Monday | May 5th     15.15 - 16.45

Food and biodiversity: Supporting forest livelihoods for food security, adaptation and mitigation

Hosted by International Network for Bamboo and Rattan


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Landscape-based approaches to forest governance need to include non-timber forest products (NTFP) as an essential element in order to manage resources for food security, and climate change adaptation and mitigation. This session was based on the view that communities (especially in the developing world) acquire micronutrients and macronutrients from a wide variety of sources. Local rural sustenance and market economies also depend on mixed landscapes, which support a wide range of NTFPs. Some NTFPs – such as bamboo or rattan – can take a central role in local economies. These resources are dependent on biodiversity, which is vulnerable to forest conversions to agriculture or to access regimes based on conservation principles. A solution to the loss of biodiversity is to manage forests, forest margins and new agricultural lands as a part of a continuum that provides a host of ecosystem services including those needed for food security and basic livelihoods. Rather than just equating forests with timber or agriculture with food, landscape-based land use planning takes a more holistic approach (compared to extractive or conservation approaches) that can promote biodiversity-based rural economies. We explored how planning for development, using low-carbon economies or carbon conservation via REDD or other initiatives, needs to include NTFP-based landscape level resource management as an essential strategic tool.

The speakers discussed that:

  • plants apart from timber trees need to be planned for in REDD (and other conservation initiatives) along with access to those plants to local communities, small industries, etc;
  • there is a need for multiple viewpoints in any landscape approaches to conserve biodiversity;
  • institutional and other collaboration/on the ground partnership-building is vital for managing resources at a landscape level.

Background reading: