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Forest contributions to livelihoods in changing agriculture-forest landscapes

Laura Vang Rasmussen, Cristy Watkins and Arun Agrawal

Forest Policy and Economics, 2017, vol. 84, issue C, 1-8

Abstract: Forests support the livelihoods of a vast number of people through subsistence use of products, such as food, fodder, and medicinal plants; cash income obtained from sale of products; and more indirect ecological benefits such as the contributions of forests and trees to agricultural productivity. It is widely acknowledged that these contributions can be paramount to local livelihoods, yet country- and region-wide data on their linkages remains sparse and limited attention has been devoted to understanding synergies and trade-offs between, for example, subsistence and cash exchange-based contributions. And because many forest landscapes are now transitioning towards patchworks of land uses owing to agricultural expansion, conservation interventions, urbanization, and other drivers, the ways in which forests support livelihoods are in flux leaving questions about potential shifts in their importance relatively unexplored. This editorial as well as the papers collected in this special issue on Forests, food, and livelihoods, discuss the ways in which forests contribute to livelihoods, including interactions between them, and how they change as landscapes transition. By doing so, we point to the need to move beyond single-year data collection to comparable temporal points and panel data as well as the importance of accounting for a) subsistence use values, b) commercial use values, and c) ecological forest contributions in poverty alleviation policies.

Keywords: Subsistence and commercial contributions; Agriculture-forest landscapes; Landscape transitions; Poverty; Conservation policies (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1016/j.forpol.2017.04.010

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