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

Dr. Shaikh Tanveer Hossain Friends In Village Development Bangladesh (FIVDB), Bangladesh
Shaikh Tanveer

Dear Forum Members,

Food security is greatly challenged by climate change, land degradation and natural disasters in Bangladesh. In recent years, the country has made steady progress in the expansion of food production.   However, due to an increasing population, the gains made have been consumed by a parallel growing demand for food.

In the last two decades, frequent floods, droughts and cyclones have caused extensive economic damage and have impaired livelihoods in Bangladesh.  Adapting to, and mitigating, the effects of climate change is a key to future sustainable development and food security issue in Bangladesh.

‘Landcare’ in Bangladesh is a new approach to sustainable agriculture and rural livelihood improvement which considers not only increased food production but also takes into account community participation and environmental issues while ensuring optimum use of resources.  In our Landcare approach programs, we are advocating and promoting the different types of trees (fruits, forests etc.) into the rural households and community members considering its long-term economic benefits and food security.

Landcare allows an evolution in creativity and community achievement in natural resource management.  It focuses on key issues including: land degradation; food security and productivity; biodiversity protection; and preservation of rural landscapes.  

Recently we have initiated the Landcare approach in our programs with the technical support of Neo Synthesis Research Centre, Sri Lanka and Secretariat for International Land care Center (SILC).  We are expecting that by the holistic approach provided by the Landcare approach which not only ensures environment friendly farming but also ensures increased production by optimum use of limited resources.

The adoption of Landcare in Bangladesh hopefully offer dynamic new approaches to: regenerative agriculture, eco-specific resource management; community participation; watershed management; landuse; plant/crop selection; land-water interaction and management; renewable energy; vulnerability and adaptation to climate change; peoples’ participation in planning; implementation; and management issues.

Dr. Shaikh Tanveer Hossain
Sustainable Agriculture Advisor & Chief Agricultural Coordinator
Friends In Village Development Bangladesh (FIVDB)

Prof. Gunasingham Mikunthan Mikuntuan Faculty of Agriculture, University of Jaffna, ...
Gunasingham Mikunthan

Agroforestry and trees allow for a diversification of agricultural production. This simple concept is reflected by incorporating trees with farming into tree-based farming. More we diversify the system, less there are problems with pests. It is necessary to enhance the system from within to control the problems that exist rather than imposing external solutions. This is an important message for the establishment of home gardens for food security. The small scale farmers possess limited lands and their productivity is limited due to the cost of inorganic chemicals to control the pests. Hence the best solution to the aggravation of pests and minimize the use of inorganic toxic chemicals is moving towards tree based farming.

Sara Savoie FAO, Italy

Dear Colleagues,

In a climate change context, there is an increasing interest for services provided by trees on farms as they can improve sustainability, increase food production and soil carbon content, as well as contribute to the resilience of production systems as mentioned by both Mr. Jean-Laurent Bungener and Mr. Roy Stacy in this consultation.

I would like to bring your attention to an ongoing online learning event on agroforestry, food security and climate change, organized jointly by the Community for Climate Change Mitigation in Agriculture from the Natural Resources Management and Environment Department, as well as Forestry Department from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and key agroforestry partners CATIE, CIRAD and ICRAF. As the learning event addresses related themes to those discussed in this forum, I would like to invite you join the online discussions and last webinar session (to be held in March) of the learning event.

You can enroll through the form available online at the following address: . The programme of the learning event, as well as links to recordings of previous sessions can be found at the following address:  I would like to invite you especially to have a look at the recorded presentation, by this consultation’s host Fred Kafeero, on the international conference on Forests for Food Security and Nutrition. It can be found at the following address: , starting at recording time 1:06:59.

You are also most welcomed to join our LinkedIn group:

We are looking forwards to having you join our discussions! 

Best regards,

Sara Savoie

Volunteer, Forest Assessment, Management and Conservation Division

Forestry Department

Mr. Giuseppe Amato COSV , Zimbabwe

The greatest problem in making these strategies working, I think, is related to the capacity of the people living in a certain place of planning long term.Some times is difficult to convince a farmers to plant even a fruit tree that after some months will begin to produce.Can you imagine how much they care about planting trees or getting involved in agroforestry?

Fred Kafeero Food and Agriculture Organisation, Italy
Fred Kafeero

Dear Forum members,

we want to thank you very much for taking time to contribute actively to this interesting topic, and more importantly we value the diversity of contributions, views and opinions all of you have expressed. Since the International conference is open to all categories of stakeholders, and yet not all of us will be able to physically participate and contribute our ideas, we want again to encourage you to take advantage of ths FSN Forum and have your voice heard. It is our duty to provide space for your views in the conference deliberations. Looking forward to more exchange on the topic.


Fred and Eva.

Champak Ishram community based organization, India
Champak  Ishram

Hi Moderators and other members

I have some additional views, comments and suggestions.

a.       International bodies of indigenous people strongly voiced in many climate change submits that it should be stopped criminalizing traditional forestry systems and using practices of indigenous people. It is because the means of hedging lives and wellbeing (livelihoods, social institutions and cultures) of indigenous communities are strongly attached to indigenous forestry systems and practices. I agree the REDD policy and support programme harm way of lives including food security of the tribal/indigenous people in all countries including India. The money from the forest carbon sale cannot buy better substitutes of livelihoods, social institutions and cultures of the tribal people even in a decade or so.    

b.      There are institutional problems to manage forest for contributing on food security and nutrition. Even research organizations and universities are also biased against the forest based people. Once I assessed research worked by CIFOR and found that there were few researches in favour of tribal or indigenous groups. Most of research findings of the organization are against tribal/ indigenous ethnic groups and other forest based people. From my understanding the people from international organizations got opportunities to steal the livelihood means of forest based communities and other poor people due to extreme conservative forestry values and practices of national forestry professionals, elites or bureaucrats.

c.       The saying “the Emperor's New Clothes” best explain the reality of international forestry development policy and support in developing countries. Evidences are self explaining that forestry organizations are stealing means of livelihood forest based people instead of helping.

d.      There is a need of some dedicated people with intellectuality to work in favour of forestry based communities and socially disadvantaged people. International organizations are not heaven to work in favour of socially disadvantaged and forest based people. I have listened many problems and frustrations by my friends working in international organizations. They said that the people working at management level of international organizations have a undeclared social ring and limited opportunities of the organizations to the people of the elite circle.  People working in the organizations should justify and defend all works done by the organizations or bosses even if these are horribly wrong. The best strategy to survive and get opportunities is pleasing powerful people in and outside the organizations. You need to spend most of your efforts to please people instead of working for producing quality outputs. People with open mind and fair attitude get hard time to work in such manner and survive there. Public rarely dare to challenge wrong doings of the people due to their high profile of their organization. According to my friends the people who point their work weakness get named in negative list.  From my understanding the individuals pointing weakness of the people affiliated in the high profile organizations must have high levels of intellectuality to challenge them and dedication to work for forest based people. If you are dedicated to work for disadvantaged people you make much more differences working voluntarily from outside than working from the international organizations.  

e.      The intention of my writing is not challenging the job of symbolically high profile people working in national and international forestry organizations. I can never do it. But I am sharing the realities of forestry problem to contribute on food security and nutrition.        

Thanks for reading my points.



Mr. Emmanuel Suka Association of Friends of Limbe Botanic Garden, Cameroon

Dear Moderator and FSN Participants,

Some important facts were omitted on goods and services provided by forests relevant to food security and nutrition, interalia, provision of fresh water/protect watersheds, regenerates soil important for agriculture, recycle nutrients and wastes, provides resin, Non-Timber Forests Products including roots, leaves, vines, stems, barks etc important as local foods that augment local diets, important source of medicines for health safety and food supplements. Forests and secret forests serve as important areas for traditional and cultural grounds for performing cultural activities that contributes to traditional conservation and management of forest, traditional knowledge and innovation is one way to contribute to local access and protection of forests for food safety, security and nutrition.

My proposal is application of Integrated Ecosystems and Ecosystem Based Management Approach in the managing forests.

Despite the value of forests recognized world wide, there has been no specific Global Agreement/Convention on forest with obligations binding to all countries. I cease this opportunity to recommend that a world agreement dedicated on forest conservation and management be ratified to ensure food security and nutrition.


Emmanuel Suka


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.          

Salomeyesudas . Nalla Kerai ( Good Greens) Executive Director , India

Fruits seem to be a food that has been enjoyed by mankind from the earliest of times.  Most of us appreciate fruits because they are the easiest foods to handle.  Just wash and serve Fruits need absolutely no preparation or cooking.  In addition fruits lend themselves to be concerted into a variety of dishes.  They can be baked steamed, stewed, crushed, made into salads, ice creams, juices and sherbets.  They can also be made into delicious jams, jellies, pickles and puddings.  Fruits can be preserved easily.

Fruits contain abundant quantities of sugar.  In terms of nutrition, fruit are very good sources of several vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.  Fruits are important foods in terms of health economy of ecology.  Fruits are health promoting as well as pleasure giving.  Fruits are very efficient sources of vitamin C and A.  We all ways associate fruits only with those of high market value.  But there are number of fruits available through out the year.  These wild fruits are edible and nutritious.  Most of these are location specific and seasonal.  Some advantageous of these fruits.

  • They are grown with out effort
  • They are freely available
  • They are consumed fresh therefore their nutrient contribution is significant.
  • They are seasonal and plenty
  • They are tasty
  • They are free of pesticide residue
  • They have high medicinal value
  • They have high wood value
  • Their foliage has high fodder value
  • They are easy is to raise
  • They are pest pesistant
  • They have high survival rate
  • They ensure our fruit consumption
  • They add diversity to our diet

In order to enrich our diet in terms of vitamins and minerals the most inexpensive way will be to promote wild fruit cultivation seriously.The most other important impact will be ensuring a healthy relation with our natural resources.  And creating respect for nature in future generation.

Present situation:

  • The knowledge about these species is being erode slowly
  • The present generation is not in a position to identify edible species
  • Reduction in forest area has brought down the consumption of wild fruit to a very low level
  • Cleaning of shrubs and shifting to Mono culture of fruit species is another area of serious concern.
  • Need for identification of  scientific names .

A small research was done and analyzed for  b - carotene content of some of the wild fruits is presented below.

Total carotenoids and b - carotene content of wild fruit samples








Total carotenoids




<¾¾¾¾ m/100 g¾¾¾¾¾>


































































Other uses of wild fruits

Sl. No.

Local Name


Other values


Balusuku pandu


Leaf is good fodder, used as

Fire wood. Rainy season fruit.


Illentha pandu

Small tree

High medicinal value.  Winter season fruit


Chit Mit


Latex has medicinal value.  Rainy season fruit


Chimidi pandlu




Kaki pandlu


Fence, Used as fire wood, roofing material.  Rainy season fruit.


Morri pandlu


High market value from fruit.  Latex has medicinal value.  Early summer fruit.


Parki pandlu


Fence, winter fruit


Pulichera pandlu


Fruits available through out the year


Kashe pandlu


Medicinal vlaue, through out year


Nalla jedi


Medicinal value, market value.  Early summer fruit


Dudi pandlu


Early summer fruit


Thella pulcheri


Medicinal value


Medi pandlu


Latex has medicinal value, wood value.  Summer fruit


Pam padiga pandlu

Bush Fence, winter fruit



Sudi pandlu


Winter fruit, leaf has market value


Kalimi pandlu


Early summer fruit


Pitta pandlu


Rainy season fruit


Nakkiri pandlu


Rainy season fruit


Itha pandlu


Winter fruit, leaf has market value


Bontha pandlu


Winter season fruit.  Firewood value


Sithaphal pandlu


Rainy season




Two crops

Because of thoughtless actions of man and low market value of these fruits we never gave them the place they deserve.  In order to promote fruit cultivation we need to think in a new direction considering the following points:

  • Identification of edible fruit species
  • Collection and documentation of these species
  • Documentation of other values of these species.  (Wood value, Medicinal value etc.,)
  • Conservation of existing edible fruit species
  • Propagation of these species scientifically
  • Popularizing these fruits
  • Conducting awareness campus.

Quick and thoughtful program may ensure the conservation of wild fruits, which are important foods in terms of health economy and ecology.

See the attachment:Fruits.doc
Marcus Vinicius Alves Finco Federal University of Tocantins, Brazil
Marcus Vinicius

Dear colleagues,

Below my standpoint:

Firstly, forests provide several environmental services. So, traditional communities should be compensated and thus receive an economic incentive for that. The economic incentive not just decrease the communities' opportunity costs and therefore deforestation/degradation of native forests, but is also an important source of income that can be diverted to purchase food, for instance. Most part of family farmers in northern Brazil, especially within the Brazilian Legal Amazon Region, are food net buyers and thus alternative sources of income such as "bolsa-floresta" or "bolsa-verde" - which are based on environmental services payment - are really important for food security and nutrition of those families and at the same time a significant tool for forests preservation (win-win strategy).

Best regards

Marcus V.A. Finco, PhD

Professor at Federal University of Tocantins, Brazil