Forest landscapes for food and biodiversity

This Summit Theme explores ways to manage resources for improved nutritional, social, economic and environmental outcomes in areas where farming, forestry and other productive land uses compete with sustainability and biodiversity goals.

In recent decades, Southeast Asia as a region has strengthened food security and reduced poverty. Yet experience shows that increased food production has not necessarily led to better health or nutrition, especially for children and other vulnerable groups. Furthermore, the imperative to produce more food has driven the expansion of agriculture at the expense of forests.

This forest loss endangers biodiversity, which is essential for all elements within the landscape mosaic, such as farmland, forests and ecosystem services, including those services needed to support food security and livelihoods. Protecting biodiversity requires landscape-based land-use planning. Under this approach, people manage forests, forest margins and agricultural land as a landscape continuum. Landscape-based land-use planning does not simply equate forests with timber or agriculture with food; rather, it takes a more holistic and broader approach that can promote the development of rural economies based on biodiversity.

Participants will explore how activities across sectors and scales can be coordinated to reduce undernutrition and malnutrition. Panelists will present and discuss case studies showing how an integrated landscape approach works in practice. These case studies will look at the importance of non-timber forest products for rural economies and opportunities for sustainably managing competing demands for land, especially in areas where agriculture is expanding, such as for the development of oil palm plantations.


By 2030, Southeast Asia is expected to have 84 million more people. That’s like adding another Vietnam – but without any extra land

How can we provide food and fuel without losing our forests?

FAO. 2011. Southeast Asian Forests and Forestry to 2020.

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