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

11.02.2013
Bhubaneswor

Dear Moderators and members of the FSN

Forest contribution to food security and nutrition and problems depends on socioeconomic condition and culture. I am especially interested to contribute on the issue of food security associated international policy and support on common property forest. It is similar to Mr Champak arguments that how international agencies rob forest based people for their own benefit and elite class of their interest. Regarding using the idea of this forum in the conference some people take idea from others and sell to others as this is his or her creation. It is unethical practice but if they acknowledge the source, I believe it is unethical. There are hundreds cases of deceiving and robbing of poor forest based communities by international agencies by using symbolic and material powers and elites.

1.       Evidences of robbing of forest based people by international agencies

Case One: I would share a REDD project case in the Khasi tribal community, a socially vulnerable ethnic group in Meghalaya India, in support of Mr Champak argument.  It has been planned and practiced to replace local fodder based livestock (cattle) system by imported grain based livestock (poultry and pig) system in the communities (Project Idea Note, 2011). According to the REDD project agreement the community must comply that “Cattle if reared, should be of superior breed and stall-fed with cattle feed procured from outside” (Project Idea Note P. 16). The REDD is an international policy and is still under a pilot phase. The tribal community has eighty-five percent land areas under forest. Its private landholding size is average 0.25 ha per household which is insufficient to produce enough food for family consumption alone. The REDD project is advised and prepared by Community Forestry International (a California based INGO), funded by the USAID and certified by Plan Vivo Foundation (a Scottish-based INGO). The farming offsetting carbon emission produced by developed countries and affluent societies. If you read Vickers et al. (2012) document produced by FAO and RECOFT, the REDD project is considered innovation and indirectly advised for adoption of the model. From my knowledge of indigenous community and Nepal, the change of the forestry and farming systems will have a big long lasting social and environmental effect. It is very seriously bad advice and support. The intervention on the farming and forestry systems are done to offset carbon emission produced by developed countries and affluent societies. If the policy experiment with that degree of social risk had been done with vulnerable groups in developed countries, there would be considered it a serious issue (a social crime) and make a very big public outcry. However, the unethical practice (a social crime) has been internationally supported and highlighted as an innovation in developing countries by the international organizations. From my understanding the communal forest management for multipurpose uses would benefit environment and societies. In contrast the external agencies are to buy means of livelihoods of poor communities for offsetting carbon emission produced by developed countries and affluent societies, and are challenging the vulnerable lives and livelihoods of indigenous people and other forest-based communities.

Project Idea Note. 2011. Project Idea Note for the Umiam Sub-watershed REDD+ Project.  East Khasi Hills District  Meghalaya, India. Plan Vivo. http://www.planvivo.org/wp-content/uploads/Khasi-Hills-Community-REDD-ProjectIdeanote-May13EM.pdf

Vicker, B. Trines, E. and Pohnan, E. 2012. Community Guidelines for Assessing Forestry Volunteer Carbon Market. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Regional Office for Asia and The Pacific. Bangkok.

Case Two: Uses green forest products in the some Nepali community forests experimented for REDD policy, are restricted and criminalized for offsetting carbon emission produced by developed countries and affluent societies. These products and services of the forests are daily need basic goods of poor people barely sustaining their lives. You can see the problems in the forests experimented REDD policy by ICIMOD and funded by NORAD. Elites from national policy and community level are paid to criminalise the practices of forest products uses by the poor people. International agencies for example, ICIMOD casider the work as an innovation (please read the article by Karky et al (2012). From my assessment international interventions on the mountain forest management has been destroying social-ecological systems evolved and sustained in hundreds years of mountain civilization.  Based on my study Nepalese civil societies and forest based poor communities are abused. There are many problems which are not possible to share here.

BS; Karki, S; Rana, EB; Kotru, R. 2013. ‘Innovative interventions in Nepal for implementing REDD+ at the community level. In Aneel, SS; Haroon, UT; Niazi, I (eds) . Redefining paradigms of sustainable development in south Asia, pp 215-236. Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications

If some people point the bad activities of the international agencies and voice in favour of poor people, they will be filtered from participating in different professional events or forums and excluded from jobs. Those people who brings ideas to deceive and rob people they will be rewarded. This is tradition of all people at management level of all international organizations including FAO.

  Your questions:

What are the key challenges and bottlenecks hindering a greater contribution of forests, trees on farms and agroforestry systems to food security?

The factors hindering a greater contribution of forests to food security are deeply seated in institutions, more serious than gender discrimination problem. For example, the people in influential decision making position of national and international organizations consider that the forest should be used for timber production and environmental conservation and mostly to benefit for distance users -urban elites and affluent societies. It should be used only residual (often termed waste) products for food security for local people. It is also seen advice given by international agencies to Nepal. It is also clearly reflected in the discussion concept note distributed for this forum by the moderators. People working in forestry field are too much conservative and biased against poor people and indigenous communities.

· What are some concrete examples of innovative approaches, or good practices that increase the contributions of forests and trees to food security and nutrition goals?

It is indigenous systems of forest management for multipurpose uses which produce resources for food security and a good habitat for biodiversity conservation. It is well proven but international agencies advised Nepal government that these are bad forestry practices. The agencies advised to follow industrial forestry practices (please refer Forestry Sector Master Plan 1988). Nowadays the international agencies funded and advised to restrict the forestr products uses and mange the forestr for strict conservation model to offset carbon emission of affluent societies. The forestry model   

Thank you.
Best Wishes.

Bhubaneswor Dhakal