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Insights from discussion about wild foods and community-based livelihoods

The SIANI Expert Group on Wild Foods, Biodiversity and Livelihood held an online discussion about community-based livelihoods and wild foods.

Drawing on the rich experiences of community partners from India and Indonesia with wild foods and forest-based livelihoods, our Expert Group held an online discussion about the topic on September 22, 2020.

The discussion tackled the following questions: “How do we make markets work for indigenous food systems and biodiversity conservation?”, “What are examples of community-based initiatives and strategies that benefit communities and local producers?” and “What are lessons from expanding to different markets to ensure a balance between commercial gains and food sovereignty, ecosystem integrity and cultural values?”

The discussion emphasized the importance of nurturing the agency of communities in managing and governing their forests and resources and in keeping their traditions alive.

“Forest and indigenous communities are the main forest keepers, they also preserve the knowledge about these ecosystems. These communities are key to maintaining wild foods and forest biodiversity so that traditional food systems remain intact and resilient,” said Pinto in her closing remarks.

She also called on support groups and institutions to ensure that future capacity building and advocacy interventions support and protect indigenous and forest communities.

“How we advocate and encourage them to stay on and keep their resources is really important,” Pinto added.

Read more about the discussion here and watch the video recording above.

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This discussion was the final of four online discussions about wild foods, biodiversity and livelihood arranged by the SIANI Expert Group Wild Foods, Biodiversity and Livelihood that were held from June to September 2020. The sessions explore the topic of wild foods, including challenges, best practices and recommendations to address concerns surrounding wild foods, indigenous peoples and local communities.