A UN report has disclosed that more farming & forestry will streamline the Food Chain Delivery.
Between 2000 and 2010, tropical nations saw net forest loss of seven million hectares per year and a net gain in farmland of six million hectares.
Collaboration between the sectors would reduce environmental damage and improve social and economic outcomes, it said. Policies that recognize eco-services can help protect forests.
The findings have been published in the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) State of the World’s Forests (Sofo), a biennial report that provides data to help inform policymakers and decision-makers.
“There has been a net forest loss of about seven million hectares in tropical countries. At the same time, there has been a net gain in agricultural land of six million hectares. You can deduct that a lot of the deforestation is taking place to gain more land for agriculture.”
The report added that large-scale commercial agriculture accounted for about 40% of deforestation; subsistence farming was responsible for 33%; infrastructure 10%; urban expansion 10%; and mining 7%.
But it said that there were large regional variations within those figures. For example, large-scale agriculture accounted for 70% of deforestation in Latin America but just one third in Africa, where small-scale agriculture was the biggest cause of deforestation.
“The analysis shows that in the past 25 years, there have been more than 20 countries who have maintained or actually increased their forest cover while, at the same time, making progress towards food security.”
One historic problem has been that agriculture was more financially lucrative than forestry; therefore there was little incentive not to fell trees.
“Forests and agriculture have an enormous role in achieving the 2030 Agenda’s historic commitment to rid the world of the twin scourges of poverty and hunger”.