Science for Policy


IUFRO Food Security Side event at UNCCD COP-12

Forests and trees provide a vital source of food and nutrition to millions of people the world over. Tree-based systems are particularly critical for food security in drylands.

Close to one out of every six persons on the planet directly depends on forests, with food being one essential aspect of this dependence and most of the low-forest cover countries are located in drylands.

And yet, there is no single configuration of land uses that can provide all the different outcomes that people may find desirable. In a world characterized by increasing resource and land scarcity, conflicts are likely to arise not just between the most desirable use of the agrarian-forest landscape, but also about how best to accommodate increased demands for land to allow for the expansion of urban settlements, industrial development and resource extraction.

The side event presented the state of knowledge about the contribution of forests and tree-based systems to food security and nutrition by summarizing the key results of the Global Assessment Report prepared by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) on behalf of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) with particular emphasis on drylands. Furthermore, the Food and Agriculture Organizations of the United Nations (FAO) shared their experiences in governance systems that are required to manage trade-offs and promote pathways towards more integrated land uses by highlighting specific examples on the ground.

The presentations were followed by a moderated discussion on the interlinkages between UNCCD and the sustainable management of forests, trees and landscapes for food security and nutrition.

Side Event Details:

"The Contribution of forests and trees to food security in Drylands" - Side event at UNCCD COP-12
Ankara, Turkey; 16 October 2015, 13:00-15:00 hrs; Venue: MET-1 Floor 2


  • IUFRO (Convener)
  • Global Mechanism
  • FAO

Key topics:

  • Contribution of forests and trees to food security and nutrition in Drylands – Results of the Global Assessment Report on “Forests, Trees and Landscapes for Food Security and Nutrition”;
  • Trade-offs, conflicts and synergies in land use for forest and food security;
  • Case studies highlighting the contribution of forests and trees to local food security

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