Forests for food security and nutrition in Central Africa at center of side event at 2015 World Forestry Congress
Fifty participants.took part in the side event on Wednesday, September 9, 2015, The session moderated by CIFOR provided yet another opportunity to share Central Africa's experiences in strengthening food security and nutrition, through sustainable management and use of NTFPs and wildlife, and present the strategic options available to COMIFAC in this regard.
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Central Africa’s tropical forests span nearly 140 million hectares and, in addition to timber, teem with a wealth of plant and animal NTFPs for the well-being of populations.
75 million people belonging to 150 ethnic groups in Central Africa daily rely on these resources for subsistence and also as a source of income and employment.
Be it at local, national, regional or international level, NTFPs provide food, medicinal plants, ornamental plants, fuel, construction materials, fishing equipment, goods and utensils to various communities.
Despite their importance, NTFPs are viewed as an informal sector and thus are not sustainably managed. Since 2005, the COMIFAC countries have engaged in the sustainable and concerted management of NTFPs in order to maximize their contribution to poverty reduction, and enhancement of food and nutrition security.