Scientists urge greater role for forests in policies on food security and nutrition

Forests, trees and agroforestry often undervalued
A seated woman cuts food over a bowl
A woman at a food fair in Luwingu, Zambia. CIFOR/Joe Nkadaani

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A new policy brief demonstrates the role forests and trees play in sustaining food production and food security and nutrition (FSN).

Featuring four dimensions of FSN, including availability, accessibility, utilization and stability, it aims to inform policy and decision making in forestry, while detailing actions that could help strengthen related aspects of the food system in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Published by the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) to coincide with the 16th session of the U.N. Forum on Forests (UNFF16) and dialogues leading up to the U.N. Food Systems Summit during the U.N. General Assembly in September.

FTA has submitted 11 Game-Changing Solution Proposals for UNFSS to the summit, which will prioritize food system transformation and accelerate action on the 17 U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The brief aims to contribute to discussions and ensure that policies designed to achieve the SDG2, Zero Hunger goal take into consideration the many contributions of forests and trees to food security and nutrition.

Maximizing these contributions requires policy coherence and landscape approaches that better integrate tree crops into farming systems, the brief states.

The document was developed by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), World Agroforestry (ICRAF), the University of British Columbia (UBC), the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Penn State University and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences of Vienna (BOKU).

For more information on this topic, please contact Amy Ickowitz at or Terry Sunderland at
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