Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

Dear participants

I would like to thank the contributors to the discussion last week. The discussion provided examples of some synergies between social protection and forestry policies/goals, factors vital for the successful implementation of social protection and forestry policies, and examples of sources of vulnerability among forest dependent people.

Here is a summary of your contributions:

Social protection and forestry policies: Synergies, issues and examples

·         In India, social protection instruments and other social policies have positively impact forest dependent people. For example, NREGS (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) has created jobs for tribal women and youths and enabled sustainable land development. The Right to Education Act in India improves literacy among tribal communities, while the National Health Mission provides health benefits by lowering maternal and child mortality.

·         Ensure that social protection schemes are harmonized to improve socioeconomic status. No need for new schemes in India, policy makers should ensure the proper implementation of social protection schemes in remote areas and protect the rights of forest dependent communities.

·         In China, there is an example of strong linkages and synergies between social protection and forestry policy. The Conversion of Cropland to Forests Program (CCFP) provides grain and cash subsidies, migration assistance, energy, irrigation and training to farmers who agree convert their cropland to forests.  Over the past 16 years, 32 million rural households in 25 provinces have benefited. The CCFP has increased forest restoration and cover and is the largest poverty alleviation program in China.

·         The livelihoods of forest dependent people can be strengthened via provision of safety nets first, followed by a short to community-led commercial practices when markets are developed.

·         Proper implementation, governance and accountability, communication with beneficiaries are key factors influencing the success of forestry policies and social protection programs.

·         Consider creating synergies between forestry policies and other developmental objectives like drinking water provision, which can increase community participation in forestry programs

Sources of vulnerability and other issues

·         Forest dependent people are vulnerable to elite manipulation and displacement, when the needs of private interests supersede theirs.

·         Forest dependent people are disadvantaged by the competition for access to forest resources emanating from timber companies who are close to governments.

·         Social protection alone not adequate to prevent unsustainable forest extraction practices. Rights of forest dependent people must be protected and guaranteed via REDD and REDD+.

·         Social contracts that define the rights of use, usufruct and control of forests can contribute to efforts on building resource and human resilience.

·         Ensure funding and protection for the cork forests and forest dependent people in the Mediterranean