Nourishing ourselves and the planet
The way the world produces and consumes cultivated and wild foods needs urgent attention. CIFOR-ICRAF continues to provide evidence that can transform broken food systems and ensure that rural populations can sustainably use the wild meat and forests foods they depend on for both nutrition and livelihoods.
In Peru, we supported the development of a framework definition of agroforestry, which is now recognized in its National Agrarian Policy 2021–2030. The new definition broadens the scope of agroforestry to include crops and livestock. Our proposal for the definition drew on extensive work in promoting trees on farms to meet national and global biodiversity targets and to develop more sustainable and competitive coffee value chains in the country. Ongoing work on agroforestry concessions in the regions of San Martin, Loreto and Amazonas aims to create the institutional, technical, and financial conditions for family farmers to improve their livelihoods and become strategic partners in the sustainable development of the Amazon.
In Brazil, our work on the Agroforestry and Restoration Accelerator aims to help farmers migrate to agroforestry systems and boost the implementation of agroforestry systems and ecological restoration in the State of Pará through carbon credits. In Zambia, CIFOR-ICRAF is helping rural people transition from poaching to seed collecting, as part of its goal to supply 5,000 households with fruit and food trees to minimize seasonal hunger and nutrient gaps. And in the Northern Uplands of Viet Nam, we are working with minority populations to address unsustainable livelihoods through agroecological approaches.
The Transformative Partnership Platform (TPP) on Agroecology generates evidence to underpin advocacy and inform policymakers about how to successfully implement agroecological approaches. In 2022, the Agroecology TPP hosted the interim secretariat of the Coalition for the Transformation of Food Systems through Agroecology and supported the development of a template for tracking implementation of the UN Committee on World Food Security policy recommendations on agroecology. The TPP organized a Stockholm+50 session on supporting integrated implementation of the Three Rio Conventions and a side event to the UN General Assembly on agroecology and the right to food.
The TPP also worked to empower farmer and civil society organizations through the global citizen science project One Million Voices and activated the Agroecology TPP Community of Practice, which currently includes over 300 individual members. In 2022, the TPP’s project portfolio grew to 10 major projects with three new projects: the CGIAR Initiative on Agroecology, the Agroecological TRANSITIONS programme, and the Transformative Land Investments programme.
As part of our efforts to make forests and trees more visible in the food system agenda, we published a Viewpoint article in Lancet Planetary Health entitled Transforming food systems with trees and forests, with recommended solutions to global nutritional and environmental challenges.
Ongoing work with the Sustainable Wildlife Management (SWM) Programme in Guyana tracked progress on assessing biodiversity in the Karaawaimin Taawa and highlighted the achievements of women leaders in conservation. At the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) summit, a side event featured the programme’s achievements in 15 countries and progress made towards implementing CBD Decision 14/7 on sustainable wildlife management.
The book Hunting Wildlife in the Tropics and Subtropics offers the first comprehensive summary of research and analysis on wild meat species, hunting techniques, zoonotic diseases and sustainable wildlife management. And a special issue on wild meat hunting, consumption and trade was published in African Journal of Ecology with 16 papers, most led by African scientists.
To understand what drives food choice in low- and middle-income countries, we conducted a systematic mapping study, identifying 40 individual-based motives ranging from perceptions of the health and nutrition of foods, socio-demographic variables, ethical concerns and psychological and sociocultural factors.
Research in Zambia found that people collect wild foods such as fruits and vegetables across all of the country’s agro-ecological zones, and that forests were the source of 88% of foods by volume – demonstrating the importance of healthy forests to climate resilience for households. And in response to evidence of declining fish due to land-use change in Cameroon, CIFOR-ICRAF produced a series of videos on Improving food security and nutrition in Lileko along the Congo River.
In Indonesia, research as part of the Restoring Coastal Landscape for Adaptation Integrated Mitigation (ReCLAIM) Project found that mangroves provide direct, daily benefits to local people and that fish and other aquatic animals can be key for preventing malnutrition in poor communities. And in West Africa, we continued to explore successful approaches to rights-based, ecosystem-based, and participatory co-management of shellfisheries by women in mangrove ecosystems, publishing a toolkit to guide the design and implementation of women’s shellfish co-management in the region.
This work has been supported by Amazon Inc., David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, European Union, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI), Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, Terraformation Foundation, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).