Sustainable economy trade-offs and conflicts in and with the forest (Research Trend)

Schulz, Tobias; Ohmura, Tamaki; Zabel, Astrid (2023). Sustainable economy trade-offs and conflicts in and with the forest (Research Trend). Forest policy and economics, 150, p. 102936. Elsevier Science 10.1016/j.forpol.2023.102936

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Around the globe, governments are promoting a transition toward a sustainable economy. Many transition strategies include a central role for the forest and its ecosystem services in the pursuit of their sustainability goals. While this nurtures hopes that the economic significance of the forest sector will recover, a sustainability transition is likely to intensify further utilizations of forests. This certainly implies synergies in the targeted provision of various forest ecosystem services (FES), but it also bears the danger of increasing trade-offs and conflicts. Often caused by demand from other sectors, such trade-offs usually occur in the forest, i.e. between FES. Moreover, sustainable economy claims can also imply the clearance of forest area and thus are trade-offs with the forest. The collection of papers in this special issue elaborates on such trade-offs induced by sustainability ambitions and their implications for conflicts at the level of policy formulation and implementation. The cases reveal how land-use conflicts with the forest have become a tangible issue for sustainability transitions. Policy goal conflicts arising due to trade-offs between FES – being intensified by increased sustainability demands – are often tackled by suppressing FES not compatible with a prevailing timber-production oriented forestry tradition or delegated to the forest management level, where economic and power structures favor extractive forestry practices. The special issue thus highlights the various ways in which the forest can be impacted by sustainable economy transitions and encourages more attention as well as a more differentiated view of the role of the forest in these transitions.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

UniBE Contributor:

Zabel von Felten, Astrid Mirjam


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology




Elsevier Science


[803] Cluster: Land Resources




Melchior Peter Nussbaumer

Date Deposited:

09 Mar 2023 09:24

Last Modified:

12 Mar 2023 02:17

Publisher DOI:





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