Innovation, Transition and Reconstruction of Forestry Oriented by Policies

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: 30 September 2024 | Viewed by 6098

Special Issue Editors

Head of Land & People Science Group, The Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences Department, The James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen AB15 8QH, UK
Interests: valuation of natural capital/ecosystem services; forests and people; forest policy and governance; social innovation and entrepreneurship; nature-based financing/solutions; multifunctional forestry/land use; forests and climate; sustainability; resilience/adaptation
School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences, Bern University of Applied Sciences, Länggasse 85, 3052 Zollikofen, Switzerland
Interests: forest socioecological resilience; forest ecosystem services; innovations in forestry; sustainable forest management; forest policies

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Forestry worldwide is at a crossroads due to the rapidly changing climate; energy, biodiversity, financial and food security crises; and socioeconomic and political uncertainties that deepen deforestation and forest degradation. Innovation, transition and reconstruction of forestry, oriented by policies at the local level and across scales, are necessary to respond to challenges and build green, healthy, prosperous and resilient futures. Global and national policies and actions to be taken are equally important, as they trigger sustainable governance, management and the use of forests by transforming economic, political and social/cultural relationships across places, countries, regions and continents. In the light of recent policy documents, this Special Issue is planned to address the following questions of high importance (yet it is not limited to only these topics):

  • How could forest policies foster sustainable governance of forests and what are the roles of diverse stakeholders (e.g., businesses, NGOs, local communities, and international organisations) in putting multifunctional forestry (in different spatial and temporary settings/contexts) on sustainable paths?
  • How could bottom-up and top-down approaches in forestry (and their combinations) change “the rules and play of the game” (and promote a sustainable forest bioeconomy, the involvement of businesses in the financing of forest restoration/afforestation projects, the creation of green jobs and improving the well-being of forest-dependent communities and a wider society, etc.)?
  • How can the valuation of forest natural assets and ecosystem services help finance nature-based solutions, help resolve conflicts, and prevent and alleviate forest losses that inflict costs on society?

Submitted manuscripts must be original contributions that have not been previously published or submitted to other journals. Specifically, this Special Issue will also highlight articles presented at relevant sessions of the XXVI IUFRO World Congress 2024.

Prof. Dr. Maria Nijnik
Dr. Mariana Melnykovych
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short 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 thoroughly refereed through a single-blind 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 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • institutions
  • governance
  • social innovation
  • transformative changes
  • transdisciplinary approaches
  • stakeholder engagement

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

20 pages, 753 KiB  
Article
Forestry Scenario Modelling: Qualitative Analysis of User Needs in Lithuania
Forests 2024, 15(3), 414; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15030414 - 21 Feb 2024
Abstract
This paper aims to demonstrate the use of qualitative research methods, specifically in-depth interviews, to explore the intangible and often difficult-to-quantify needs for forestry scenario modelling in Lithuania, which are frequently not adequately perceived. The study involved informants representing key actors in forest [...] Read more.
This paper aims to demonstrate the use of qualitative research methods, specifically in-depth interviews, to explore the intangible and often difficult-to-quantify needs for forestry scenario modelling in Lithuania, which are frequently not adequately perceived. The study involved informants representing key actors in forest policy, forest management, research, and education. A total of 21 informants from 11 different institutions, which hold significant power and expertise in forest decision making, were interviewed. The purpose of these interviews was to gather their perspectives on the potential forest decision support system in the country, aiming to address most of their needs. The interview questions explored various aspects, including the requirements for forestry scenario modelling, the desired level of detail and information content for decision making, and both functional and nonfunctional requirements for the scenario modelling system. It is worth noting that the expected functionality of the planned forest DSSs aligns with modern international standards. Nevertheless, the diversity of perspectives, wishes, visions, and intentions of key Lithuanian forestry actors regarding the aims, objectives, and essential functionality of forestry scenario modelling tools were identified. The understanding of the requirements for modern forest DSSs was greatly influenced by the current forestry paradigms in the country and the professional experiences of individual informants. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate that the utilization of qualitative research, particularly through in-depth interviews, has proven to be a highly effective tool for accurately specifying the requirements of a modern forest DSS. It helped mitigate preconceived notions and address gaps in the envisioned product, specifically by developing a framework of core solutions for the national forestry and land-use scenario modelling system. Full article
27 pages, 1240 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of the Sustainable Forest Management Performance in Forestry Enterprises Based on a Hybrid Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Model: A Case Study in China
Forests 2023, 14(11), 2267; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14112267 - 18 Nov 2023
Viewed by 988
Abstract
Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) can fully use forest resources and improve the economic, environmental, and social sustainability of forest areas. Forestry enterprises play a crucial role in the implementation of SFM. However, the previous literature on SFM pays little attention to the subject [...] Read more.
Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) can fully use forest resources and improve the economic, environmental, and social sustainability of forest areas. Forestry enterprises play a crucial role in the implementation of SFM. However, the previous literature on SFM pays little attention to the subject of forestry enterprises. This paper aims to extend research on SFM from a macro perspective to the micro level of forestry enterprises. Taking the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) as a theoretical framework and the Montreal Process Criteria and Indicators (MP C&Is) as a basis, this paper constructs an indicator system to evaluate the performance of SFM of forestry enterprises from economic, social, and environmental aspects. Then, we apply the hybrid Multi-Criteria Decision-Making (MCDM) methods, i.e., the Best–Worst Method (BWM) and the VlseKriterijumska Optimizacija I Kompromisno Resenje (VIKOR) method, to construct the methodological system for SFM performance evaluation of forestry enterprises. Through a questionnaire survey of 68 academics and researchers, we determine the weights of the SFM indicators and select a representative forestry enterprise as a case study. The effectiveness of this SFM performance evaluation model is then demonstrated through its application to the case study of forestry enterprises in China. Through the application of the model, this paper evaluates the enterprise’s SFM performance over the five-year period 2017–2021 and proposes appropriate policy recommendations and improvements. It is found that environmental factors are the primary factors of SFM in forestry enterprises. Forestry enterprises should not only pay attention to economic benefits but also to the use of forest resources and the protection of forest ecosystems to better achieve SFM. Full article
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14 pages, 2205 KiB  
Article
Identifying the Determinants of the Increase in Native Forests in Southern Chile
Forests 2023, 14(9), 1926; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14091926 - 21 Sep 2023
Viewed by 819
Abstract
In Chile, the native forest has suffered anthropic pressure that has resulted in the reduction in its surface and increased degradation, which has led to the development of public policies to reverse this scenario and encourage its sustainable management and conservation. This study [...] Read more.
In Chile, the native forest has suffered anthropic pressure that has resulted in the reduction in its surface and increased degradation, which has led to the development of public policies to reverse this scenario and encourage its sustainable management and conservation. This study examines the socioeconomic variables that influence the area increase in native forests in southern Chile, based on the analysis of 154 properties in the regions of Los Ríos, La Araucanía and Los Lagos. Georeferenced information from the 2015 SIMEF program survey and the Cadastre and Evaluation of Native Vegetation Resources of Chile were used. A Probit regression model was implemented, which associates a traceable increase in the native forest area with the variables regarding the owner: location, gender, age, schooling, management plan and technical advisory; and regarding the exploitation: farm size, percentage of native forest, scrub and forest plantations of the property and number of animal units. The econometric results show that smaller farms and those located in Los Lagos presented less probability of increasing their native forests. In the same way, an increase in the share of forest plantations area decreases the probability. Conversely, the scrub area share is related to the recovery of native forests in the sample. No significant effects of the variables associated with the implementation of management plans and technical assistance were found. Full article
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23 pages, 2839 KiB  
Article
Fostering Innovation, Transition, and the Reconstruction of Forestry: Critical Thinking and Transdisciplinarity in Forest Education with Strategy Games
Forests 2023, 14(8), 1646; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14081646 - 15 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1616
Abstract
Forest education plays a crucial role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and promoting sustainable forest management amidst global challenges. However, existing programs struggle to keep pace with rapidly evolving crises and uncertainties that contribute to deforestation and forest degradation. To tackle these [...] Read more.
Forest education plays a crucial role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and promoting sustainable forest management amidst global challenges. However, existing programs struggle to keep pace with rapidly evolving crises and uncertainties that contribute to deforestation and forest degradation. To tackle these challenges, integrating innovative approaches into forest education is essential. This paper showcases the transformative use of a strategy game, MineSet, as an innovative teaching method for integrated forest management. The game facilitates deeply engaging experiences that provide unique insights into complex issues like deforestation. By assuming various stakeholder roles, graduate students actively engage with and confront the intricate tradeoffs inherent in forest management. This interactive and immersive role-play game not only fosters critical thinking skills but also promotes collaborative problem-solving, making MineSet a highly innovative and attractive tool in forest education. The importance of extended debriefings, facilitation throughout the game, and ongoing discussions should not be underestimated, as they establish meaningful and necessary connections between in-game events, validated educational material, and published research outcomes. Moreover, the game equips students with practical experience and a comprehensive understanding of landscape approaches, using the Congo Basin as a case study. We emphasize the potential of innovative forest education to foster sustainability, stimulate critical thinking, resolve conflicts, and prevent costly forest losses. Full article
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29 pages, 5101 KiB  
Article
Organizational Models in European Forestry: An Attempt of Conceptualization and Categorization
Forests 2023, 14(5), 905; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14050905 - 27 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1512
Abstract
The changes and challenges that are tackling the forest sector in recent decades have prompted governments and foresters to work hard to find innovative solutions. Research in the forestry domain has focused on product and process innovation, and more recently on business systems [...] Read more.
The changes and challenges that are tackling the forest sector in recent decades have prompted governments and foresters to work hard to find innovative solutions. Research in the forestry domain has focused on product and process innovation, and more recently on business systems and social innovation. In addition, organizational innovation is recognized and documented. However, while consistent conceptualization work has been conducted for business models and social innovation, the organizational domain in forestry seems less clear, characterized by multiple actors and often overlapping in literature, while a clear framework to describe it is missing. This work proposes a conceptualization of the “organizational model”, a concept embracing different approaches to build an analytical framework used to describe and characterize organizations in the forestry sector. The framework is drafted referring to existing theories, then tested (and further developed) through a semi-systematic literature review on organizations operating in forest management in Europe that are identified, categorized, and characterized. This exercise confirms that forest management organizations can be described with several diverse arrangements and can be complex entities: a holistic and comprehensive approach is more likely to be used by policy initiatives addressing improvement of forest management. Full article
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