Forests and food security – International Institute for Asian Studies

Terry C.H. Sunderland, International Institute for Asian Studies, The Newsletter No.58, Autumn/Winter 2011 | To read the full article, click here: IIAS_NL58_2829.pdf

Around one billion people rely on wild harvested products for nutrition and income and the “invisible” trade in wild resources is estimated to generate $90 billion/annum. In India alone the livelihoods of around 6 million people are maintained by the harvest of forest products. In many rural locations, particularly areas that lack basic infrastructure and market access, the collection of wild resources provides considerable subsistence support to local livelihoods. In addition, the harvest and saleof wild products often provides one of the only means of access to the cash economy. Access to markets is particularly important for food security; it is not enough to be able to collect or grow food, but the ability to purchase food is also a major factor in ensuring food security, hence the more vulnerable and poorest members of society are particularly at risk from lack of access to food. Highly urbanised societies such as Hong Kong and Singapore that have no agricultural base are food secure because of their considerable purchasing power, while India, although self-sufficient in agriculture, has much of its population that is food insecure primarily due to social inequity and poverty.

Challenges to biodiversity-friendly agriculture

Population growth
The world’s population is expected to grow to nine billion by the year 2050. If the current model of commercialised monoculture is to be followed, feeding the global population is stated to require the conversion of yet more wild lands, at the expense of biodiversity and ecosystem service provision. Demand for meat is increasing globally, particularly from the burgeoning urban populations of India and China, and as the world becomes increasingly prosperous. […]

Source: Forests and food security | International Institute for Asian Studies
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Date Visited: Thu Dec 01 2011 15:34:35 GMT+0100 (CET)

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