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Re: Forests and trees provide benefits for food security and nutrition– what is your say?

Prof. Vishwambhar Prasad Sati Mizoram University (Central), Aizawl, India
Vishwambhar Prasad

The topic of the present discussion is so relevant in the spatial and temporal perspectives.

Here, I would like to emphasis on the role of forest resource in sustaining livelihood in the Central Himalayan Region. This region is one of the biodiversity hotspots obtaining forests ranging from sub-tropical to temperate and alpine. Here, the economic viability of the forest resources is tremendously high therefore, the populace of the region has been engaging in collection of timber and not-timber forest products for the time immemorial.

Forest covers above 65% land area. The economy of the region is based upon the cultivation of traditional cereal crops which production and per ha yield is considerably low thus, the people largely depends on the forest resource for fodder, firewood, and food. Forests have the linkages with agriculture and crops production. For manure composition, most of the tree leaves are used to mix-up with cow-dung that enhance productively.

In the Central Himalayan Region, oak and pine are largely used for firewood and construction of building. Oak leaves are also used as important fodder to the lactating animals. It enhances milk production thus, food security can be obtained. There are numerous forest products which are used as spices to food and medicinal plants and herbs for traditional health care system. The others are essential oils, fibers and silk, natural dyes and organic products, and bees and bee products.

Wild fruits as kafal, hensole, kilmode, bhamore and many others substantially enhance livelihood options on which the local people are dependent. This illustration reveals that forests are the major source of livelihood thus, need attention for a comprehensive conservation measures.

The traditional methods of harnessing non-timber forest products are sustainable that can be restored for the future use of forests.