Featured: Anna Herforth on food security, nutrition and conservation, at the Yale International Society of Tropical Foresters 2013 Confernce

Anna Herforth, of the Division of Nutritional Science at Cornell University, will give an opening lecture on Friday, January 25, the first full day of the 19th Annual Conference of the Yale Chapter of the International Society of Tropical Foresters.  The talk will take place at 9:15AM in Burke Auditorium of Kroon Hall, 195 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT.

About the Speaker– Anna Herforth is a consultant specializing in nutrition as a multisectoral issue related to agriculture and the environment. She consults for the World Bank, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and USAID’s SPRING project. She is also a Visiting Fellow at Cornell University. She has worked with universities, nonprofit organizations, agencies of the United Nations and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) on nutrition policy and programs in Africa, South Asia, and Latin America. In each region she has spent considerable time working with agricultural and indigenous communities. She holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University in International Nutrition with a minor in International Agriculture, an M.S. in Food Policy from Tufts Friedman School, and a B.S. in Plant Science from Cornell University.

Abstract for talk–

Global Movement on the Food Security and Nutrition Agenda: Joining Forces with Conservation Through Forestry

In the past five years, there has been a proliferation of initiatives and guidance on how to enhance food security and nutrition outcomes from agriculture.  A recent analysis shows that of the dozen international development institutions publishing guidance on linking agriculture and nutrition, a large majority (10) included the recommendation to manage natural resources as a route to nutrition.  The rationales included improved productivity, resilience to shocks, adaptation to climate change, and increased equitable access to resources through soil, water, and biodiversity conservation.  Yet no institution includes any natural resource indicators within a nutrition outcomes framework, and few studies have set out to expressly link natural resource and nutrition outcomes empirically, suggesting limited accountability and advocacy toward concrete actions.

The current strong level of independent interest in food security, nutrition, and conservation agendas presents an opportunity to clarify the message on the links between them. Agro-forests, tree planting, integrated forest-agricultural landscapes, mixed cropping, and structurally and functionally diverse home gardens are some of the models that link ecological and nutritional objectives.  We present pathways through which ecological objectives are directly or indirectly related to food security and nutrition.  We call for individual programs to build a policy-relevant evidence base by measuring both ecological and nutrition indicators, and linking them in analyses.  More broadly, we discuss the policies and institutions that can promote food production models globally that are aligned with both environmental and human wellbeing. This framework presents a paradigm shift for conservation: Conservation for Nutrition.

About the Conference–  ”Food and Forests:  Cultivating Resilient Landscapes”, the 19th Annual Conference of the Yale Chapter of the International Society of Tropical Foresters, will be held January 24-26, 2013 at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.  The conference will include a workshop on facilitating multi-stakeholder dialogues, as well as three panel discussions:  Beyond Yields:  Food Security and Resilience, Reconciling Interests at the Landscape Scale, and Large-Scale Governance and Small-Scale Farming.  For more information, please visit www.yale.edu/istf.