Enhancing food security through forest landscape restoration: Lessons from Burkina Faso, Brazil, Guatemala, Viet Nam, Ghana, Ethiopia and Philippines

A new IUCN publication launched at COP21 showcases the links needed to enhance food security for the 1.5 billion rural poor who depend on forests and support climate action.

Acacia restoration

Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) is a forward-looking approach that goes beyond just planting trees. It aims to regain ecological integrity and enhance human well-being in deforested or degraded forest landscapes. In our resource-constrained world, under the threat of climate change, restoring degraded ecosystems is key to safeguarding natural capital and ensuring food and nutrition security.

Photo: Jose Ramirez Maradiaga/FAO

Land degradation and deforestation disproportionately affect 1.5 billion rural poor who depend directly upon the land for their livelihoods. To this address this we need to scale up restoration efforts at a global level.

The September 2014 climate summit provided an opportunity to ramp up restoration of deforested and degraded lands, putting in sight achievement of the Bonn Challenge goal of having 150 million hectares under restoration by 2020, and raising ambitions to restore350 million hectares by 2030.

Within this context, IUCN is working across the globe to gather, package, and promote uptake of knowledge and tools and build capacity to support the achievement of these restoration targets. IUCN commissioned a call for papers identifying the links between FLR and food security in order to equip decision makers and practitioners with evidence of this growing relationship.

The resulting publication features case studies from Burkina Faso, Brazil, Guatemala, Vietnam, Ghana, Ethiopia and Philippines which draw attention to how FLR interventions enhance food security. They illustrate the ‘win-win’ solutions that can enhance land functionality and productivity, develop resilient food systems and explore the long-term potential outputs and enabling conditions for FLR interventions.

The seven case studies focus on the issues in these countries, and feature authors from IUCN’s many partners and collaborators:

From degraded to functional restored forest land: Smallholder farmers curbing food insecurity in central Burkina Faso (Center for International Forestry Research)

Cocoa agroforestry system as an alternative for degraded pastureland restoration, food security and livelihoods development among smallholders in a Brazilian Amazon agricultural frontier (The Nature Conservancy)

Agroforesty system kuxur rum enhancing food and nutritional security in Guatemala (Food and Agriculture Organisation)

Mangrove forest restoration in northern Viet Nam (Thuy Loi University & Viet Nam National University)

Restoring degraded forest landscape for food security: Evidence from cocoa agroforestry systems, Ghana (Rural Education and Agriculture Development International, Forestry Research Institute of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology)

Economic contribution of communal land restoration to food security in Ethiopia: Can institutionalisation help? (Watersheds Organisational and Livelihoods Affairs Support)

Evidence-based best practice community-based forest restoration in Biliran: Integrating food security and livelihood improvements into watershed rehabilitation in the Philippines (University of the Sunshine Coast, University of Queensland, Visayas State University, Department of Environment and Natural Resources of Naval)

Download the publication

Work area: 
Climate Change
West and Central Africa
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