Interview with Foday Bojang (FAO Ghana) at the Agroecology Symposium Foday Bojang from FAO Ghana describes the experience of the Great Green Wall for the Sahel and Sahara Initiative. [more]

 

More expert interviews  

  

Audio

 Vietnam reclaims forest land with help from FAO 

 
last updated:  Friday, November 2, 2018