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UN Says Positive Interaction Between Agriculture and Forestry Helps Improve Food Systems
July 31, 2016
Farming is globally the most significant driver of deforestation, but promoting a more positive interaction between agriculture and forestry can build sustainable agricultural systems and improve food systems, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
“It is not necessary to cut down forests to produce more food,” said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva in his opening remarks to the 23rd session of the FAO Committee on Forestry, where he unveiled the latest The State of the World’s Forests (SOFO) report.
According to the publication, large-scale commercial agriculture in the tropics and subtropics accounts for about 40 per cent of deforestation, subsistence agriculture for 33 percent, and the rest is due to urban growth, infrastructure and mining.
This occurs despite the fact that forests serve vital ecological functions and benefit agriculture and boost food production, the report highlights.
“Food security can be achieved through agricultural intensification and other measures such as social protection, rather than through expansion of agricultural areas at the expense of forests,” said Eva Müller, Director of the agency’s Forestry Policy and Resources Division.