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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Sectoral policies cause incoherence in forest management and ecosystem service provisioning

Blattert, Clemens; Eyvindson, Kyle; Hartikainen, Markus; Burgas, Daniel; Potterf, Maria; Lukkarinen, Jani; Snall, Tord; Torano-Caicoya, Astor; Monkkonen, Mikko


Various national policies guide forest use, but often with competing policy objectives leading to divergent management paradigms. Incoherent policies may negatively impact the sustainable provision of forest ecosystem services (FES), and forest multifunctionality. There is uncertainty among policymakers about the impacts of policies on the real world. We translated the policy documents of Finland into scenarios including the quantitative demands for FES, representing: the national forest strategy (NFS), the biodiversity strategy (BDS), and the bioeconomy strategy (BES). We simulated a Finland-wide systematic sample of forest stands with alternative management regimes and climate change. Finally, we used multi-objective optimization to identify the combination of management regimes matching best with each policy scenario and analysed their long-term effects on FES.The NFS scenario proved to be the most multifunctional, targeting the highest number of FES, while the BES had the lowest FES targets. However, the NFS was strongly oriented towards the value chain of wood and bioenergy and had a dominating economic growth target, which caused strong within-policy conflicts and hindered reaching biodiversity targets. The BDS and BES scenarios were instead more consistent but showed either sustainability gaps in terms of providing timber resources (BDS) or no improvements in forest biodiversity (BES). All policy scenarios resulted in forest management programs dominated by continuous cover forestry, set-aside areas, and intensive management zones, with proportions depending on the policy focus. Our results highlight for the first time the conflicts among national sectoral policies in terms of management requirements and effects on forest multifunctionality. The outcomes provide leverage points for policymakers to increase coherence among future policies and improve implementation of multiple uses of forests.


Forest policy; Ecosystem services; Biodiversity; Multi-objective optimization; Forest management; Climate change

Published in

Forest Policy and Economics
2022, volume: 136, article number: 102689
Publisher: ELSEVIER

Authors' information

Blattert, Clemens
University of Jyvaskyla
Eyvindson, Kyle
University of Jyvaskyla
Eyvindson, Kyle
Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)
Eyvindson, Kyle
Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Hartikainen, Markus
Silo AI
Burgas, Daniel
University of Jyvaskyla
Potterf, Maria
University of Jyvaskyla
Lukkarinen, Jani
Finnish Environment Institute
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Swedish Species Information Centre
Toraño-Caicoya, Astor
TUM School of Life Sciences
Monkkonen, Mikko
University of Jyvaskyla

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG15 Life on land
SDG13 Climate action
SDG16 Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

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