IFPRI and CIFOR Discuss Forests and Food Security
25 June 2013: The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) released two discussions on the links between food security and forests. The discussions focus on increasing food demands balanced with the challenges of deforestation and forest degradation.
The first commentary is written by Peter Holmgren, Director General of CIFOR. The commentary focuses on how the 9 billion people expected to inhabit the Earth by 2050 can be assured of a secure supply of food without significant damage to forests, biodiversity, agriculture and water supplies.
The commentary points out that agricultural intensification has allowed for 90 per cent of increased food production to occur on existing agricultural land while global deforestation is slowing slightly. Holmgren stresses that food insecurity is not just about the amount of food available but rather about the ‘hidden hunger' namely the approximately 2 billion people who don't have access to nutritious food and, as such, are micronutrient deficient.
The second discussion is a report on the seminar on food, forests and landscapes jointly convened by CIFOR and IFPRI. The seminar pointed out that in the past, increased food demand has led to agricultural expansion at the expense of natural areas such as forests. In order to meet future demands without damaging forests, the seminar urges a landscape approach. According to the seminar report, a landscape approach requires coordination across sectors in order to address food waste and improve access to nutritious food.