D 2.2 Mapping of forest ecosystem services and institutional frameworks: Final report

Research output: Book/ReportReport


Promoting or upscaling governance and business innovations requires an understanding about the conditions and contexts that support a particular innovation. Indeed, context can importantly condition the emergence of new ideas as well as their stabilization and system-level uptake. Ecosystems and the services they provide can be considered this kind of context for innovations because they vary across the landscape. Furthermore, the ways in which ecosystem services (ES) are governed can importantly condition the emergence and up-take of new ideas. These institutional, structural and procedural conditions vary across different administrative units, for example countries or regions. As both ecological and institutional context matters for innovations in the forest sector, we capture these variations and provide a basis for a more context-relevant analysis of innovation evolution, which potentially supports replication and upscaling of innovations. In general, there is a good spatial understanding of Europe’s forest ecosystem services (FES) but ecosystem service supply and demand have been matched only as rough estimates of scarcity. What is missing so far is a thorough analysis of the societal demand for FES, as expressed in policy, and the combination of biophysical and institutional mapping. We propose that societal demand can be derived from formal goals and argumentation in public strategies and laws, as these are the results of processes engaging societal actors and expertise. In the past years, several European policies have gradually taken up the notion of ES, and the European Forest Strategy fares well in its reference and integration of ES. However, what is missing is an analysis of the extent and the ways in which national forest related policies recognise FES and how this recognition coincides with ecosystem service supply at the spatial scale. By analysing how different EU, national and regional policies address forest ecosystem service relevant innovations, governance mechanisms and actors, we develop a deeper understanding of the biophysical-institutional landscape that can condition innovation in the forest sector. Based on our biophysical and institutional mapping, InnoForESt can identify niche innovations and their transferability, upscaling and further co-learning in comparable high potential context regions. This report describes the justification for mapping specific FES and policies and reports the methods applied in conducting the biophysical and institutional mapping as well as the findings. The report is supplemented by a coarse level map interface that can be used to visually analyse the coincidence of biophysical FES supply and institutional FES demand, innovations and governance, as expressed in forest strategies. The biophysical mapping of FES conducted for this report focused on the supply of ES and relied on simple mapping methods. The mapping process followed four main steps: 1) Identification of FES; 2) Definition of the indicators to map the selected FES; 3) Production of Pan-European maps of selected FES, 4) analysis of hotspots, synergies and trade-offs and spatial bundles of FES. Given the European focus of the study, the identification of FES and definition of related indicators built on the CICES classification and the set of MAES indicators. Indicators were then refined based on the availability of adequate spatially-explicit data at the European level. A total of 13 indicators were eventually defined and maps produced for each of these. As maps of FES showed ES supply on a per unit area basis, the potential of a region or a country to provide a given FES requires considering the actual extent of forests in that region or country. The analysis of hotspots, synergies and trade-offs and bundles of FES, which was carried out on a subset of eight FES, allows policy makers to get further insights about FES concentrations and coincidence. Deliverable 2.2 InnoForESt 6 The institutional mapping was carried out to identify current and future policy demand for ES. The policy demand was analysed through detailed policy document analysis, for which a protocol and database were developed and iterated among the team. The initial document analysis conducted in 2018 covered the most relevant national or regional forest, biodiversity and bio-economy strategies in the InnoForESt case study areas and at the EU level, altogether 31 policy documents. The document analysis was reported through an online survey that was used to produce a database, with both quantitative grading of weight in the document and qualitative text examples. The document analysis focused on ten FES: wood, bioenergy, non-wood forest products, game, biodiversity conservation, erosion and water protection, climate regulation, resilience, cultural heritage, recreation. Additionally, the analysis considered innovation type and stage, actor responsibilities and rights as well as new governance mechanisms, for all these ten FES. Our analysis illustrates that both the biophysical distribution of FES and the policy targeting FES differ across Europe. The analysis of biophysical FES supply through bundles shows that biophysical FES tend to be related to the climatic-ecological gradient, with cultural-agricultural FES being concentrated in the Mediterranean area, wood and water FES in the central area, soil carbon FES in the northernmost area and a mix of all FES in the north-eastern area. In terms of demand for FES, our analysis shows that countries do differ in how much weight they place on different FES in their strategies. Wood and bioenergy stand out as the focal FES for both forest and bio-economy policies, while biodiversity conservation is the only FES that is in some form mentioned in all analysed policy documents. The documents identify innovations, actor roles and governance mechanisms in detail for those ecosystem services that they directly address. The analysis of policies shows that biodiversity conservation is supported with innovations. New product ideas are about wood and biomass, sometimes recognising a long value chain. Also networking innovations and market-based rearrangements centre on procurement of raw material, recognising the responsibilities and rights of industry and land-owners. With our analysis combining data on FES provision across the European landscape and document analysis of European forest, biodiversity and bio-economy policies, we show that there is a slight tendency in policies to address and detail innovations and governance for scarce forest ecosystem services. By analysing how different EU, national and regional policies address different forest relevant innovations, governance mechanisms and actors our analysis provides a deeper understanding of the biophysical-institutional landscape that can condition innovation in the forest sector, and ideally, identify opportunities for transferring and upscaling innovations.


External organisations
  • Finnish Environment Institute
  • University of Tartu
  • Wageningen University
  • University of Trento
  • Murdoch University
  • Leibniz-Zentrum fur Agrarlandschaftsforschung (ZALF) e. V.
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Environmental Sciences
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEberswalde, Germany
PublisherInnoForESt Horizon2020
Number of pages94
VolumeDeliverable 2.2
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 31
Publication categoryResearch