Scanning the solutions for the sustainable supply of forest ecosystem services in Europe

Monica Hernández‑Morcillo, M Torrabla, T Baignes, A Bernasconi, Sara Brogaard, F Bussola, G Bottaro, E Díaz‑Varela, D Geneletti, C Grossman, J. Kister, M. Klingler, L. Loft, M. Lovric, C. Mann, N. Pipart, J. V. Roces‑Díaz, S. Sorge, M. Tiebel, L. TyrväinenE. Varela, G. Winkel, T. Plieninger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (SciVal)


Forests are key components of European multifunctional landscapes and supply numerous forest ecosystem services (FES) fundamental to human well-being. The sustainable provision of FES has the potential to provide responses to major societal challenges, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, or rural development. To identify suitable strategies for the future sustenance of FES, we performed a solution scanning exercise with a group of transdisciplinary forest and FES experts from diferent European regions. We identifed and prioritized ffteen major challenges hindering the balanced provision of multiple FES and identifed a series of potential solutions to tackle each of them. The most prominent challenges referred to the increased frequency and impacts of extreme weather events and the normative mindset regarding forest management. The respective solutions pointed to the promotion of forest resilience via climate-smart forestry and mainstreaming FES-oriented
management through a threefold strategy focusing on education, awareness raising, and networking. In a subsequent survey,
most solutions were assessed as highly efective, transferable, monitorable, and with potential for being economically efcient. The implementation of the solutions could have synergistic efects when applying the notion of leverage points. Seven
emerging pathways towards the sustainable supply of FES have been identifed. These pathways build on each other and are
organized based on their potential for transformation: (1) shifting forest management paradigms towards pluralistic ecosystem valuation; (2) using integrated landscape approaches; (3) increasing forest resilience; (4) coordinating actions between
forest-related actors; (5) increasing participation in forest planning and management; (6) continuous, open, and transparent
knowledge integration; and (7) using incentive-based instruments to support regulating and cultural FES. These pathways
can contribute to the implementation of the new EU Forestry Strategy to support the balanced supply of multiple FES.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalSustainability Science
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022 Mar 22

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Human Geography
  • Forest Science


  • European forests
  • Ecosystem services
  • Sustainability
  • Solution scanning
  • Leverage points
  • EU Forestry
  • Strategy


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