Publications

    Anabieza M, Pajaro M, Reyes G, Tiburcio F, Watts P. Philippine Alliance of Fisherfolk: Ecohealth Practitioners for Livelihood and Food Security. EcoHealth [Internet]. 2010;7 :394-399. Publisher's VersionAbstract

    Pamana Ka Sa Pilipinas (Pamana) is a grassroots fisherfolk alliance of Philippine Marine Protected Areas with more than 6,000 individual fisherfolk and their 30,000 family members. Access to food, education, and health services for Philippine fisherfolk families is directly dependant upon the fish harvest and related health of the marine environment. Pamana represents a unique ‘‘ecohealth’’ strategy, linking the health of coastal people and that of their surrounding marine ecosystem. Pamana’s activities are viewed by both their membership and barangay (village) health workers as a contribution to nutritional and community health. The alliance has developed an approach to the empowerment of fisherfolk that has led to improvement in health, food security, and nutritional status of their communities. The development of Pamana provides a model for building capacity in other fishing- and resource-based cultures, through engagement and empowerment. In less developed countries, grassroots initiatives, such as Pamana, may be the only solution for sustainable fisheries contributions to food security, given the challenges of fisherfolk poverty, environmental degradation, and limited finances. 

    Garaway CJ, Photitay C, Roger K, Khamsivilay L, Halwart M. Biodiversity and Nutrition in Rice-Based Ecosystems; the Case of Lao PDR. Hum Ecol [Internet]. 2013;41 :547-562. Publisher's VersionAbstract

    This paper presents results from a year-long household survey in which the aquatic resource collection and consumption activities of 240 households across Lao PDR were studied to assess the diversity of species used, their role in household food security and the overall impor- tance of ricefield habitats in this respect. Results show that aquatic biodiversity, under threat in rice-based ecosystems, plays a larger role in household consumption than previous estimates. More than 90 % of these resources are collected by households themselves and the greatest quantities from ricefield habitats. This seasonal aquatic environment is there- fore the principal habitat from which households acquire aquatic animals, both to eat fresh and to process and store for use during nutritionally vulnerable times of year. The importance of these habitats therefore goes far beyond their use for rice production and this multi-functionality needs to be understood and addressed in agricultural, conservation and food security policy. 

    Johns T, Powell B, Maundu P, Eyzaguirre PB. Agricultural Biodiversity as a Link Between Traditional Food Systems and Contemporary Development, Social Integrity and Ecological Health. J Sci Food Agric [Internet]. 2013;93 :3433-3442. Publisher's VersionAbstract

    Traditional food systems offer a key link between the social and economic resilience of smallholder farmers and pastoralists and the sustainable food and nutrition security of global populations. This paper addresses issues related to socio-cultural diversity and the continuing complex engagement of traditional and modern communities with the plants and animals that sustain them. In light of some of the unhealthful consequences of the ‘nutrition transition’ to globalized modern diets, the authors define and propose a process for a more successful food system transition that balances agro-biodiversity and processed commodities to support diet diversity, health and social equity alongside sustainable economic growth. We review empirical research in support of practice and policy changes in agriculture, economic development and health domains as well as cross-sectoral and community-based innovation. High-value food crops within domestic and global value chains can be an entry point for smallholders’ participation as contributors and beneficiaries of development, while sustainable small farms, as purveyors of environmental and public health services, diversify global options for long-term adaptation in the face of environmental uncertainty. 

    Kahane R, Hodgkin T, Jaenicke H, Hoogendoorn C, Hermann M, Keatinge JDH, d'Arros Hughes J, Padulosi S, Looney N. Agrobiodiversity for Food Security, Health and Income. Agron Sustain Dev [Internet]. 2013;33 :671-693. Publisher's VersionAbstract

    By the year 2050, agriculture will have to provide the food and nutrition requirements of some 9 billion peo- ple. Moreover, to maintain that level of productivity indef- initely it must do so using environmentally sustainable production systems. This task will be profoundly compli- cated by the effects of climate change, increasing compe- tition for water resources and loss of productive lands. Agricultural production methods will also need to recog- nize and accommodate ongoing rural to urban migration and address a host of economic, ecological and social concerns about the ‘high inputs/high outputs’ model of present-day industrial agriculture. At the same time, there is a need to confront the unacceptable levels of continuing food and nutrition insecurity, greatest in the emerging economy countries of Africa and Asia where poverty, rapid population growth and climate change present additional challenges and where agriculture is practiced primarily by small-scale farmers. Within this context, we here review science-based evidence arguing that diversification with greater use of highly valuable but presently under- valorised crops and species should be an essential element of any model for sustainable smallholder agriculture. The major points of these development opportunity crops are presented in four sections: agricultural farming systems, health and nutrition, environmental sustainability and pros- perity of the populations. For each section, these crops and their associated indigenous knowledge are reported to bring benefits and services when integrated with food systems. In this paper, we conclude that not only a change in policy is needed to influence behaviours and practices but also strong leadership able to synergize the various initiatives and implement an action plan. 

    Offering Defense Against Pests and Disease: Biodiversity International Farmer-Researcher Field Trials Mark Success at Several Levels. Bioversity International; 2015. Publisher's VersionAbstract

    Worldwide, farmers lose more than 25% of their harvests each year due to crop pests and diseases that attack their fields. Pests and diseases not only affect farmers’ family food baskets and income, but they also affect how much food is available on global markets. Ironically, one solution to that loss can be found where the loss is occurring. Consider, for example, that there are some 1,200 varieties of bananas and thousands of varieties of beans – each of these varieties has its own level of resistance to pests, diseases and even to extreme weather conditions that could stem those losses. That is why Bioversity International has

    set up field trials, working with farmers who plant different varieties of the same crops next
    to each other in their fields, to see which combinations provide the most effective control against which pests and diseases. Initial results from around the world indicate change. Ugandan farmers have seen the presence of weevils that attack banana plants reduced by 75%. Smallholder farmers in Ecuador who planted diverse bean varieties harvested their crop in spite of a heat wave, while those who invested in one commercial variety lost everything. Chinese farmers in the mountains of Sichuan and Yunnan provinces identified their most resistant traditional maize and rice varieties and established community seedbanks to make them available. The Government of Morocco produced a film promoting the importance of genetic diversity in reducing crop pests and diseases for the general public. 

    Raubenheimer D, Rothman JM. Nutritional Ecology of Entomophagy in Humans and Other Primates. Annu Rev Entomol [Internet]. 2013;58 :141-160. Publisher's VersionAbstract

    Entomophagy is widespread among nonhuman primates and is common among many human communities. However, the extent and patterns of en- tomophagy vary substantially both in humans and nonhuman primates. Here we synthesize the literature to examine why humans and other primates eat insects and what accounts for the variation in the extent to which they do so. Variation in the availability of insects is clearly important, but less under- stood is the role of nutrients in entomophagy. We apply a multidimensional analytical approach, the right-angled mixture triangle, to published data on the macronutrient compositions of insects to address this. Results showed that insects eaten by humans spanned a wide range of protein-to-fat ratios but were generally nutrient dense, whereas insects with high protein-to-fat ratios were eaten by nonhuman primates. Although suggestive, our survey exposes a need for additional, standardized, data. 

    Fa JE, Currie D, Meeuwig J. Bushmeat and Food Security in the Congo Basin: Linkages Between Wildlife and People's Future. Environmental Conservation [Internet]. 2003;30 (1) :71-78. Publisher's VersionAbstract

    Tropical moist forests in Africa are concentrated in the Congo Basin. A variety of animals in these forests, in particular mammals, are hunted for their meat, termed bushmeat. This paper investigates current and future trends of bushmeat protein, and non-bushmeat protein supply, for inhabitants of the main Congo Basin countries. Since most bushmeat is derived from forest mammals, published extraction (E) and production (P) estimates of mammal populations were used to calculate the per person protein supplied by these. Current bushmeat protein supply may range from 30 g person1 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to 180 g person1 in Gabon. Future bushmeat protein supplies were predicted for the next 50 years by employing current E:P ratios, and controlling for known deforestation and population growth rates. At current exploitation rates, bushmeat protein supply would drop 81% in all countries in less than 50 years; only three countries would be able to maintain a protein supply above the recommended daily requirement of 52 g person1. However, if bushmeat harvests were reduced to a sustainable level, all countries except Gabon would be dramatically affected by the loss of wild protein supply. The dependence on bushmeat protein is emphasized by the fact that four out of the five countries studied do not produce sufficient amounts of non-bushmeat protein to feed their populations. These findings imply that a significant number of forest mammals could become extinct relatively soon, and that protein malnutrition is likely to increase dramatically if food security in the region is not promptly resolved.

    Jamieson JA, Weiler HA, Kuhnlein HV, Egeland GM. Traditional Food Intake Is Correlated with Iron Stores in Canadian Inuit Men. J Nutr [Internet]. 2012;142 :764-770. Publisher's VersionAbstract

    Accelerated loss of traditional lifestyles may place Inuit at risk of iron depletion given that anemia has been observed among Arctic men. The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of anemia, storage iron depletion, and iron overload and to identify correlates of iron status in Canadian Inuit men. In a cross-sectional survey of 994 men in the International Polar Year Inuit Health Survey, 2007–2008, hemoglobin, serum ferritin (SF), soluble transferrin receptor (on a subset), CRP, RBC fatty acid composition, and Helicobacter pylori serology were measured in venous blood drawn from fasting men. Anthropometric, dietary, sociodemographic, and health data were collected. Dietary and nondietary correlates of iron status were assessed with multiple linear and logistic models. For men with CRP #10 mg/L (n = 804), 6.5% had depleted, 19.8% had low, and 10.3% had elevated iron stores. Anemia was moderately prevalent (16.1%), but iron deficiency anemia was less common (2.4%). There was a low probability of dietary iron inadequacy (2.4% , Estimated Average Requirement) and excess iron intakes (10.7% . Tolerable Upper Intake Level). Food-insecure men and those without a household hunter had a higher risk of low or depleted iron stores. Adiposity, traditional food intake, long- chain RBC PUFA status, and inflammation were positively associated with SF and food insecurity, smoking, and H. pylori seropositivity were negatively associated with SF. Despite a moderate prevalence of anemia, iron stores are largely adequate in this population, although lower than expected based on iron intake. The regulation of iron metabolism in this population and the high prevalence of anemia in older men warrants further investigation. 

    Mramba RP. Nutritional Status of Children as an Indicator of Bushmeat Utilization in Western Serengeti. Norwegian University of Science and Technology Department of Biology [Internet]. 2011. Publisher's VersionAbstract

    Serengeti ecosystem supports great number of large mammals ranging from grazers, browsers and carnivores. Some of these animals migrate between seasonal water sources and grasslands. The human population in the western boundary of the park is currently high and increases at the rate of 4% per annum. Majority of local communities are subsistence farmers who derive their needs such as bush meat from the park. The purpose of the study was to test if bush meat utilization contributes to nutritional improvement of local communities around Serengeti National Park. Three villages were selected at random along a gradient of distance from Serengeti National Park and Lake Victoria and a control village from Dodoma Region in Tanzania. One hundred households were selected at random from each village and interviewed. Weight and height of children aged 3 to 12 years from the selected households were measured. Anthropometric data were analyzed by WHO AntrhoPlus software while questionnaires were analyzed by SPSS for windows version 18. The results revealed significant differences in the number of undernourished children from the villages which were in western Serengeti compared to the control village. Consumption of bushmeat was significantly higher in the villages which were close to the park compared to the village which was further away from the park. Fish consumption was higher than bushmeat in the village which was close to both park and Lake Victoria and negatively correlated with bushmeat meals, while consumption of livestock meat was higher in the control village. No significant relationship between nutritional status of children and number of bushmeat meals observed, but there was a negative relationship between nutritional status and distance from the park/lake and the price of bushmeat. The study also revealed significant relationship between level of education of the parent and the body mass index of the children.

    Rentsch D, Damon A. Prices, Poaching, and Protein Alternatives: An Analysis of Bushmeat Consumption Around Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Ecological Economics [Internet]. 2013;91 :1-9. Publisher's VersionAbstract

    The consumption of meat from wild animals (or bushmeat) occurs throughout Africa and highlights the con- flict between two distinct development goals: food security and biodiversity conservation. Growing human populations throughout the greater Serengeti ecosystem rely heavily on bushmeat as a source of protein, which places pressure on migratory wildlife populations. This paper uses unique data from protein consump- tion surveys from 131 households over 34 months in a generalizable empirical framework to estimate price, cross-price, and expenditure elasticities of protein sources, and analyze the potential economic effects of pol- icies to mitigate bushmeat hunting and consumption. Results suggest that: (1) directly increasing the price of bushmeat through enforcement or other policies to reduce supply will have the most direct and largest effect of bushmeat consumption; (2) increasing income increases bushmeat consumption as well as consumption of other meat sources; (3) if surrounding fisheries experience a negative shock, or collapse, this will lead to a dramatic increase in bushmeat consumption. Overall, these results strongly indicate that policies to re- duce bushmeat hunting while maintaining food security must be considered in a broad and comprehensive framework. 

    Calderone NW. Insect Pollinated Crops, Insect Polliantors and US Agriculture: Trend Analysis of Aggregate Data for the Period 1992-2009. PLoS ONE. 2012;7 (5) :e37235.Abstract

    In the US, the cultivated area (hectares) and production (tonnes) of crops that require or benefit from insect pollination (directly dependent crops: apples, almonds, blueberries, cucurbits, etc.) increased from 1992, the first year in this study, through 1999 and continued near those levels through 2009; aggregate yield (tonnes/hectare) remained unchanged. The value of directly dependent crops attributed to all insect pollination (2009 USD) decreased from $14.29 billion in 1996, the first year for value data in this study, to $10.69 billion in 2001, but increased thereafter, reaching $15.12 billion by 2009. The values attributed to honey bees and non-Apis pollinators followed similar patterns, reaching $11.68 billion and $3.44 billion, respectively, by 2009. The cultivated area of crops grown from seeds resulting from insect pollination (indirectly dependent crops: legume hays, carrots, onions, etc.) was stable from 1992 through 1999, but has since declined. Production of those crops also declined, albeit not as rapidly as the decline in cultivated area; this asymmetry was due to increases in aggregate yield. The value of indirectly dependent crops attributed to insect pollination declined from $15.45 billion in 1996 to $12.00 billion in 2004, but has since trended upward. The value of indirectly dependent crops attributed to honey bees and non- Apis pollinators, exclusive of alfalfa leafcutter bees, has declined since 1996 to $5.39 billion and $1.15 billion, respectively in 2009. The value of alfalfa hay attributed to alfalfa leafcutter bees ranged between $4.99 and $7.04 billion. Trend analysis demonstrates that US producers have a continued and significant need for insect pollinators and that a diminution in managed or wild pollinator populations could seriously threaten the continued production of insect pollinated crops and crops grown from seeds resulting from insect pollination. 

    Dounias E, Froment A. From Foraging to Farming Among Present-day Forest Hunter-Gatherers: Consequences on Diet and Health. International Forestry Review [Internet]. 2011;13 (3) :294-304. Publisher's VersionAbstract

    Throughout history, forests dwellers have adapted to permanent changes of forest ecosystems that, in essence, are dynamic. Accordingly, they have long served as models of how humans lived when their lifestyles and genetic endowment were complementary. What is now commonly described as the “paleodiet” tends to be put forward as a benchmark for present-day efforts to promote health and prevent nutritional diseases, even in industrialized countries. Although forest ecosystems provide food and medicines to forest dwellers, over the last half-century these ecosystems have undergone unprecedented pressure to make way for economic growth and industrialization, often at the cost of ecological functions that may affect human health, both in short term (i.e. increase in infectious diseases) and long term (incidence of global change). As radical alterations occur such as deforestation, modification of resource availability, and the penetration of cash economies, forest dwellers encounter increasing difficulties in accommodating their socioeconomic, cultural, and political systems, thus impeding their ecological success. Diets and diseases are sensitive indicators of the ecological and cultural costs that former hunter-gatherers currently pay to achieve their share of modernity. This paper exposes the nutritional and epidemiological consequences of the maladaptation of former hunter-gatherers in relation to their recent sedentarization. It is primarily based on case studies carried out among the Baka and Kola Pygmies of Cameroon, and the Tubu Punan of Borneo. 

    Nasi R, Taber A, van Vliet N. Empty Forest, Empty Stomachs? Bushmeat and Livelihoods in the Congo and Amazon Basins. International Forestry Review [Internet]. 2011;13 (3) :355-368. Publisher's VersionAbstract

    Protein from forest wildlife is crucial to rural food security and livelihoods across the tropics. The harvest of animals such as tapir, duikers, deer, pigs, peccaries, primates and larger rodents, birds and reptiles provides benefits to local people worth millions of US$ annually and represents around 6 million tonnes of animals extracted yearly. Vulnerability to hunting varies, with some species sustaining populations in heavily hunted secondary habitats, while others require intact forests with minimal harvesting to maintain healthy populations. Some species or groups have been characterized as ecosystem engineers and ecological keystone species. They affect plant distribution and structure ecosystems, through seed dispersal and predation, grazing, browsing, rooting and other mechanisms. Global attention has been drawn to their loss through debates regarding bushmeat, the “empty forest” syndrome and their ecological importance. However, information on the harvest remains fragmentary, along with understanding of ecological, socioeconomic and cultural dimensions. Here we assess the consequences, both for ecosystems and local livelihoods, of the loss of these species in the Amazon and Congo basins. 

    Ibarra JT, Barreau A, Campo DC, Camacho CI, Martin GJ, McCandless SR. When Formal and Market-based Conservation Mechanisms Disrupt Food Sovereignty: Impacts of Community Conservation and Payments for Environmental Services on an Indigenous Community of Oaxaca, Mexico. International Forestry Review [Internet]. 2011;13 (3) :318-337. Publisher's VersionAbstract

    The impacts of Payments for Environmental Services (PES) and creation of formal Voluntary Conserved Areas (VCAs) on local diets, agricultural practices, subsistence hunting and livelihoods, were assessed in a Chinantec community of southern Mexico. The community has set aside VCAs covering 4 300 ha of its 5 928 ha of communal lands and forests, and has received over $769 245 in PES for protection of 2 822 ha of watersheds roughly overlapping the VCAs. Community members attribute decreased maize and other subsistence crop yields, reduction of area available for agriculture, and shortened fallow cycles to the new conservation policies. Meat consumption has decreased after a hunting ban, accompanied by increases in purchasing meat still consumed. By agreeing to conservation measures that restrict their use of ancestral agricul- tural land and prohibit hunting, villagers have seen local food security become less stable, leading to greater dependency on external food supplies. Continued strict preservation measures under the guise of community conservation could lead to losses of agrobiodiversity, dietary diversity, hunting skills and associated environmental knowledge. Appropriate application of the precautionary principle is essential to avoid structural displacement of local peoples and to ensure the success of community conservation initiatives. 

    Fiorella KJ, Camlin CS, Salmen CR, Omondi R, Hickey MD, Omollo DO, Milner EM, Bukusi EA, Fernald LCH, Brashares JS. Transactional Fish-for-Sex Relationships Amid Declining Fish Access in Kenya. World Development [Internet]. 2015;74 :323-332. Publisher's VersionAbstract

    Women’s access to natural resources for food and livelihoods is shaped by resource availability, income, and the gender dynamics that mediate access. In fisheries, where men often fish but women comprise 90% of traders, transactional sex is among the strategies women use to access resources. Using the case of Lake Victoria, we employed mixed methods (in-depth interviews, n = 30; cross-sectional survey, n = 303) to analyze the influence of fish declines on fish-for-sex relationships. We found that fish declines affect relationship duration and women’s bargaining power. Our results have broad implications for the dynamics of economies dependent on increasingly scarce resources throughout the world.

    Gallai N, Salles JM, Settele J, Vaissiere BE. Economic Valuation of the Vulnerability of World Agriculture Confronted with Pollinator Decline. Ecological Economics [Internet]. 2009;68 :810-821. Publisher's VersionAbstract

    There is mounting evidence of pollinator decline all over the world and consequences in many agricultural areas could be significant. We assessed these consequences by measuring 1) the contribution of insect pollination to the world agricultural output economic value, and 2) the vulnerability of world agriculture in the face of pollinator decline. We used a bioeconomic approach, which integrated the production dependence ratio on pollinators, for the 100 crops used directly for human food worldwide as listed by FAO. The total economic value of pollination worldwide amounted to 153 billion, which represented 9.5% of the value of the world agricultural production used for human food in 2005. In terms of welfare, the consumer surplus loss was estimated between 190 and 310 billion based upon average price elasticities of 1.5 to 0.8, respectively. Vegetables and fruits were the leading crop categories in value of insect pollination with about 50 billion each, followed by edible oil crops, stimulants, nuts and spices. The production value of a ton of the crop categories that do not depend on insect pollination averaged 151 while that of those that are pollinator-dependent averaged 761. The vulnerability ratio was calculated for each crop category at the regional and world scales as the ratio between the economic value of pollination and the current total crop value. This ratio varied considerably among crop categories and there was a positive correlation between the rate of vulnerability to pollinators decline of a crop category and its value per production unit. Looking at the capacity to nourish the world population after pollinator loss, the production of 3 crop categories namely fruits, vegetables, and stimulants - will clearly be below the current consumption level at the world scale and even more so for certain regions like Europe. Yet, although our valuation clearly demonstrates the economic importance of insect pollinators, it cannot be considered as a scenario since it does not take into account the strategic responses of the markets. 

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