Fostering the social-ecological resilience of forests is more important than ever, but not easy to operationalize in forest planning and management. Several researchers involved in the EFI-led RESONATE project investigated this needed operationalization and recently published their results in a paper in the Journal for Environmental Management, aiming at advancing the understanding how we can manage forest to become more resilient now and in the future.
In "A balancing act: principles, criteria and indicator framework to operationalize social-ecological resilience of forests" they emphasize that forest management has many trade-offs, e.g. between timber production and other ecosystem services. Similarly, resilience has trade-offs: increasing social resilience might decrease ecological resilience and vise versa. But how to balance the trade-offs? All systems have properties that influence resilience, i.e. resilience mechanisms. These are e.g., diversity, adaptive capacity and connectivity. Based on these, the group of researchers developed a set of principles and criteria for balancing, and developed a framework to apply these principles and criteria in a forest management setting. One of the main outputs was that a strong stakeholder involvement and interaction is needed to increase resilience. Another conclusion the group had, was that there are many roads to reach resilient forest and societies around them. One solution is not fit for all management goals and situations, and what might make our neighbours forest management resilient might not work for others.
Nikinmaa, L., Lindner, M., Cantarello, E., Gardiner, B., Jacobsen, J.B., Jump, A.S., Parra Novoa, C., Plieninger, T., Schuck, A., Seidl, R., Timberlake, T., Waring, K., Winkel, G., Muys, B. (2023): A balancing act: principles, criteria and indicator framework to operationalize social-ecological resilience of forests. Journal of Environmental Management 331, 117039. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2022.117039