Blog post

Wood fuel is also important for food security and nutrition

Published on
October 26, 2017

The 44th Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) - Making a Difference in Food Security and Nutrition – ended on 13 October 2017 with new recommendations on the role of sustainable forestry in achieving food security and nutrition for all.

The recommendations focused on the need for an integrated policy approach to forestry, agriculture, water and food security and nutrition by reinforcing cross-sectoral coordination. FNP staff Verina Ingram and associate researcher Jolien Schure collaborated with the FAO on a review of the role of wood fuel in food security. The outputs, a Working  Paper and Fact Sheet, both published by the FAO, highlight that when produced and used sustainably, wood fuel can be a smart choice: being both green, renewable and affordable. In addition to the direct provision of food as one of their most well-known services, forests also provide an important contribution to wood security with wood fuel for improved food utilization and nutrition. Over half of all wood produced in the world is used for energy, affecting the nutritional status of about 2.4 billion people, who rely on woodfuel for cooking and water sterilisation. The Working paper and Fact Sheet aim to : 1) to raise awareness on the linkages between wood energy and food security and nutrition and 2) to support cross-sectoral approach in developing forestry and food security policies, programmes and projects.
Urbanisation and rural development have been seen as separate sectors in
the recent past, in the context of an increasingly urbanised world and changing
food systems: with people living in cities estimated to rise from 50 to 66% by
2050, thus integrated solutions linking the services provided by forests,
agriculture and trees to urban and rural food systems are very necessary. 
Another aspect in the nexus of food security is tenure over land and other
natural resources, with the Committee acknowledging the greater role that the CFS Voluntary Guidelines on Tenure could play. 

FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva said that "more active
policies" are needed to ensure sustainable food systems, stressing that
companies and consumers must play a bigger role in overhauling the world's food systems at a time when both hunger and obesity are on the rise.