Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)


Sustainable Forestry for Food Security and Nutrition - E-consultation to set the track of the study

At its 41st session in October 2014, the CFS has requested the HLPE to prepare a study on Sustainable Forestry for Food Security and Nutrition, to feed into CFS debates at the CFS Plenary session of October 2017.

As part of its report elaboration process, the HLPE is launching an e-consultation to seek views and comments on the following scope and building blocks of the report, outlined below, as proposed by the HLPE Steering Committee.

To participate, please visit the dedicated HLPE e-consultation website:

Please note that in parallel to this scoping consultation, the HLPE is calling for interested experts to candidate to the Project Team for this report. The Project Team will be selected by end of March 2015 and will work from April 2015 to December 2016. The call for candidature is open until 26 February 2015; visit the HLPE website for more details.

This HLPE report will aim at an evidence-based, comprehensive analysis of the links between forestry and food security and nutrition (FSN), at different scales, and how sustainable forestry can contribute, including social viability and environmental services, to improved food security and better nutrition. It will consider the various roles of forests, including plantations, on food security and nutrition, at local and global level. The analysis will focus on people that depend on forests for their livelihoods, ways of life, etc. In doing so, the report will consider the pressure on local food systems (including availability of water) induced by increased domestic and foreign demand for timber and other wood products.  

1) The role of forests for FSN.

The report will:

  1. consider forests from a FSN perspective: starting from the four dimensions of FSN (availability, access, utilization and stability), and the contributions of forests (including describing the ways by which these contributions are made);
  2. address the central issue of biodiversity and ecosystem functions in its linkages to FSN;
  3. consider different scales, local to global, including with mapping flows of  timber and forest products around the world, for different purposes;
  4. address the question of “FSN of whom”? People living in forests and forests' margins; people having economic activities in forests; poor and marginalized people, depending of forestry workers; people outside forests whose livelihood could depend on forest ecosystemic services (biodiversity, water cycle, biogeochemical cycles); It will address the tensions between these categories of direct and indirect uses and users;

The analysis will consider the current state of the world forests, using available quantitative data, as well as dynamics (among other land-use issues between forests and agriculture), threats (among others climate change), and opportunities relevant to forestry’ roles for food security and nutrition. In doing so it will consider the specificities of the timescales of forestry-related activities.

2) Sustainable forests and forestry for FSN, in the environmental, economic, and social dimensions

The report will discuss the challenges, threats and opportunities and ways to address them in each dimension of sustainability and the specificities of forests, with actions needing to take into account the multiple functions/objectives of forests, traditional knowledge, cultural functions, land-use, adapted management etc. 

  1. Economics - state of the industry, trade, etc.
  2. Environment - timescales, ecosystems, land-use at different scales, CO2
  3. Social - including gender, indigenous peoples, and marginalized groups

3) Governance

The report will consider institutions, actors, instruments (law, contracts, international treaties, customary systems, traditional practices, ...), at different levels, and what should be done to improve governance of forests and of related domains for FSN.

This activity is now closed. Please contact [email protected] for any further information.

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V. Prakash

International Union of Nutritional Sciences

The focus of this Note is to show the integration between the Sustainable Forestry and how it is linked to Food Security and Nutrition (FSN) with a sustainability built into it with a clear pathway of Value addition at the primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary level such that the reach out to not only the in threat forestry and also to contain the regional balance and to establish the common livelihood pattern between crops and fodder on the one side, animal husbandry on the other side and sustainable forestry and its eco on the third side and most importantly on the sustainable agriculture and Nutrition for all should be our goal.

It is important that in such a system as the sustainable forestry many a times the microorganisms in the forest, the insects in the forest, the bio flora and fauna in the forest is rather neglected.  It is this eco balance that gets shifted right from the day one all the way to the time when the tree is cut, the effect is not seen.  However, there is also a huge amount of benefit when we look at a total holistic approach of sustainable forestry linking with Food Security and Nutrition Security and Quality of Life. 

There are several ways in which one can look at the ensuing global climate change with the mitigation that can happen with the forestry on the one side and the erosion of the soil and the top soil loss and utilisation of “Wasted land” on the other side.  Therefore Nutrition to not only the livestock and the plants on the one side but more importantly the human Nutrition can make a big difference with the remedial action that can come from forestry especially when we look forestry as a source of nuts, as a source of fruits, as a source of many biomolecules including herbal and also the local resources through trees and sustainability including capacity building will ensure the sustainability of the programme. 

However when we look at pooling the resources and making itself sustainable in a small area or a place that need to be networked into thousands of acres and see how that mega ecofriendliness will address the issue.  There is a need for a huge repository database at a local level so that tomorrow the CFS/HLPE can have a database of the repository of the various species that can link the sustainable forestry and the challenges of governance and the challenges of the dynamics of the economy.  These all can be handled from a very clear expected outputs all the way down to prevention of disasters, not only natural disasters, but also man -made disaster of malnutrition apart from poverty driven unfortunately. It is here that areas like mining and areas like using the land for urban expansion at the cost of cutting trees and the water treatment that is need in the area must become very sustainable so that local area will have the edge on what need to be done to integrate the entire mega picture of the “sustainable forestry for Food Security Nutrition” with a focus on sustainability and better livelihood and Quality of life for the rural and tribal.

Elizabeth de Carvalhaes

Brazilian Tree Industry

Dear Sir/Madam,

Please find attached Brazilian Tree Industry´s contribution for the consultation on the scope of the study on Sustainable Forestry for Food Security and Nutrition.

With my best regards,

Elizabeth de Carvalhaes

Florence Egal


Having worked most of my career on food security, nutrition and livelihoods, and addressing these issues from the micro-level up,  I have no doubt as to the contribution of forests and trees to sustainable livelihoods and local diets.

  • a. The decision to consider forests from a FSN perspective is appreciated, but from my experience the four dimensions (availability, access, utilization and stability) - which have been progressively identified at macro-level for political and institutional reasons - do not help much when discussing sustainable development, right to food or systems approach. 

While foresters are usually very much aware of the need for integrated natural resource management and participatory approaches, in organisations such as FAO, they have by and large been constrained by the organizational chart to maintain a predominantly technical silo approach. The same is true of other technical departments and while all field staff usually agree that integrated local development is needed, institutional structures do not encourage or allow them to join forces effectively.  

Trying to identify the causes of malnutrition and therefore the constraints faced by different population groups (see below) is the first step in the development of local strategies for food security and nutrition, and helps to understand the role of forest and trees in people's livelihoods, and therefore the potential role of the forestry sector in assisting people but above all in preventing and/or mitigating the constraints they face. Again and again changes in diets and livelihoods and related malnutrition can be traced back to external factors, such as the shift to market economy, trade regulations or allocation/grabbing of forested lands (including simplistic conservation projects), which in turn lead to non-maintenance or destruction of natural resources and local biodiversity (e.g. charcoal production for survival).

For further information, please refer to  Integration of food security and nutrition in forestry planning: the role of participatory approaches (not recent but still valid)

b. address the central issue of biodiversity and ecosystem functions in its linkages to FSN. Indigenous groups have developed sustainable approaches to natural resource management for food security and resilience based on the use of local biodiversity. It is urgent to review this experience and tap on the remaining knowledge before it disappears as it may well contribute to alternative approaches for sustainable development.

c. it is urgent to assess the direct and indirect impact of trade regulation, sectoral policies and private sector investment on forest resources and local livelihoods and set up accountability mechanisms;

d. address the question of “FSN of whom”? Understanding the perceptions of these different population groups is the first step towards a mediation process. The involvement of all groups in the development and implementation of local development strategies is essential.



Ifeoma Stella Madueme

Department of Economics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka

Forests  especially in developing countries are degraded and ill managed due to a myriad of factors.

Forest fragmentation has reduced the size of many forests to support reproductive capacity of various species of animals. To achieve sustainability of forestry products, the report needs to include a socio-economic valuation of forestry resources at least in selected countries.  It is also pertinent to review environmental laws of various countries which face  threats  of depletion, date of introduction of such laws and to find out the reasons behind their lack of implementation at the grassroots levels. The proposed report need to include methods to connect research output with policy makers.  This is based on the purview that various communities have forestry peculiarities and in many instances environmental laws are made to cut across all communities without taking into cognizance peculiarities of areas. In addition forestry characteristics change frequently due to logging, deforestation, climate change etc which are contained in research works but policy makers in many instances fail to both monitor such changes and also modify laws regularly to affect such changing trends. 

There needs to be sustained environmental education program for communities, legislative arms and  law enforcement agencies like the police or other security operatives that are in many instances ignorant about environmental laws concerning excessive logging, endangered species, logging intensity threshold for communities etc. There is a need to incorporate impact of forest degradation on health of community members in environmental education programs eg teachings on how forest degradation reduces the capacity to sequester carbon and its impact on community health status and livelihood patterns. This will change the perception of community members that economic value of forestry products should always be harnessed at the detriment of their health which leads to forestry depletion. There needs to be community teams to decide on threshold levels for logging, utilization of forestry products in each area etc, to also monitor depletion of forests and species, identify dangerous species that threaten livelihoods. For example in some areas,  NIPPA has taken up mangroves and many communities have ignorantly allowed the growth of NIPPA while active involvement of community members can uproot NIPPA and replant mangroves to sustain livelihoods. The reports should also contain choice experiments to arrive at alternative livelihood patterns acceptable to communities so that they can protect their forestry resources and policies to increase quantities of endangered species and tree products.


Robert Fungo


While working for Bioversity International as Nutritionist in the Congo Basin forests from 2011 to 2013, I and my colleagues observed that most communities in the forest areas suffer from food insecurity and malnutrition. Most of the foods among these communities sell off many of their foods rather than consuming them and their low awareness levels regarding forest foods’ nutritious capabilities. Forest dwellers of the Congo Basin appear not appreciate the potential of forest tree foods to address malnutrition. About 70% of the individuals we interviewed did not know that forest foods could improve the health of their children. Basically, an environment rich in wild foods does not automatically correlate with knowledge, a positive attitude and full use of forest foods to complement the diets. Also, food security does not directly translate into nutrition security, as even diets that provide enough calories do not provide a balance of needed nutrients. It’s important to raise awareness of the value of nutrient rich forest foods. I think the forestry sector should be included in the formulation and implementation of policies for food security and nutrition, poverty alleviation and rural development.

Cantonal Forestry AdministrationAmir Klicic

Una Sana CantonCantonal Forestry Administration

Cantonal Forestry Administration, Una Sana Canton, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Director, Amir Klicic, DI Forestry

03 March 2015, Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Taking into account the overall importance of forests and their multipurpose functions, it is a challenge to find a model (draft) study which would include any significant role in terms of food safety and nutrition.

Policies and programs of development of the forest sector given the large role of forests for the environment and people, the development of appropriate policy management and maintenance of forests is of utmost importance. Forests are a source of air, biodiversity, the source of resources for the production and processing of various products or raw materials.

However, it is very difficult to balance costs and benefits of forest management, and it is necessary to harmonize the use of forests for productive purposes, and yet ensure their preservation. The pressure on the exploitation of forests and forest lands comes from a poor agricultural sector, energy and industrial sectors as well as numerous government macroeconomic policies that do not take into account the need for sustainable development of the environment and forests.

In order to solve the problems mentioned, a good knowledge of cross-sectoral impacts and implementation of specific measures in the strategy of individual sectors. Overcoming the existing borders between countries, the decline of national sovereignty - a nation, and the emergence of global and transnational associations that take control function in the world economy and society are associated with globalization.

Globalisation is a general trend that is affecting all areas of economic, political, cultural and social life. Accordingly, it can be said that there is a significant impact of globalization on the forestry sector and its management. Regions that are more integrated into the globalized economy are faced with increasing pressure on the forest sector. They are forced to be as innovative and they are forced to react quickly to changes in the environment in order to remain competitive in the global market.

Furthermore, there are regions whose economic development it depends on forests and forest lands, (although this has proved risky because it puts enormous pressure on the survival of rural society).

In both cases, forests provide a great contribution to the creation of rural income, creating quality of life, and the production aspect, forests to transform biological materials into intermediate products and final products.

Indirectly, the contribution of forests is also that represent the location, or the source for numerous business activities and not related to forestry and related industries, and nowadays accelerated life, forest areas are becoming increasingly sought after as a location for life. Some of the aspects of globalization that should be taken into account and affect the achievement of regional and global competitiveness are: the impact on transportation costs, the impact on supply and demand, competition, the number and conditions of suppliers, prices, product quality, etc.

Analysing the European forest sector, it can be said that globalization had positive effects on transportation costs, reducing them and thereby increasing the export of forest products. With increased exports, increased international trade and thereby expanding the market network.

Since globalization means integration and liberalization of the market, it is logical to expect that will appear larger number of actors in the market and increase the supply. The effects of globalization on the European market was demonstrated by the creation of 10-20 major global forestry companies. Since doing business in the global market, they can restructure operations around the world in accordance with the situation and changes in the market. Furthermore, as regards the impact of globalization on the conditions and the number of vendors and it can be said that globalization has contributed to reduced dependence forestry and related industries on local suppliers. In terms of the globalized market, companies can use the resources of different suppliers and locate their production in different countries depending on where the conditions were more favorable.

With all the positive effects of globalization, it must be noted that there are some negative consequences. In fact, the very concept of globalization implies a loss of part of national sovereignty and autonomy. Due to the high pressures of competition of the country may decide to reduce the rules and standards regulating the forest sector. Before making important decisions the country needs to carefully assess the potential benefits and costs of integration into the global market trends.

There are many factors like many conceptual problems that make it difficult to simply define sustainability. Factors ranging from the problems of forest resource balancing and prioritization of goals, when it comes to owners of forest areas. Therefore, it is undeniable importance of developing quality management strategies of forest resources at regional and local levels. The main objectives related to forestry should include the promotion of sustainable development of the global forestry sector, protecting the environment and preserving the forest heritage by ensuring the role of forests and forestry in soil protection, water regulation, erosion, etc.

Goals should be: improvement of ecological, economic and socially sustainable forest management within the framework of the international market and in accordance with international obligations, improvement of instruments to monitor the forestry sector and the promotion of sustainable and equitable forest management with the intention of poverty reduction.

New trends in development have led to increasing urbanization of society and to jeopardizing the survival of agriculture and forestry. The expansion of urban areas, forests and forest lands are being torn down and destroyed. At the same time, there is awareness of the need for environmental protection and conservation of forest areas as an important factor in maintaining the health of human and plant population. Many major cities of the world are struggling with the growing problem of pollution of air, water and soil. Drinking water is a rarity today, not standard. Construction of residential areas is often unplanned and thus destroying the natural surface. The urbanization process has a major impact on the natural resource base (including forest resources used for production of various products of wood). The future of the agricultural and forestry sector is closely tied to reflect balanced policy of development of rural areas.

The main objective of the global rural development policy is the protection of the rural population, economy, ecology and environment of the many threats arising from the process of urbanization. Great emphasis should be placed on modifying agricultural policies and the creation of such rural development policy that would provide incentives for the production of (socially and environmentally beneficial activities) forestry sector. Some of these policies include measures to encourage forest protection, promotion of production and recreation services, natural-oriented forest management. Global rural development policy, in accordance with the common agricultural policy, aims to achieve the sustainable development of rural areas, while respecting the three basic principles:

  1. 1) Multifunctionality of agricultural activity - which includes encouraging the provision of various agricultural services;
  2. 2) Multi-sectoral and integrated approach to the rural economy with a view to diversify activities, create new sources of income and employment and protect the rural heritage;
  3. 3) Encouraging and subsidiarity creating their own rural development programs of countries.

If sustainable development is defined as maintaining a delicate balance between the human need to improve living standards and achieving betterment on the one hand and the preservation of natural resources and ecosystems on which we depend and ourselves, but also our future generations, on the other hand, then it can be achieved when establishment of a political compromise between all the components of socio-economic development. This includes the economic efficiency of production and market mechanisms are functioning, care for consumers and ethical behavior that is consistent with the norms and values of society and that respects cultural diversity, the need to preserve the environment, landscape and biodiversity and use of natural resources and energy without much stress for the environment, all in accordance with FSN perspective.                                                                             

. . .

I think that the absence of a separate unique global forest policy, why are lost millions of acres of forest each year, and the global carbon dioxide emissions increased since 1990 by 50%. Given the absence of a common policy related to forests all activities in this area are undertaken within the framework of various other policies (such as: Common Agricultural Policy, regional policy and development policy).

Seeking to contribute to the proposal about the development of effective strategies for sustainable landscaping forests and contribution of forests to FSN, it is necessary to:

· Globally aspire towards policies that would be based on the Millennium Development Goals;

· To harmonize the social and environmental benefits of forest planning with the fact that profit depends mostly on the sale of wood. It becomes quite difficult to simultaneously coordinate the economic, social and environmental objectives in an open and global market;

· Strengthen the relationship between the various global to the European policies that affect the   forestry and forest industry and develop coordination between them;

· Identify the role of forestry in sustainable development, eg. In terms of climate change and biodiversity, and support the execution of international obligations and their role in the FSN.

In the end, given that your proposal, generally cover all important aspects and functions of forests and their importance for FSN think you should give more attention to education and building a more global awareness of the importance and value of forests and the environment as well as the mutual relationship with FSN.

Khaled Al-talafih


As we know the forests play an important role in the environment and economic for each country, it is provide a diversity of ecosystem services including recycling carbon dioxide into oxygen, acting as an environment cleaner from toxic materials, helping in regulating climate, purify water, mitigating natural hazards such as floods, and serving as a genetic reserve for many species, serve as a source of wood and lumber, as recreational areas for the people .The main issues that very important for forests especially in country like Jordan:

  1. We must focus on the climatic change and the negative effect on the trees and plants mainly on the change in the amount and distribution of rainfall which the main problem in Jordan which suffer from scarcity of water.
  2. The importance of scientific research in the choice of trees suitable to each ecosystem and insert new kind of trees.
  3. Exploit the area of forests especially in the genetic recourse.
  4. Protect the forest from illegally violations and increase the area planted by forest trees with suitable kinds and varieties.  

FAO Forestry Department

The Forestry Department is pleased to support the preparation of the HLPE report on Sustainable Forestry for Food Security and Nutrition to be presented to the CFS in 2017. Considering the increasing recognition of forests' contribution to food security and nutrition, we attach the utmost importance to this HLPE report.  

Due to the wide range of products and services provided by forests that are relevant for food security and nutrition (FSN), we believe the study would benefit from an analysis of forests’ contribution across all four dimensions of FSN. Special attention should be paid to the specific role of forests and trees at the household, national and global levels with regard to FSN as they vary in terms of their nature and level of significance. These differences should be reflected and specified in the report.  Finally, the report should consider the different functions of forests at different stages of socio-economic development. For example, forests play a different role in developing and developed countries in relation to food security. Such distinctions will allow the report to provide context-specific policy recommendations.

Forest should be understood in a broad sense embracing dense and open forests, shrublands, rangelands, mountains and other non cultivated areas.

Overall comments for the proposed scope

  • The proposed “draft scope of the HLPE” needs to have a well-defined objective to provide systematic evidence and analysis on the contribution of forests across all four dimensions of Food Security and Nutrition (FSN) at all levels.
  • The contribution of forests to FSN goes far beyond the direct provision of forest foods. A holistic picture, which captures the full contribution of forests across all four dimensions of FSN (including the Availability, the Access, the Utilization and the Stability dimensions), should be established throughout the report, and should be the added value of this particular report. For example, the use of woodfuel as the main type of cooking fuel in about one-third of the World’s households indicates forests’ vital role in cooking practices and care. Therefore, woodfuel plays an important role in ensuring the “utilization” dimension of FSN for about 2.4 billion people (FAO STAT 2011). In addition, the important aspect of increased access to “food” (which encompasses all types of food to fulfil the daily dietary needs) through income generated from forest-related activities, is often overlooked. Further, forests and trees also contribute in other ways to FSN, e.g. support to sustainable agriculture by stabilizing soils, regulating water flows and mitigating climate change.
  • The specific functions forests provide at the household, national and global levels with regard to FSN can vary in terms of their nature and level of significance, therefore it will be important for the report to reflect and specify these differences. As an example, edible Non-Wood Forest Products (NWFPs), including bushmeat and insects may provide a primary source of nutritious food for households in and around forest areas, however, this may not be the main contribution of forests to FSN at national or global levels.
  • The different functions forests serve in different stages of socio-economic development should also be highlighted. For example, forests play a different role in developing and developed countries in relation to food security. Such distinctions will allow the report to provide context-specific policy recommendations.
  • Last but not least, as forests, including mangroves, play an essential role in fisheries production, an expert on “forestry and fisheries” should also be considered to be included in the HLPE Report project team. 

**Please find attached the revised version of the proposed draft scope of the HLPE Report for your consideration.

Fatima ELtahir

Food Security Technical Secreariat

I think that the study has to focus on efficient resource utilization to develop the forest sector and to enable it better contributes to FSN.

Regional balance, social equity through supporting and strengthening the role of marginal groups, especially in the marginal areas.

In most of developing countries there are a lot of forest products and we find a large livelihood zones based on their food and income on these products to maintain their food, nutrition and livelihood security, the study can pay attention to those areas based on social structures. Cultures and behaviours and the equity.

There are other areas of concern like the industrial sector using the forest products as raw materials to manufacture food products beside the cash products which can generate the ability to food access and the large number of labour force in this field.

Demarcation is another issue.

All these issues of concern can be incorporates in the topics of the scope.

Please find attached some further comments on the scope of the study in track changes

Kind regards

Luis Neves Silva

New Generation Plantations platform

Well-managed, well-placed plantations are an important component of sustainable landscapes because they can provide an opportunity to restore degraded land, spare natural forest and enhance social values whilst increasing productivity.  Mosaics of new plantations, forest restoration and responsible farming, could expand forest cover and related environmental services through effectively blending crop, livestock and forestry as an integrated system.  System-wide and cross-sector planning and zoning in mosaic design is an essential pre-requisite to maximise the efficiency of production whilst reducing competition for land and water.  The New Generation Plantations (NGP) platform ( experience accumulated over the last seven years is that the ecological and social infrastructure of mosaics provides a means to tackle the paradox that the more we advance on development, the more we fail on sustainability.

It is within this new paradigm, that the NGP platform principles carry particular significance:  well-managed plantations in the right places can help conserve biodiversity and meet human needs, while contributing to sustainable economic growth and local livelihoods, by:

  • Social forestry, as an increasingly central theme for forestry and plantations.  Engaging with stakeholders means far more than simply carrying out consultations and obtaining the consent of communities affected by plantations. It’s about really getting to know, talking and listening to them, and empowering them to meet their needs and achieve their aspirations;
  • Maintaining ecosystem integrity and protecting high conservation value areas (HCV), making sure plantations don’t disrupt natural cycles – for water, nutrients, carbon and biodiversity - and increasingly look beyond individual operations toward maintaining and restoring ecosystems on a broader landscape scale;
  • Plantations should be profitable businesses. They create jobs, often in poor rural areas, but have the potential to do far more than this. Plantations should be a means to support inclusive green growth, and share benefits with the local communities who are sharing the landscape. 

Therefore the NGP concept provides an innovative framework for implementing sustainable intensification as a contributor to the functioning of socially and ecologically resilient landscapes. A significant contributor to the functioning of resilient landscapes is the family farmer.  The State of Food and Agriculture published at the end of the International Year of Family Farming has provided a compelling case for concerted efforts to bring innovation to family farming:  500 million family farmers – managing 90% of all farms in the world, occupying around 70–80% of farmland – produce more than 80% of the world’s food in value terms.  The overarching view of the FAO is that family farms must be supported “to innovate in ways that emphasize sustainable intensification of production and improve their livelihoods”.  The FAO proposes that sustainable intensification can be achieved through a “cohesive multi-stakeholder innovation system to develop new technologies and practices suited to their needs and local conditions or through overcoming barriers and constraints to the adaptation and adoption of existing technologies and practices and access to relevant markets”. 

Forestry should not follow a different route. The New Generation Plantations is an aspirational concept for a new era of production landscapes incorporating sustainable intensification. Robust land use planning that dynamically integrates optimised productivity in production areas through precision silviculture with conservation of forest areas and active restoration of rezoned degraded land and forest. Within this diverse, resilient ecological infrastructure, better prospects for the livelihoods and food and nutrition security of local communities can be achieved. The fundamental challenge and opportunity of our time is therefore to ensure that technology reaches those who need it the most.  

The question we wish to explore within the New Generation Plantations platform is; if the promise of an innovation-driven, technology rich sustainable intensification is an option for the future, how can we design frameworks that drive research in the right directions, and that bring innovation down to the local level and the family farmer and that resolve the tensions between forestry and food security and nutrition?