This chapter focuses on political, economic and social response options at national to supranational scales to drivers of unsustainable management of forests and tree-based landscapes and their effects on food security and nutrition. Three different angles are considered: a) policy responses to enhance linkages between food security and forests with a focus on setting up the right institutional and governance structures and addressing the important issue of forest tenure reform; b) market-based response options that focus on global processes for supporting sustainable supply, and innovative corporate and multi-actor initiatives to support inclusive value chains of forest and tree products; and c) socio-cultural response options to enhance food security where the focus is on: changing urban demand; education to change behaviour and improve dietary choices; reducing inequalities and promoting gender-responsive interventions; and social mobilisation for food security.
For the public sector, a central governance issue is how and to what extent policy and regulatory frameworks help ensure that the most vulnerable groups, in particular the poorest members of society and women, have equitable access and rights to food security and nutrition from forests and tree-based systems. To this end, it is important to include relevant actors, from local communities to government departments, and initiate tenurial reform, devolution of decision-making to sub-national levels and a strengthening of institutional capacity at local levels.
For the private sector, sustainability standards supported by multi-stakeholder processes, complement policy frameworks and offer opportunities for change on the ground, particularly if these can include smallholders. In addition, pledges by corporate actors to zero deforestation and sustainable supply will likely have significant influence in shaping future production practices and business models if they include benefits for smallholder rural populations. Co-regulatory approaches that involve both public and private sector actors to achieve more inclusive food systems through innovations and greater valuation of local practices, management systems and knowledge, may in the future further enhance the governance of food systems.
At the level of social responses, education plays a pivotal role in empowering rural populations and has the potential to generate tangible benefits for households and communities in achieving food security and nutrition, sustainable forest and landscape management, and improved health. Targeting women and other vulnerable groups is particularly important to enable greater inclusiveness in decision-making and benefit sharing in forests and tree-based systems. Behavioural change that is often driven by social movements toward the consumption of food with lower environmental impact, particularly in growing urban areas, can have significant positive impacts on rural populations if the value chains necessary to meet the demand are set up to include smallholders and marginalised groups.