Farmer's Weekly

The role of forests in global food security

"The world’s poorest people are generally more dependent on forest biodiversity and ecosystem services than are people who are better off. In low- and middle-income countries, human populations tend to be low in areas with high forest cover and high forest biodiversity, but poverty rates in these areas tend to be high. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has estimated that 252 million people living in forests and savannas have an income of less than US$1,25 [about R19,19] a day. Overall, about 63% of these rural poor live in Africa, 34% in Asia and 3% in Latin America.

Understanding the relationship between poverty and forest landscapes is crucial to global efforts to fight poverty and conserve biodiversity.

On the one hand, poverty reduction and income growth can increase the demand for land-intensive goods and

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