Trees are the better way to preserve soil living organisms and manage microclimate that limit quick change in soil exposure to drought and sunlight or running water
But this take time. Depending on the local climate 15 years to 50 years are necessary to benefit of trees effect.
This is a long term investment. This investment must be done taking into account the direct needings of the people among two to three generation. At the moment forest oragroforestry could be conduct under different and opposite ways.
So I prefere first to ask What is the misuse of a forest or an agroforestry area? This is for me the key challenge, not misuse natural capital.
One concrete example was the presence of earthworm under old faidherbia tree on the top of a hill in burkina faso under minus 600mM annual rainfall. earthworms benefit of faidherbia impact on soil humidity and earthworm have theyre cast under the top soil layer. This is showing us that we have to understand the interaction between trees and soils animals. The quicker they came under tree protection the better it is for preserving soil fertility in some climate. The innovative approach is to enhanced this "symbiosis" wich depend also on roots biochemical byproduct, and to be able to maintain biological Corridor between young and elder trees. This is a whole world we have to learn to deal with.
Food securities policy have to include trees and soil living organism as a community that is growing until the tree is alive. This community is responsible of the supporting services of the ecosystem for a long term . It is the pillar of the ecosystem. Before cutting an old tree you have to garantee that all the inhabitants of this community could find a place after the destruction of the tree. If not, no cutting. That was the role of sacred forest we have to maintain this traditional behaviour.
Links and resources:
International Conference on Forests for Food Security and Nutrition
FAO Forestry Department
Learning event on Agroforestry
The FSN Forum is supported by the project Coherent food security responses: incorporating right to food into global and regional food security initiatives.