State of the World's Forests 2014 (SOFO)

The role of forests in food security is often overlooked, but it is essential. However, to measure the socioeconomic benefits from forests, data collection must focus on people, and not on only trees, notes a recently pubished report.

According to FAO’s  ‚State of the World's Forests’ 2014 report, despite a significant proportion of the world’s population depending on forest products to meet their basic needs, such as shelter and energy, these socioeconomic benefits are not adequately addressed in forest and other relevant policies.

Based on information provided from 86 countries, the report deals with the existing knowledge gaps on the socioeconomic benefits provided by forests. It gathers and analyses data already available on the topic and also makes recommendations to improve this information.

The report says that while every country with significant forest resources has implemented a forestry programme, population growth and urbanisation mean that these should be updated to reflect changing pressures on the world’s forests. This evidence is critical to inform policies on forest management and its use, and to ensure that the benefits from forests are recognised in the post-2015 development agenda.