World in View: Forests, Foraging and Food: linking forests to sustainable and healthy food systems

  • Thursday, March 25, 2021
  • 9:00 AM- 10:00 AM
  • Zoom link will be provided

A World in View discussion led by faculty at Penn State and the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN), South Africa

Forests are a vital source of livelihood for an estimated 1.2-1.5 billion people globally, of whom over 60 million are completely dependent on forests for their livelihoods. However, the various contributions of forests and trees to food security and nutrition are poorly reflected across national and international food and nutrition security strategies. In the Fall we engaged with Schreyers students in general on the important role of forests and trees, with a view to enhancing food systems of rural communities dependent on forest products for their livelihoods. This follow up second session will discuss three specific topics and case studies, namely 1) Foraging for wild foods - how foraging has evolved, and how it could help build better fulfill our food needs resilience for the future; 2) Tree restoration to restore environmental rights, social cohesion, and dignity within society and contribute to sustainable livelihoods and empower marginalized communities and 3) How wild food plants (WFP’s) are being used and have been used in famine, local economies, and food security, with application for post-catastrophe scenarios (e.g. nuclear war, large meteor impact, super volcanic eruption, etc.)

After short presentations on these topics, group and break out discussion will focus on these 3 questions: 1) How can forests and trees promote resilient food systems (availability, access, use and stability) in the face of shocks, e.g. climate change, pandemics, etc.? 2) What is the linkage between food and non-market values that would lead to a greater contribution from tree-based systems to transforming local food systems? 3) What innovative and transformative approaches are needed to address global grand challenges related to food, water and energy securities as well as sustainability?

Dr. Michael Jacobson is a professor at Penn State is active in international agroforestry and water energy and food (WEF) Nexus projects focused on Africa.

Dr. Tafadzwa Mabhaudhi is a researcher working on global change, food systems and the water-energy-food nexus at UKZN

Dr. Mallika Sardeshpande is a postdoc researcher designing multifunctional urban greenspaces with a focus on biodiversity and food, at UKZN.

Dr. Shenelle Sewell is a researcher working on bridging the gap between socio-ecological systems, focusing on climate change and empowering vulnerable communities through participatory research at UKZN.

Daniel Winstead is at Penn State working on an Open Philanthropy Foundation project examining the use of forest food products after catastrophic events.

Please note: Registration for events in this series is required and, given the topics and speakers, we anticipate interest to be high. For this reason, each event is limited to 25 students and early registration is strongly encouraged. Scholar attendees will receive a complimentary electronic gift card.

Event Contact

Sarah Lyall-Combs
Schreyer Scholar Blake Greenspan

My favorite part of Schreyer is all the connections I've established and made. I've met so many awesome people. I feel like I fit in here.

Blake Greenspan ' 22 Premedicine, Political Science

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