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Side Event

What’s Cooking? Tree Diversity on Farms

World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)

Date and Time
17 October 2012 18:15 - 19:45

Eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 11)

Tropical agroforests are characterized by great diversity among and within tree species that is of immense value to smallholders. This event, organized by the World Agroforestry Centre, highlights the role of this diversity in promoting the health and nutrition of local people, through the provision of: tree foods to humans and animals, accessible safe wood fuels to cook food to make it fit for consumption; and medicines to treat disease. Tree foods such as fruits and vegetables provide important nutrients, with the biochemical profiles of many better than staple crops, although the nutritional value of many indigenous species remains unknown. ‘Fruit tree portfolios’, combinations of species that fruit in different months, provide important nutrients throughout the year, including at times when ‘hidden hunger’ is most prevalent. Trees also provide fodder for animals, boosting dairy and meat production. Wood and charcoal are the most important energy sources for cooking in many parts of the world, but the choice of tree is important to reduce respiratory diseases caused by smoke inhalation. Traditional healthcare systems rely on medicinal trees for the well-being of humans and their livestock, while medicines traded globally are also derived from tropical trees. This event will highlight the challenges and opportunities in the sustainable use of tree diversity on farms for these purposes