About one in nine people globally still suffer from hunger, with the majority of the hungry living in Africa and Asia.
Forests and forestry are essential to achieve food security as the limits of boosting agricultural production are becoming increasingly clear.
At the heart of a new report is the understanding that forests and trees are critically important to food security and dietary diversity for improved nutrition, because conventional agricultural strategies are falling short in eliminating global hunger and providing nutritious foods.
“Countries and regions need to institute policies which endorse agroforestry and tree planting using multi-functional trees to provide food, timber, fuelwood, fodder, medicine and environmental services,” said Ramni Jamnadass, a leader of the Tree Diversity, Domestication, and Delivery program of ICRAF and co-author with McMullin. “We also need to see a range of species for restoring degraded landscapes, supporting productive farming and food systems, and for conserving valuable genetic diversity.”
This report presents the results of the fourth global scientific assessment undertaken so far in the framework of GFEP. It reflects the importance of policy coherence and integration more than any previous GFEP assessment. It comes at a time when the United Nations General Assembly seeks to adopt a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which build upon the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and converge with the post-2015 development agenda.
In this context, the eradication of hunger, realisation of food security and the improvement of nutrition are of particular relevance. By 2050, the international community will face the challenge of providing 9 billion people with food, shelter and energy. Despite impressive productivity increases, there is growing evidence that conventional agricultural strategies will fall short of eliminating global hunger and malnutrition.
The assessment report in hand provides comprehensive scientific evidence on how forests, trees and landscapes can be – and must be – an integral part of the solution to this global problem. In other words, we must connect the dots and see the bigger picture.