Special Issue "Forest Management, Conflict and Social-Ecological Systems in a Changing World"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Ecology and Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Juan F. Fernández-Manjarrés
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratoire Ecologie, Systématique Evolution, CNRS‐AgroParisTech‐Univ. Paris Sud, Université Paris Saclay, F‐91405 Orsay, France
Interests: climate change adaptation; social-ecological systems; ecosystem management
Dr. Roxane Sansilvestri
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Complex Systems in Social Sciences Group, Department of Economics, University of Alcala de Henares, Alcala de Henares, Spain
Interests: social-ecological systems; forest services and goods; public policy; adaptation and mitigation; actors choices

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Management objectives in forest social-ecological systems (FSES) are changing very fast as governments face increased pressure to limit carbon emissions and to use alternative forms of energy, while maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem restoration targets. Because actors in FSES frequently have divergent views, conflicts appear easily when applying adaptation and mitigation public policies that have not been thoroughly discussed. In this Special Issue, we present case studies in which conflicts between actors arise when facing new management goals, like intensive biomass production or strict biodiversity protection. This Special Issue will focus on conflict resolution mechanisms and the emergence of new and alternative forest management practices that maintain forest multi-functionality in a changing world.

 

Dr. Juan F. Fernández-Manjarrés
Dr. Roxane Sansilvestri
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 papers will be 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 1800 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

  • Social-ecological systems
  • Actors perceptions
  • Societal Conflicts
  • Conflict resolution
  • Adaptation pathway/strategy
  • Self-organization

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Article
REDD+ Conflict: Understanding the Pathways between Forest Projects and Social Conflict
Forests 2021, 12(6), 748; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12060748 - 05 Jun 2021
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Abstract
A growing body of literature analyses the conflict implications of REDD+ (Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries). However, the way these conflicts unfold is little understood. We address this research gap through the following question: What are the pathways [...] Read more.
A growing body of literature analyses the conflict implications of REDD+ (Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries). However, the way these conflicts unfold is little understood. We address this research gap through the following question: What are the pathways that connect REDD+ projects and conflicts between local communities and other actors? We review 242 scientific articles, selecting eight that allow us to trace how the conflict pathways unfolded. We draw on a political ecology perspective and conceptualize ‘conflict pathway’ as an interaction of key events and drivers leading to conflict. We find six main conflict drivers: (1) injustices and restrictions over (full) access and control of forest resources; (2) creation of new forest governance structures that change relationships between stakeholders and the forest; (3) exclusion of community members from comprehensive project participation; (4) high project expectations that are not met; (5) changes in land tenure policy due to migrants, and (6) the aggravation of historic land tenure conflicts. Evictions from forests, acts of violence, and lawsuits are among the events contributing to the conflict pathways. To prevent them, the rights, livelihoods, and benefits of local communities need to be placed at the centre of the REDD+ projects. Full article
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Article
Stakeholders’ Perception of the Impact of the Declaration of New Protected Areas on the Development of the Regions Concerned, Case Study: Czech Republic
Forests 2021, 12(5), 580; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12050580 - 06 May 2021
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Abstract
Floodplain forests at the confluence of the rivers Dyje and Morava (in the southeastern tip of the Czech Republic) are completely unique ecosystems in terms of area and ecology. For many years, there has been an effort by the state’s nature protection officials [...] Read more.
Floodplain forests at the confluence of the rivers Dyje and Morava (in the southeastern tip of the Czech Republic) are completely unique ecosystems in terms of area and ecology. For many years, there has been an effort by the state’s nature protection officials to declare the area as a Protected Landscape Area. This effort is met by the resistance of foresters and other local stakeholders. The study focuses on the identification of stakeholders’ comments and objections to the planned declaration of the Soutok PLA and the comparison between the objections raised and the attitudes of stakeholders from existing PLAs. Using the content analysis of 247 paper documents, the first part of the study determines the negative arguments that are subsequently verified in the second part on the basis of 17 semistructured standardized interviews and interview surveys of 200 respondents. The analysis of the interviews and surveys was based on the grounded theory method. The theoretical sampling and snowball techniques were used to recruit the respondents. The interviews and surveys showed that most concerns over restrictions established by the conservation status are unnecessary since experience showed that they are either not registered or not established by the PLA status, and their application is provided by other legislative standards. Full article
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Article
Efficient, Sustainable, and Multifunctional Carbon Offsetting to Boost Forest Management: A Comparative Case Study
Forests 2021, 12(4), 386; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12040386 - 24 Mar 2021
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Abstract
Research highlights: Funding forest management with subsidies from carbon offsetters is a well-documented mechanism in tropical regions. This article provides complementary insights into the use of voluntary offset contracts in temperate forests. Background and objectives: The mitigation of greenhouse emissions has become a [...] Read more.
Research highlights: Funding forest management with subsidies from carbon offsetters is a well-documented mechanism in tropical regions. This article provides complementary insights into the use of voluntary offset contracts in temperate forests. Background and objectives: The mitigation of greenhouse emissions has become a major global issue, leading to changes in forest management to increase the capacity of forests to store carbon. This can lead to conflicts of use with other forest ecosystem services such as timber production or biodiversity conservation. Our main goal is to describe collective actions to fund carbon-oriented forestry with subsidies from carbon offsetters and to analyze how their governance and functioning prevent conflicts pertaining to multi-functionality. Materials and methods: We assembled an interdisciplinary research team comprising two ecologists, a social scientist, and an economist. Drawing on a conceptual framework of ecosystem services, social interdependencies, and collective action, we based our qualitative analysis on semi-structured interviews from two French case studies. Results: Carbon-oriented intermediary forest organizations offer offset contracts to private firms and public bodies. Communication is geared toward the mitigation outcomes of the contracts as well as their beneficial side effects in providing the ecosystem services of interest to the offsetters. Subsidies then act as a financial lever to fund carbon-oriented forestry operations. Scientific committees and reporting methodologies serve as environmental, social, and economic safeguards. Conclusions: These new intermediary forest organizations use efficient forest operations and evaluation methodologies to improve forest carbon storage. Their main innovation lies in their collective governance rooted in regional forest social-ecological systems. Their consideration of multi-functionality and socioeconomic issues can be seen as an obstacle to rapid development, but they ensure sustainability and avoid conflicts between producers and beneficiaries of forest ecosystem services. Attention must be paid to interactions with broader spatial and temporal carbon policies. Full article
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Article
Forest Protection Unifies, Silviculture Divides: A Sociological Analysis of Local Stakeholders’ Voices after Coppicing in the Marganai Forest (Sardinia, Italy)
Forests 2020, 11(6), 708; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060708 - 25 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1446 | Correction
Abstract
Today, a forest is also understood as a real social actor with multiple-scale influences, capable of significantly conditioning the social, economic, and cultural system of a whole territory. The aim of this paper is to reconstruct and interpret the population’s perception of the [...] Read more.
Today, a forest is also understood as a real social actor with multiple-scale influences, capable of significantly conditioning the social, economic, and cultural system of a whole territory. The aim of this paper is to reconstruct and interpret the population’s perception of the silvicultural activities related to traditional use of forest resources of the southwestern Sardinian Marganai State Forest. The “Marganai case” has brought to the attention of the mass media the role of this forest and its silviculture. The research was carried out via semi-structured interviews with the main stakeholders in the area. The qualitative approach in the collection and analysis of the information gathered has allowed us to reconstruct the historical-cultural and social cohesion function that the forest plays in rural communities. The results highlight that the main risks concern the erosion of the cultural forest heritage due to the abandonment of the rural dimension (mainly by the new generations, but not only), with the consequent spread of deep distortions in the perception, interpretation, and necessity of forestry activities and policy. Full article
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Concept Paper
Revisiting the Functional Zoning Concept under Climate Change to Expand the Portfolio of Adaptation Options
Forests 2021, 12(3), 273; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12030273 - 26 Feb 2021
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Abstract
Climate change is threatening our ability to manage forest ecosystems sustainably. Despite strong consensus on the need for a broad portfolio of options to face this challenge, diversified management options have yet to be widely implemented. Inspired by functional zoning, a concept aimed [...] Read more.
Climate change is threatening our ability to manage forest ecosystems sustainably. Despite strong consensus on the need for a broad portfolio of options to face this challenge, diversified management options have yet to be widely implemented. Inspired by functional zoning, a concept aimed at optimizing biodiversity conservation and wood production in multiple-use forest landscapes, we present a portfolio of management options that intersects management objectives with forest vulnerability to better address the wide range of goals inherent to forest management under climate change. Using this approach, we illustrate how different adaptation options could be implemented when faced with impacts related to climate change and its uncertainty. These options range from establishing ecological reserves in climatic refuges, where self-organizing ecological processes can result in resilient forests, to intensive plantation silviculture that could ensure a stable wood supply in an uncertain future. While adaptation measures in forests that are less vulnerable correspond to the traditional functional zoning management objectives, forests with higher vulnerability might be candidates for transformative measures as they may be more susceptible to abrupt changes in structure and composition. To illustrate how this portfolio of management options could be applied, we present a theoretical case study for the eastern boreal forest of Canada. Even if these options are supported by solid evidence, their implementation across the landscape may present some challenges and will require good communication among stakeholders and with the public. Full article
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