FAO seeks to bridge gap between agri and forestry to improve food security

Agriculture is known to be the most influential driver of global deforestation, but positive interactions between agriculture and forestry are achievable and necessary to build sustainable agricultural systems and enhance food security. This is the main point of the publication titled The State of World Forests (SOFO), released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The report was launched during the 23rd Session of the FAO Committee on Forestry (COFO).

“The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as the Paris Agreement on climate change, recognizes that we can no longer look at food security and the management of natural resources separately,” said José Graziano da Silva, FAO Director-General, during his opening remarks at the COFO Session. “Both agreements call for a coherent and integrated approach to sustainability across all agricultural sectors and food systems. Forests and forestry have key roles to play in this regard…The key message from SOFO is clear: it is not necessary to cut down forests to produce more food,” he added.

According to SOFO, seven countries (Chile, Costa Rica, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Tunisia and Vietnam) have shown that improving food security can be achieved while maintaining forest cover. Six of these countries achieved positive change in the period 1990-2015 in two food-security indicators – the prevalence of undernourishment and the number of undernourished people – as well as increases in forest area. The Gambia, the only low-income country among the seven, succeeded in achieving the first goal of halving the proportion of hungry people within the same period.

Get more information about the SOFO from FAO.

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