Integrated forest management (IFM) can help reconcile critical trade-offs between goals in forest management, such as nature conservation and biomass production. The challenge of IFM is dealing with these trade-offs at the level of practical forest management, such as striving for compromises between biomass extraction and habitat retention. With this background in mind, the paper “Can nature conservation and wood production be reconciled in managed forests? A review of driving factors for integrated forest management in Europe”, which is published in the Journal of Environmental Management, reviews some of the driving factors that influence the integration of nature conservation into forest management.
This paper sets out to improve our understanding of the framework conditions that surround IFM uptake, focusing on the driving factors that influence the integration and reconciliation of biodiversity conservation and wood production as an inherent component of IFM. The review was conducted in three steps – a literature review, an expert workshop and an expert-based cooperative analysis. With this objective in mind, three out of 38 driving factors identified during the expert workshop were prioritised by more of the participants than any of the others: two are socio-cultural factors, identity (how people identify with forest) as well as outreach and education, and one is economic – competitiveness in forest value chains. These driving factors correspond to what are considered in the literature as enablers for IFM. In general, the driving factors range from being more dynamic and interactive in nature, such as economic conditions, policy frameworks and climate change, to those that are relatively static or slow-moving, such as bio- geographical conditions or forest ownership structures.
The results reveal that targeted, group-oriented, adaptive, and innovative policy designs are needed to integrate nature conservation into forest management. Further, the results emphasize that a “one-size-fits-all” governance approach would be ineffective, implying that policy instruments need to consider contextually specific driving factors. Enhanced implementation of IFM will largely depend on a better understanding of how different driving factors play out across different contexts, as determined by the distinct social, environmental, economic, technological, and political conditions present in a given setting. A general understanding of the main driving factors and their overall directions, as presented in this paper, can help to better manage trade-offs between biodiversity conservation and biomass production in European forests.
The paper “Can nature conservation and wood production be reconciled in managed forests? A review of driving factors for integrated forest management in Europe” is published in the Journal of Environmental Management, 2020, 268, 110670. The Journal of Environmental Management is a leading scientific journal for the publication of original research related to managing environmental systems and improving environmental quality. Filip Aggestam, was the lead author, together with his co-authors Agata Konczal, Jakob Derks, Marcus Lindner and Georg Winkel from EFI’s Resilience Programme, as well as Metodi Sotirov, Ida Wallin and Marc Hanewinkel from the University of Freiburg, Yoan Paillet from the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE) and Raffaele Spinelli from the Italian National Research Council. Financial support for this study was provided by the German Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture(BMEL) under the Integrated Forest Management Learning Architecture (INFORMAR) project.).
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