August 10th, 2016
State of the world’s forests 2016
Published by FAO, July 18th, 2016
This report (PDF) by FAO explores the challenges and opportunities represented by the complex interrelationship between forests, agriculture and sustainable development. It demonstrates that the sustainable management of both forests and agriculture, and their integration in land-use plans, is essential for achieving the SDGs, ensuring food security and tackling climate change. Forests and trees support sustainable agriculture. They stabilize soils and climate, regulate water flows, give shade and shelter, and provide a habitat for pollinators and the natural predators of agricultural pests. They also contribute to the food security of hundreds of millions of people, for whom they are important sources of food, energy and income. Yet, agriculture remains the major driver of deforestation globally, and agricultural, forestry and land policies are often at odds. The authors argue that it is possible to increase agricultural productivity and food security while halting or even reversing deforestation, highlighting the successful efforts of Costa Rica, Chile, the Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Tunisia and Vietnam. Integrated land-use planning is the key to balancing land uses, underpinned by the right policy instruments to promote both sustainable forests and agriculture.