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Reinterpreting how forests support people's dietary quality in low-income countries

Descrizione del progetto

Impatto delle foreste sulla qualità delle diete delle persone

Due miliardi di persone, soprattutto nei paesi a basso reddito, sono malnutrite. La diversificazione della dieta può risolvere questo problema. Le soluzioni attuali si concentrano sull’intensificazione della produzione agricola nonché sull’accesso a un numero sufficiente di calorie. Il progetto FORESTDIET, finanziato dall’UE, indagherà sul ruolo potenziale che le foreste possono svolgere nella diversificazione delle diete per i poveri nei paesi a basso reddito. Si dimostrerà come le foreste possano emergere come punto di partenza di un’economia circolare che parta dai cibi selvatici forniti dalla foresta e si estenda ad altri beni di valore che possono essere commercializzati, portando così a pratiche agricole sostenibili. Il progetto prevede di offrire la prima conferma empirica generalizzata del modo in cui le foreste influiscono sulla qualità delle diete nei paesi più poveri.


Two billion people across the planet suffer from nutrient deficiencies. Dietary diversification is key to solving this problem, yet food security policy, especially in low-income countries, still focuses on increasing agricultural production and access to sufficient calories as the main solution. But calories are not all equal. Indeed, this approach has created a blind spot with respect to the role of forests, which are often overlooked but may be important for dietary diversification for the rural poor by providing wild foods, high-value products which can be sold and thereby enable food purchases, and fodder for livestock which then provide meat, milk and eggs as well as manure to improve agricultural production.

This project will identify how forest loss and fragmentation affect people’s dietary quality. I will apply a cutting-edge multi-scale, multi-country, and data-rich approach. First, I will take a broad-scale perspective to explore where forest loss, forest fragmentation, and dietary changes are taking place and identify hotspots of forest change and deteriorating diets. To do so, I will spatially link publicly available household data on food consumption, with metrics on the proportion and spatial arrangement of forest from longitudinal datasets. Second, I will unravel the mechanisms linking forests and diets to develop a comprehensive framework on forest-diet linkages. Third, I will zoom in on selected sites in two countries and use in-depth fieldwork to elucidate causal relations between forests and dietary outcomes locally.

The project will break new ground by providing the first generalizable empirical evidence of how and why forests influence dietary quality in low-income countries, thereby laying the ground for a shift in how we think about pathways to food security – that is, to move from conceptualizing food security as driven by agriculture alone to seeing it as dependent on socio-ecological interactions at the forest-agriculture nexus.

Meccanismo di finanziamento

ERC-STG - Starting Grant


Contribution nette de l'UE
€ 1 447 389,00
Norregade 10
1165 Kobenhavn

Mostra sulla mappa

Danmark Hovedstaden Byen København
Tipo di attività
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Altri finanziamenti
€ 0,00

Beneficiari (1)