Special Issue "The Role of Forests for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)"

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 January 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Ms. Reneema Hazarika
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Forest Growth and Silviculture, Austrian Forest Research Center (BFW), Seckendorff Gudent Weg 8, A 1130 Vienna, Austria
Dr. Robert Jandl
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department Forest Ecology, Austrian Forest Research Center (BFW), Seckendorff Gudent Weg 8, A 1130 Vienna, Austria
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The UN resolution of 2015 “Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” addresses the global environmental and socio-economic challenges. Seventeen sustainable development goals (SDGs) have been formulated, and if successfully implemented they will greatly improve human well-being around the globe. Many SDGs are interconnected to various degrees. Fulfilling some of them may or may not be beneficial for the others, but as a whole the linkages between them are significant. The SDGs—also called the Global Goals—explicitly addresses all countries, irrespective of their status of development. In many regions, a variety of other political processes are underway that support and are complimentary to the SDGs.

Protecting the environment is key to the quality of life, and several SDGs have a strong environmental dimension. Although there is no specific SDG titled “Forests”, the case in point is that SDG 15 addresses forestry in a broad spectrum. Therefore, the aspects concerning forests are relevant for many of the other SDGs, and the fulfillment of some will have an immediate or long-term impact on forests. However, the relevance of forests is regionally quite different, depending on their integration in the economy and the provision of ecosystem services.

The intention of this special issue is to identify the role of forests in achieving the SDGs in different geographical settings. Scenarios are appreciated which explore how the role of forests is going to change when foreseeable global changes such as climate change, urbanization, and improved education and awareness take place.

Dr. Robert Jandl
Ms. Reneema Hazarika
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

  • sustainable development goals
  • SDG
  • ecosystem service
  • forest economy
  • global change
  • human dimensions
  • geographical gradient
  • accountability
  • bilateral cooperation
  • biodiversity

Published Papers (9 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Article
Sustainable Development Goals and the Forest Sector—A Complex Relationship
Forests 2019, 10(2), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10020152 - 11 Feb 2019
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 3183
Abstract
The United Nations adopted the Agenda 2030 with its core element, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in September 2015. In order to achieve these goals within the coming years, intense efforts are required by all political and societal actors. Although the first [...] Read more.
The United Nations adopted the Agenda 2030 with its core element, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in September 2015. In order to achieve these goals within the coming years, intense efforts are required by all political and societal actors. Although the first definitions of sustainable development referred to the forest sector, the question remains: what contribution can forestry make to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals? Therefore, the direct positive and negative effects of forestry itself on sustainability are analyzed, and it is discussed how sustainable forest management could contribute to achieving other Sustainable Development Goals in addition to SDG 15. This analysis reveals that forestry plays a dual role, i.e., forestry can achieve positive sustainability effects but can also have negative impacts. It is thus recommended to use integrated assessment approaches to analyze whether a specific forest-related policy or strategy is contributing to sustainable development. Beside quantitative integrated assessments, the use of qualitative frameworks like the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development is proposed. It is also suggested to operationalize the concept of second-order sustainability performance for the forest sector in future research. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Forest Concessions and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Potentials, Challenges and Ways Forward
Forests 2019, 10(1), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10010045 - 10 Jan 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1875
Abstract
The Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have directed increased political attention to forests and their sustainable management globally. Forest concessions are a predominant instrument for the sustainable management of public production natural forests in the tropics, but the relationship between [...] Read more.
The Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have directed increased political attention to forests and their sustainable management globally. Forest concessions are a predominant instrument for the sustainable management of public production natural forests in the tropics, but the relationship between the SDGs and forest concessions is poorly explored. Knowledge of this relationship could facilitate aligning tropical forest concession regimes with the SDGs. This research was conducted by means of an online survey, expert interviews and four regional stakeholder workshops to examine (i) how forest concessions can support the implementation of the SDGs; and (ii) what are the key barriers hindering the potential contributions of forest concessions to the SDG. The findings revealed three broad pathways through which forest concessions can support the implementation of the SDGs: (i) sustainable use and management of ecosystem goods and services as the core business; (ii) provision of public goods for socioeconomic development; and (iii) contribution to (sub) national economies through income, employment and fiscal obligations. The paper identifies region-specific (Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia) technical, legal, governance and institutional barriers limiting the potential contributions. Among these, the key barriers are unclear and conflicting tenure, and the lack of available technical and qualified personnel. The paper concludes that the contributions of forest concessions to the SDGs depend on governance context and the clear use of the instrument to deliver such objectives as better planned and implemented concessions and binding concession contracts. The paper also provides recommendations for aligning forest concessions with the SDGs. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Comparison of Ecosystem Services from Mixed and Monospecific Forests in Southwest Germany: A Survey on Public Perception
Forests 2018, 9(10), 627; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9100627 - 11 Oct 2018
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2619
Abstract
Scientific studies have shown that mixed forests of silver fir (Abies alba Mill.) and European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) provide higher ecosystem services than monospecific forests. Mixed forests are known for their high resilience to climate change impacts and superior biodiversity [...] Read more.
Scientific studies have shown that mixed forests of silver fir (Abies alba Mill.) and European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) provide higher ecosystem services than monospecific forests. Mixed forests are known for their high resilience to climate change impacts and superior biodiversity compared to monospecific forests. Despite this superiority, the transformation from monospecific to mixed forests can meet socio-technical challenges that are manifested in dissent or even in conflicts. The integration of stakeholders and citizens plays a key role in analyzing their perceptions and views of forest transformation. Their knowledge is required to co-design and implement socially acceptable options and pathways to increase the share of mixed forests. Based on a survey in Southwest Germany, we analyzed stakeholders’ and citizens’ perceptions of ecosystem services of monospecific and mixed forests of silver fir and beech. The findings show that people believe that mixed forests provide better cultural, regulating, and supporting ecosystem services than monospecific forests. However, provisioning services were perceived as being equally or even better provided by monospecific forests. The assumed abundance of old trees and the feelings of pleasantness especially influenced the superior perception of ecosystem services provided by mixed forests. The results indicate that there is public support for the transformation of monospecific silver fir and beech forests into mixed forests in Southwest Germany. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Responding to Climate Change in Tropical Countries Emerging from Armed Conflicts: Harnessing Climate Finance, Peacebuilding, and Sustainable Food
Forests 2018, 9(10), 621; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9100621 - 10 Oct 2018
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2804
Abstract
Linking climate action with sustainable development goals (SDGs) might incentivize social and political support to forest conservation. However, further examination of the conceptual entry points for linking efforts for reducing forest-based emissions with those for delivering SDGs is required. This review paper aims [...] Read more.
Linking climate action with sustainable development goals (SDGs) might incentivize social and political support to forest conservation. However, further examination of the conceptual entry points for linking efforts for reducing forest-based emissions with those for delivering SDGs is required. This review paper aims to contribute to fulfilling this research need. It provides insights into the links between conserving forests for climate change mitigation and peacebuilding. Specifically, the paper examines opportunities to harness climate finance for conserving forests and achieving long-lasting peace and sustainable food. It does so via a literature review and the examination of the Orinoquia region of Colombia. The findings from the literature review suggest that harnessing climate finance for conserving forests and peacebuilding is, in theory, viable if the activities are designed in accordance with social, institutional, and economic factors. Meanwhile, the Orinoquia region provides evidence that these two seemingly intractable problems are proposed to be solved together. At a time when efforts for reducing forest-based emissions are being designed and targeted at (post-) conflict areas in Colombia and elsewhere, the paper’s findings might demonstrate the compatibility of programs aimed at reducing forest-based emissions with efforts relating to peacebuilding and sustainable food to both environmental and non-environmental government agencies. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Concept of Regulating Forest Management in a Region Subject to High Environmental Pressure
Forests 2018, 9(9), 539; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9090539 - 01 Sep 2018
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1629
Abstract
In modern forestry, the complexity of the planning process is increasing, specifically in the context of the sustainable use of forest resources and its adaptation to climate changes. This article presents the concept of forest use regulation promoting the sustainable forestry development in [...] Read more.
In modern forestry, the complexity of the planning process is increasing, specifically in the context of the sustainable use of forest resources and its adaptation to climate changes. This article presents the concept of forest use regulation promoting the sustainable forestry development in forest management planning. A method for defining a synthetic criterion of assessing important features of stand structure was proposed, which would enable the classification of stands in terms of needs and the urgency of their transformation (reconstruction) or suitability for longer standing. As a result, such a concept may ensure the preservation of the relative uniformity of logging use and the improvement of age structure as well as an increase of natural values of the forest, regardless of a stand’s age. The concept was tested on a large forest complex (over 0.5 million hectares) subjected to intense environmental pressure (Silesian Region in Poland). We prepared long-term individualistic development forecasts, separately for area and volume. Based on this, we followed the cutting uniformity principle in the analysed time period by calculating a long-term average of cutting allowance. It was determined by averaging the projected usage size in moving window and eventually was adopted as the cutting upper limit in the whole analysed period. The proposed size of cuts in each period resulted from the relation between the average value and the forecast. Three sets of stands of the differentiated urgency of interventions were distinguished: I—well-stocked and stable stands (no need of intervention)—55% of stands area, II – acceptable stands (not urgent intervention needed)—35% and III—poor stands (urgent intervention needed)—10%. This concept joins top-down and bottom-up approach of cutting uniformity that focuses stand’s status instead of its age or dimensions. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Measuring Eco-Efficiency of State-Owned Forestry Enterprises in Northeast China
Forests 2018, 9(8), 455; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9080455 - 27 Jul 2018
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1600
Abstract
State-owned forestry enterprises (SOFEs) play an important role in the forestry economy in China. Understanding the eco-efficiency of their production is beneficial for the development of sustainable forestry and for achieving Goal 8 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Decent Work [...] Read more.
State-owned forestry enterprises (SOFEs) play an important role in the forestry economy in China. Understanding the eco-efficiency of their production is beneficial for the development of sustainable forestry and for achieving Goal 8 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Decent Work and Economic Growth. This paper assesses SOFEs’ overall eco-efficiency by analyzing various undesirable outputs using the Slacks-Based Measure of efficiency in Data Envelopment Analysis (SBM-DEA) model. Using basic data from 87 SOFEs in Northeast China from 2003 to 2016, this paper evaluated the eco-efficiency development level and spatial patterns of that region. The results show that SOFEs’ low eco-efficiency was caused by low pure-technical efficiency. Regional differences in eco-efficiency were very significant and became larger, but a market-oriented reform might help to improve such efficiency. The eco-efficiency of SOFEs was in decline from 2003 to 2016 due to the implementation of the Natural Forest Protection Project (NFPP). However, due to a relative lack of production factor inputs, most SOFEs’ scale returns are now increasing. In the future, efforts should be made to promote market-oriented reforms and take the path of large-scale development. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Community Forestry and the Sustainable Development Goals: A Two Way Street
Forests 2018, 9(6), 331; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9060331 - 06 Jun 2018
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 3242
Abstract
This paper analyses the contributions of community and smallholder forestry (CSF) to achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs). A CSF-SDG positive feedback model is proposed; a model that holds that successful CSF positively contributes to 13 SDGs and 31 SDG targets. Recent CSF [...] Read more.
This paper analyses the contributions of community and smallholder forestry (CSF) to achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs). A CSF-SDG positive feedback model is proposed; a model that holds that successful CSF positively contributes to 13 SDGs and 31 SDG targets. Recent CSF meta-studies have scrutinized factors leading to CSF success and found some 10 factors and conditions that contribute to that objective. If efforts towards reaching the SDGs support or enhance these factors leading to the greater success of CSF, this in turn would boost CSF contributions to the SDGs and their targets. As a result, CSF or active support for CSF, focusing on the 10 CSF factors that favor success, can be linked to 48 unique SDG targets. The analysis suggests that there is a significant opportunity to explore win-win options for efforts to support CSF and contribute to SDGs, but also for efforts to pursue the SDGs and targets that favor CSF, which will in turn boost the contribution of CSF to the SDGs. The case of CSF and its feedback links with the SDGs suggests that it may be relevant to identify interactions between the SDGs and other socio-ecological realities and related research. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

Review
The Nexus between the Austrian Forestry Sector and the Sustainable Development Goals: A Review of the Interlinkages
Forests 2019, 10(3), 205; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10030205 - 26 Feb 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2232
Abstract
Since the inception of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, there has been much conceptual progress on the linkages across the 17 goals and their 169 targets. While this kind of conceptualization is an essential first step, action must now move towards [...] Read more.
Since the inception of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, there has been much conceptual progress on the linkages across the 17 goals and their 169 targets. While this kind of conceptualization is an essential first step, action must now move towards systematic policy design, implementation, and multi-stakeholder collaborations that can translate such understanding into concrete results. This study is a reality check of such quasi-political global development agendas by the United Nations and its implications on Austrian forestry. Although forestry is not a goal in itself, forests as an element have been included under SDG15 (Life on Land). In this study, the linkages of forestry with potential synergies or trade-offs within and between the SDGs have been assessed through a literature survey and complemented with the perception of opinion leaders across the Austrian forestry sector on the same. The insights about awareness, design, implementation, and the necessity of mainstreaming the SDGs into the policy structure of Austria were reviewed. Besides facilitating the goals of sustainable forest management (SFM) in Austria, the SDG15 is not only strongly related to, but is likely to aid, the achievement of other SDGs, such as human health (SDG3), provision of clean water (SDG6), affordable & clean energy (SDG7), and climate action (SDG13). The opinion leaders perceive the SDGs as well-placed but broad. Some this broadness is a positive aspect of the SDGs. On the other hand, the 15-year (2015–2030) tenure of the SDGs is perceived to be inadequate to match the temporal scale of forest development. Apparently, the success of the SDGs will strictly depend upon coordination, governance, and most importantly, awareness among all stakeholders. Therefore, in addition to “leaving no one behind”, the SDGs must evidently provide incentives benefitting everybody. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Sustainability of Forest Cover under Climate Change on the Temperate-Continental Xeric Limits
Forests 2018, 9(8), 489; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9080489 - 10 Aug 2018
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2344
Abstract
Climate change particularly threatens the xeric limits of temperate-continental forests. In Hungary, annual temperatures have increased by 1.2 °C–1.8 °C in the last 30 years and the frequency of extreme droughts has grown. With the aim to gain stand-level prospects of sustainability, we [...] Read more.
Climate change particularly threatens the xeric limits of temperate-continental forests. In Hungary, annual temperatures have increased by 1.2 °C–1.8 °C in the last 30 years and the frequency of extreme droughts has grown. With the aim to gain stand-level prospects of sustainability, we have used local forest site variables to identify and project effects of recent and expected changes of climate. We have used a climatic descriptor (FAI index) to compare trends estimated from forest datasets with climatological projections; this is likely for the first time such a comparison has been made. Four independent approaches confirmed the near-linear decline of growth and vitality with increasing hot droughts in summer, using sessile oak as model species. The correlation between droughts and the expansion of pest and disease damages was also found to be significant. Projections of expected changes of main site factors predict a dramatic rise of future drought frequency and, consequently, a substantial shift of forest climate classes, especially at low elevation. Excess water-dependent lowland forests may lose supply from groundwater, which may change vegetation cover and soil development processes. The overall change of site conditions not only causes economic losses, but also challenges long-term sustainability of forest cover at the xeric limits. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop