Food vs forests in sub-Saharan Africa: a challenge for the SDGs
Domestic food supply in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) will need to triple in the next 35 years. But SSA countries have also committed to reducing or halting deforestation. The tripling of food supply cannot be achieved solely through imports, waste reduction and yield increases — in certain circumstances, yield increases could even drive deforestation. Agriculture will therefore continue to expand in SSA, at the likely expense of forests, and trade-offs between the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of ending hunger and conserving forests need to be recognised. Efforts to manage these trade-offs will require an understanding of the unique characteristics of SSA and their implications for food and forest policies.