Special Issue "Governing Forest Landscapes: Challenges and Ways Forward"


A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2014)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Pablo Pacheco
CIFOR, Jalan CIFOR, Situ Gede, Bogor Barat 16115, Indonesia
E-Mail: p.pacheco@cgiar.org
Interests: land and forest governance; landscape and agrarian change; rural development

Guest Editor
Dr. George Schoneveld
Center for International Forestry Research, Kenya United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, Kenya
E-Mail: g.schoneveld@cgiar.org
Interests: political economy; global commodity markets; customary property regimes

Guest Editor
Dr. Andrew Wardell
Center for International Forestry Research, Indonesia Jalan CIFOR, Situ Gede, Bogor Barat 16115, Indonesia
E-Mail: a.wardell@cgiar.org
Interests: multi-level governance of land and forests; environmental history; decentralization and globalization of NTFPs

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Forest governance is concerned with the management and regulation of a complex interplay of social, political, and economic issues that shape the ways in which societies, and specific societal groups, use, allocate and distribute land and forest resources so as to harness forests’ potential to provide important  goods and ecosystem services. The discussion on forest governance has expanded gradually over time to embrace both different disciplinary perspectives and multiple scales reflecting the growing complexity of the institutional architecture associated with governing access to, and use of land and forests.

At the local level, research on forest governance concerns the analysis of the socio-institutional and economic factors that shape how land and forests are used by different economic actors, such as, for example, smallholders, forest-dependent communities, and agribusiness. At the sub-national level, the focus lies on the political-economic context and institutional arrangements that affect land use change and forest conversion dynamics, as part of broader processes of agrarian change and landscape transformation. At the national level, the primary emphasis is on the policy and legal frameworks that influence market dynamics and broader social behavior in relation to forest conservation or economic land development. Finally, at the global level, the influence of international trade and finance regimes and markets in driving large-scale investments has become an important new area of inquiry. This relates particularly to the potentials, and limitations of emerging market-driven mechanisms such as corporate accountabilities (e.g. standards and certification systems) and socio-economic partnerships (e.g. fair trade) to enhance the sustainability of global commodity supply chains, as well as the likely growing influence of multilateral agreements. Increasingly, researchers are attempting to bridge these different scales by evaluating how processes and practices at one scale influence other levels of governance.

The analytical lenses through which interactions between the different dimensions and scales shaping land and forest governance, their social and ecological impacts, and potential ways to manage the trade-offs are diverse. There is growing recognition of the need to adopt more integrated approaches in exploring the interactions between different economic sectors, actors, and institutions across scales. Three dominant perspectives appear to be emerging. The first relates to the resurgence of landscape approaches as a way to understand the socio-economic and politico-environmental interactions that shape natural resource management in specific places. The second stresses the importance of assessing the potential for improving sustainability and governance of commodity supply chains in tropical forests and agricultural landscapes. The third highlights the importance of the private sector, where large investments in specific commodities such as palm oil and soy are occurring, in adopting sustainability initiatives, as a key element in fostering a transition towards more sustainable investment and production. The importance of linking these three perspectives is becoming increasingly evident, from both theoretical and policy angles, as a means to developing more innovative multi-level governance arrangements.

This special issue privileges papers that, from different theoretical and disciplinary perspectives, and across multiple scales, look at the issues of policy approaches, sustainable commodity supply chains, and corporate sustainability initiatives, in order to identify the key legal, regulatory and institutional challenges associated with equitable and sustainable forest landscape governance and ways forward.

Dr. Pablo Pacheco
Dr. George Schoneveld
Dr. Andrew Wardell
Guest Editors


Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forests is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs).


  • forests governance
  • multi-level governance
  • sustainable landscapes
  • corporate sustainability

Published Papers (4 papers)

Download All Papers
Sort by:
Display options:
Select articles Export citation of selected articles as:
Select/unselect all
Displaying article 1-4
p. 464-491
by  and
Forests 2015, 6(2), 464-491; doi:10.3390/f6020464
Received: 21 September 2014 / Revised: 13 January 2015 / Accepted: 11 February 2015 / Published: 16 February 2015
Show/Hide Abstract | PDF Full-text (339 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Governing Forest Landscapes: Challenges and Ways Forward)
p. 88-115
Forests 2015, 6(1), 88-115; doi:10.3390/f6010088
Received: 16 October 2014 / Accepted: 23 December 2014 / Published: 30 December 2014
Show/Hide Abstract | PDF Full-text (2149 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Governing Forest Landscapes: Challenges and Ways Forward)
p. 3147-3168
by ,  and
Forests 2014, 5(12), 3147-3168; doi:10.3390/f5123147
Received: 12 August 2014 / Revised: 1 December 2014 / Accepted: 5 December 2014 / Published: 12 December 2014
Show/Hide Abstract | PDF Full-text (1540 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Governing Forest Landscapes: Challenges and Ways Forward)
p. 2996-3021
by ,  and
Forests 2014, 5(12), 2996-3021; doi:10.3390/f5122996
Received: 28 October 2014 / Revised: 14 November 2014 / Accepted: 27 November 2014 / Published: 4 December 2014
Show/Hide Abstract | PDF Full-text (352 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Governing Forest Landscapes: Challenges and Ways Forward)
abstract graphic
Select/unselect all
Displaying article 1-4
Select articles Export citation of selected articles as:

Last update: 22 May 2014

Forests EISSN 1999-4907 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert