Circular Bioeconomy in Forest-Based Sector: Governance and Policy

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Economics, Policy, and Social Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 April 2022) | Viewed by 17315

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA), 38123 Trento, Italy
Interests: sustainable forest management; ecosystem services; stakeholder analysis; public participation in natural resources management
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Guest Editor
Forestry Faculty, Technical University in Zvolen, Ul. T. G. Masaryka 24, 96001 Zvolen, Slovakia
Interests: forest property; forest harvesting and management rights

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Guest Editor
Department of Geography, Umeå University, and Department of Forest Resource Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå. Department of Geography, Umeå University, 901 87 Umeå, Sweden
Interests: policy; climate change; adaptation; northern europe; qualitative studies

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The circular bioeconomy is a sustainable alternative to the linear economy paradigm, and aims to mitigate the environmental impacts of natural resources use and to create a zero-emission society. On the one hand, the concept of “bioeconomy” emphasizes the importance of technological innovations aimed at complementing or substituting non-renewable resources with bio-based alternatives. On the other hand, the concept of “circular economy” focuses on the technological and organizational innovations aimed at accounting for and reducing resource use and consumption, improving resource use efficiency and recycling, and minimizing the emissions of waste and greenhouses gases (GHG). In other words, the circular bioeconomy is the combination of these two aforementioned concepts focused on reducing the use of resources and waste produced during the production cycle. In the last several decades, many international and national political strategies (e.g., “The Bioeconomy to 2030: Designing a Policy Agenda” by OECD (2009), the Canadian Blueprint (2009), the European Union (EU) Bioeconomy Strategy (2012), and the United States (US) National Bioeconomy Blueprint (2012)) have emphasized the role and importance of the bioeconomy for a transition from a fossil-fuel economy to a clean-energy economy.

In the circular bioeconomy context, the forest-based sector plays a key role in terms of added value, economic growth, and green job creation through the supply of renewable raw material for construction, furniture, and bioenergy. In addition, the forest-based sector has the potential to produce innovative bio-based products with high added value, such as biopolymers, bioplastics, chemical building blocks, lubricants, and solvents. The multi-product factories known as forest biorefineries able to produce both low-value products (green electricity, heat, and pellets) and high-value products (bio-composites, bio-plastics) from wood-based biomass will have strategic importance for sustainable economic growth and the reduction of environmental impacts in the coming years.

The aim of the Special Issue “Circular Bioeconomy in Forest-Based Sector: Governance and Policy” is to promote the debate and the sharing of knowledge and experiences on governance, policies, and innovations concerning the forest-based circular bioeconomy. We encourage studies from all scientific fields, including case studies, to contribute to this Special Issue in order to promote the advancement of scientific knowledge and awareness of information.

Dr. Alessandro Paletto
Dr. Zuzana Dobsinska
Prof. Dr. E. Carina H. Keskitalo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Bioeconomy strategy
  • Circular economy
  • Environmental governance
  • Forest bio-based economy
  • Forest biorefinery
  • Bio-textile products
  • Bio-plastics
  • Advanced biofuels
  • Technical and organizational innovations
  • Zero-emission society
  • Innovations

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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20 pages, 1963 KiB  
Article
How to Improve Forest Carbon Sequestration Output Performance: An Evidence from State-Owned Forest Farms in China
by Chen Liang, Xue Wei, Jixian Meng and Wenhui Chen
Forests 2022, 13(5), 778; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13050778 - 18 May 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2392
Abstract
China’s state-owned forest farms are the basic sectors of forestry production, and their carbon cycle functions, such as timber processing and forest carbon sequestration, are of great significance to the national emission reduction strategy. By three-stage DEA and Tobit models, this paper measures [...] Read more.
China’s state-owned forest farms are the basic sectors of forestry production, and their carbon cycle functions, such as timber processing and forest carbon sequestration, are of great significance to the national emission reduction strategy. By three-stage DEA and Tobit models, this paper measures the carbon sequestration output efficiency of 3706 state-owned forest farms involved in China’s National Forestry and Grassland Administration’s 2008–2018 survey. We figure out how the mechanism on the carbon sequestration impacts output efficiency of these forest farms and analyze the temporal trends and spatial distributions of their outputs in various regions. Our results indicate that the overall output efficiency of state-owned forest farms in China is relatively low compared with the international advanced level and show that distinctive north-south regional differences exist. Specifically, the carbon storage of the state-owned forest farms in Northeast China and Inner Mongolia occupies more than half of the carbon storage of total amounts, but their output efficiency is unsatisfactory. Conversely, the forest farms in Southwest China have a medium amount of carbon storage and the highest output efficiency. After improving the external environments of these farms, the efficiency value in each province appears as a significant increment. Moreover, the effects of afforestation, timber harvests, the under-forest economy, and other operating behaviors exhibit regional heterogeneity to some extent. Therefore, this paper advocates reforming the current forest cultivation strategy that emphasizes afforestation and neglects management, and relevant government departments are supposed to adjust operations according to local conditions to promote sustainable forest management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circular Bioeconomy in Forest-Based Sector: Governance and Policy)
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12 pages, 796 KiB  
Article
Efficiency of Wood-Processing Enterprises—Evaluation Based on DEA and MPI: A Comparison between Slovakia and Bulgaria for the Period 2014–2018
by Stanislava Krišťáková, Nikolay Neykov, Petar Antov, Mariana Sedliačiková, Roman Reh, Aureliu-Florin Halalisan and Iveta Hajdúchová
Forests 2021, 12(8), 1026; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12081026 - 2 Aug 2021
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 3383
Abstract
The ongoing transition to a low-carbon, sustainable forest-based economy, and the adoption of circular bioeconomy principles in the wood-processing industry is associated with the optimization of natural resources, application of environmentally sustainable production technologies, adoption of technological and organizational innovations, and increased economic [...] Read more.
The ongoing transition to a low-carbon, sustainable forest-based economy, and the adoption of circular bioeconomy principles in the wood-processing industry is associated with the optimization of natural resources, application of environmentally sustainable production technologies, adoption of technological and organizational innovations, and increased economic efficiency and competitiveness. The implementation of all these measures can help to reach the biggest challenge of our time in the fight against climate change in a cost-effective and competitive way. The aim of this study was to estimate the technical efficiency of wood-processing companies in the Slovak Republic and the Republic of Bulgaria by applying data envelopment analysis (DEA) and the Malmquist productivity index (MPI), and to reveal some factors for efficiency improvements. The economic efficiency evaluation based on official data was performed using selected indices of four wood-processing companies in each country in the period 2014–2018. The study implemented an output-oriented DEA model with constant returns to scale as a nonparametric linear approach for measuring the efficiency of production decision-making units (DMUs). The results obtained revealed that the studied Slovak companies were more efficient with better management in terms of machinery planning and overhead utilization. Markedly, the Bulgarian companies achieved better materials management and current planning quality. Increased economic efficiency of wood-processing enterprises in both countries can be realized through investments in innovative technological improvements, and enhanced research and development activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circular Bioeconomy in Forest-Based Sector: Governance and Policy)
32 pages, 4038 KiB  
Article
Climate Change Governance in Forestry and Nature Conservation in Selected Forest Regions in Serbia: Stakeholders Classification and Collaboration
by Mirjana Stanišić, Marko Lovrić, Jelena Nedeljković, Dragan Nonić and Špela Pezdevšek Malovrh
Forests 2021, 12(6), 709; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12060709 - 30 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3645
Abstract
Climate change, with various economic, environmental and social consequences, is one of the greatest challenges faced by society. Climate change governance in forestry and nature conservation includes developing joint activities and collaboration among stakeholders that combine different interests, influences and competences at national, [...] Read more.
Climate change, with various economic, environmental and social consequences, is one of the greatest challenges faced by society. Climate change governance in forestry and nature conservation includes developing joint activities and collaboration among stakeholders that combine different interests, influences and competences at national, regional and local levels. This research aims to classify climate change stakeholders within the forestry and nature conservation sectors in Serbia. They are classified according to their interests and perceived influences. We analyze factors impacting the development of different areas for the collaboration by combining stakeholder analysis and social network analysis. A total of 103 representatives of civil society and public sector organizations in forestry and nature conservation at different governance levels with expertise in climate change participated in the survey. The results show that most civil sector organizations are distributed in the ‘subject’ quadrant with lower perceived influence and are not well interconnected. Seven different areas for the collaboration were identified, with disconnected stakeholders and limited representation and mostly peripheral position of civil society organizations (except in the case of the area for the collaboration through workshop and seminars knowledge exchange). The analyzed factors have different positive and negative effects on the development of the different areas for the collaboration, with the frequency of contacts standing out as a significant factor of collaboration at the level of the whole collaboration network. There is a strong indication of a centralized, top-down approach to climate change governance in forestry and nature conservation in Serbia. Multilevel and horizontal stakeholder governance is needed to achieve effective implementation of strategic climate-change policy commitments. The most important step to achieve such a structure is the empowerment of local-level organizations in climate change collaboration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circular Bioeconomy in Forest-Based Sector: Governance and Policy)
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15 pages, 790 KiB  
Article
Economic Efficiency of Forest Enterprises—Empirical Study Based on Data Envelopment Analysis
by Nikolay Neykov, Stanislava Krišťáková, Iveta Hajdúchová, Mariana Sedliačiková, Petar Antov and Blanka Giertliová
Forests 2021, 12(4), 462; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12040462 - 10 Apr 2021
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 3125
Abstract
Countries are forced to develop bio-based economic strategies to promote efficient use of renewable natural resources. The transition towards a sustainable forest bio-based economy is associated with resource efficiency optimization, adoption of innovative bio-based approaches in terms of technological improvements and cost effectiveness, [...] Read more.
Countries are forced to develop bio-based economic strategies to promote efficient use of renewable natural resources. The transition towards a sustainable forest bio-based economy is associated with resource efficiency optimization, adoption of innovative bio-based approaches in terms of technological improvements and cost effectiveness, and an opportunity to reach multiple societal challenges. This paper is focused on a comparative analysis of the forestry sector in the Republic of Bulgaria and the Slovak Republic by estimating the economic efficiency of four Bulgarian state-owned forest enterprises and four Slovak forest enterprises. The evaluation of economic efficiency was carried out using selected indicators of the studied enterprises over a period of five years. A data envelopment analysis (DEA) approach was used as a non-parametric linear technique for measuring the relative efficiency of a set of production decision-making units (DMUs). The Malmquist productivity index (MPI) was used to assess the pure efficiency changes (PEC) and technological changes (TCs) of the studied forest enterprises. Data for 2014–2018 were processed. The results obtained for the economic efficiency study outlined the major factors affecting the differences in efficiency scores. The long-term sustainability and increased economic efficiency of forest enterprises in both countries can be achieved by improvements in forest management and investments in research and development activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circular Bioeconomy in Forest-Based Sector: Governance and Policy)

Review

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17 pages, 1092 KiB  
Review
Innovations in Forest Bioeconomy: A Bibliometric Analysis
by Martin Jankovský, Sandra P. García-Jácome, Jiří Dvořák, Isaac Nyarko and Miroslav Hájek
Forests 2021, 12(10), 1392; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12101392 - 12 Oct 2021
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2552
Abstract
Innovations are a key component of the forest bioeconomy. Many types of innovations are needed for an efficient forest bioeconomy to be deployed. This article aimed to analyze the scientific literature on the topic of innovations in the forest bioeconomy, to understand where [...] Read more.
Innovations are a key component of the forest bioeconomy. Many types of innovations are needed for an efficient forest bioeconomy to be deployed. This article aimed to analyze the scientific literature on the topic of innovations in the forest bioeconomy, to understand where we are and where we are likely to be in the future, considering technologies, business models, etc. First, the scientific literature, in the form of peer-reviewed articles indexed in the Web of Science, was compiled in a comprehensive dataset, on which we analyzed the most important authors, their affiliations, regions they come from, journals where papers were most commonly published, and under which categories the papers were indexed. The total number of papers matching the keywords was 161. We found that the number of papers published on the topic is increasing and that, on average, each paper was cited 18 times. A total of 504 authors dealt with the topic, presenting a rather small community. This finding was reinforced by the outcomes of the analysis of regions where the authors of the papers were affiliated—Europe being the region to which most papers were affiliated. We conducted a qualitative synthesis of the literature on forest bioeconomy innovations. We found that authors dealt with the necessary adaptation of policies, while innovations were mainly focused on biorefining, biotechnology, production of various biomaterials, as well as innovations of business models and stakeholder interactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circular Bioeconomy in Forest-Based Sector: Governance and Policy)
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