Browsing by Subject "BIOECONOMY"

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  • Heiskanen, Aleksi; Hurmekoski, Elias; Toppinen, Anne; Näyhä, Annukka (2022)
    The forest-based sector is facing one the greatest transitions in its history in the face of global megatrends. Globalization, sustainability challenges and the ICT sector have put the world in a new light. Whereas some of the recent developments have resulted in challenges for the traditional forest industry, many positive expectations and opportunities are also seen to arise in the form of the transition to a sustainable bio-economy. However, to be able to fully seize the opportunity, the industry has to navigate through contingency where preparedness can have a major impact. Foresight as a strategic approach can help to prepare and sensitize decision-makers to be prepared for the future. Foresight is a process aimed at understanding the various and alternative developments of the future better. In this review, we aim to find out what the state-of-the-art of qualitative foresight in the context of forest-based sector is. Forest sector foresight remains a nascent stream in peer-reviewed literature despite the small increase in articles since 2010. Foresight has been applied relatively evenly across the sub-sectors, attention having been predominantly on adaptive approaches. Foresight studies could be classified based on their objectives and types of output into three main categories: Identifying Drivers and Trends, Management of Change and Visioning. Notably, almost all the scientific foresight literature deals with sectoral level, and lacks organisational points of view. Foresight could also provide an opportunity to include stakeholder engagement beyond business-as-usual, which seems to remain currently relatively marginal. The findings suggests that foresight in the forest sector is not entirely novel, but still developing. Many opportunities to fully capture the potential lie ahead and micro level perspectives could be enhanced in the literature.
  • D'Amato, D.; Droste, N.; Allen, B.; Kettunen, M.; Lähtinen, K.; Korhonen, J.; Leskinen, P.; Matthies, B. D.; Toppinen, A. (2017)
    Despite their evidently different assumptions and operationalization strategies, the concepts of Circular Economy, Green Economy and Bioeconomy are joined by the common ideal to reconcile economic, environmental and social goals. The three concepts are currently mainstreamed in academia and policy making as key sustainability avenues, but a comparative analysis of such concepts is missing. The aim of this article is thus to comprehensively analyse the diversity within and between such concepts. The results are drawn from a bibliometric review of almost two thousand scientific articles published within the last three decades, coupled with a conceptual analysis. We find that, for what concerns environmental sustainability, Green Economy acts as an 'umbrella' concept, including elements from Circular Economy and Bioeconomy concepts (e.g. eco-efficiency; renewables), as well as additional ideas, e.g. nature-based solutions. In particular, Circular Economy and Bioeconomy are resource-focused, whereas in principle Green Economy acknowledges the underpinning role of all ecological processes. Regarding the social dimension, Green Economy is more inclusive of some aspects at local level (e.g. eco-tourism, education), while there is an emerging discussion in Bioeconomy literature around local processes in terms of biosecurity and rural policies. When considering weak/strong sustainability visions, all concepts remain limited in questioning economic growth. By comparing the different sustainability strategies promoted by these concepts we do not advocate for their substitutability, but for their clarification and reciprocal integration. The findings are discussed in light of the concepts' synergies and limits, with the purpose to inform research and policy implementation. (C) 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • Weiss, Gerhard; Hansen, Eric; Ludvig, Alice; Nybakk, Erlend; Toppinen, Anne (2021)
    Innovation in the forest sector is a growing research interest and within this field, there is a growing attention for institutional, policy and societal dimensions and particular when it comes to the question of how to support innovativeness in the sector. This Special Issue therefore focuses on governance aspects, relating to and bridging business and political-institutional-societal levels. This includes social/societal factors, goals and implications that have recently been studied under the label of social innovation. Furthermore, the emergence of bioeconomy as a paradigm and policy goal has become a driver for a variety of innovation processes on company and institutional levels. Our article provides a tentative definition of & ldquo;innovation governance & rdquo; and attempts a stateof-art review of innovation governance research in the forest sector. For structuring the research field, we propose to distinguish between organizational/managerial, policy or innovation studies. For the forestry sector, specifically, we suggest to distinguish between studies focusing on (i) innovative governance of forest management and forest goods and services; on (ii) the governance of innovation processes as such, or (iii) on specific (transformational) approaches that may be derived from combined goals such as innovation governance for sustainability, regional development, or a bioeconomy. Studies in the forest sector are picking up new trends from innovation research that increasingly include the role of societal changes and various stakeholders such as civil society organizations and users. They also include public-private partnership models or participatory governance. We finally should not only look in how far research approaches from outside are applied in the sector but we believe that the sector could contribute much more to our general scientific knowledge on ways for a societal transformation to sustainability.
  • Matthies, Brent D.; Vainio, Annukka; D'Amato, Dalia (2018)
    It is not yet completely clear how individuals weigh positive and negative consequences of specific environmental actions to the self, others and nature, and how these evaluations are associated with the acceptance of such environmental actions. We explored how the acceptance of ecosystem service-related forest management objectives were associated with perceived positive and negative consequences, perceived knowledge of these objectives, and gender among future professionals in the bioeconomy context. We analysed a survey collected among Finnish university students majoring in agriculture and forestry, and biological and environmental sciences (N = 159). We found that environmental concerns followed a two-factor structure: concerns for humans and concerns for the environment. Perceived harm to nature and humans reduced the acceptance of timber and bioenergy objectives, but only the effect of perceived harm to humans remained when they were considered together with perceived benefits. Perceived knowledge of the objectives had little effect on acceptance of the objectives. Females endorsed the biodiversity and climate objectives more than males, whereas males endorsed timber objectives more than females. These results show that in the context of ecosystem service management, positive consequences are more important than negative when evaluating bioeconomy objectives, and that consequences to humans are more important than consequences to the environment. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Ranacher, Lea; Lähtinen, Katja; Järvinen, Erno; Toppinen, Anne Maarit Kristiina (2017)
    This paper investigates public perceptions related to forest ecosystem services (ES), which have been identified as one of the key topics in forest sector communication. ES represents a prime example of an issue that merits more in-depth analysis. In this study, we (I) evaluate the views of the general public on the importance of forests contributing to different ES; (II) determine the public's need for information on the impact of forest sector businesses on ecosystems; and (Ill) assess how responsibly the public believes that forest sector companies act in relation to their impacts on ecosystems. A structured questionnaire using a 5-point Likert-scale was made available as an online survey targeting respondents from four European countries (Austria, Germany, Finland and Slovenia) in each national language and English. Between May and September 2015, 219 responses were received and analyzed using descriptive statistics, exploratory factor analysis, t-test, and ANOVA. Respondents showed high levels of agreement for items accounting for regulating and supporting ES. Information needs on forest sector business impacts were found to be high, whereas there was much greater division about the level of perceived forest sector responsibility. Regarding the public perception of forest ES, three dimensions were identified: "primary ES", "consumable ES", and "social cohesion related ES". Some relationships between the respondents' socio-demographic characteristics and the three dimensions of ES were uncovered: for example, "Consumable ES" are more important for female respondents and those who do not derive income from the forest sector. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Stern, T.; Ranacher, L.; Mair, C.; Berghäll, S.; Lähtinen, K.; Forsblom, M.; Toppinen, A. (2018)
    New innovations are called for to renew the European forest sector into bioeconomy. However, little research exists on how the industry innovativeness is publicly perceived. Using data collected with an online questionnaire in four European countries, we investigate perceptions related to forest sector innovations on 13 current and new bioeconomy-related products and services. Altogether, 218 valid responses were received in 2015, and the data were analysed using descriptive statistics, performance-importance analysis, and Gartner's innovation hype cycle. Based on our results, the respondents were in the strongest agreement that the forest sector has since the year 2000 has produced innovations related to wood building systems, construction materials, and wood composites. In the next 15 years, they foresaw a decline in innovations related to biofuels and paper products. The European forest sector also has future potential in wood construction, which is likely related to international policy targets related to carbon mitigation and capture. The observed variation in perceptions among the respondents on forest sector innovativeness calls for strengthening industry R&D, as well as by improving societal awareness of ongoing innovation projects by developing better communication.
  • Dobrynin, Denis; Jarlebring, Natalya Yakusheva; Mustalahti, Irmeli; Sotirov, Metodi; Kulikova, Elena; Lopatin, Eugene (2021)
    With 20% of the world's forests, Russia has global potential in bioeconomy development, biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation. However, unsustainable forest management based on 'wood mining' reduces this potential. Based on document analysis, participant observations and interviews, this article shows how non-state actors-environmental NGOs and forest companies-address forest resource depletion and primary forest loss in Russia. We analyse two key interrelated forest discourses driven by non-state actors in Russia: (1) intensive forest management in secondary forests as a pathway towards sustained yield and primary forest conservation; (2) intact forest landscapes as a priority in primary forest conservation. We illustrate how these discourses have been integrated into policy debates, institutions and practices and discuss their relation to relevant global discourses. The article concludes that despite successful cases in conserving intact forest landscapes, there is still a frontier between sustainable forest management discourses and forestry practice in Russia.
  • D'amato, Dalia; Droste, Nils; Winkler, Klara; Toppinen, Anne (2019)
    The continuous emergence of new ideas and terms simultaneously enables and impedes the advancement of sustainability, because of an increasingly complex conceptual landscape. This study aims at highlighting combinations of sustainability concepts (circular, green and bioeconomy) and of development models (growth, steady-state, degrowth) which selected researchers have considered priorities for pursuing sustainability transformations. Thirteen leading scholars working on sustainability issues were asked to rank 36 statements describing activities related to either circular, green, bio, growth, steady-state or degrowth economy. Using Q methodology, an exploratory approach to the identification of shared or diverging opinions, three archetypical perspectives were identified across the respondents: 1. circular solutions towards economic-environmental decoupling in a degrowth perspective; 2. a mix of circular and green economy solutions; 3. a green economy perspective, with an emphasis on natural capital and ecosystem services, and critical towards growth. Economic growth was perceived negatively across all perspectives, in contrast to the current lack of political and societal support for degrowth ideas. Neither did bioeconomy-oriented activities have support among the participating researchers, even though half of the respondents were working with bioeconomy issues, which are currently high on the political agenda. The lack of support for pro-growth and bioeconomy solutions are unexpected results given the current political discourses. While the results are not to be generalised beyond the sample, they provide valuable orientation for emerging and under-investigated research and policy directions. If bioeconomy policies are to be implemented on a broader scale, it seems worthwhile evaluating the acceptability of the bioeconomy agenda among various societal actors. Furthermore, our results point to the (still under-explored) potential of formulating synergic circular, green and bioeconomy policies, possibly without a focus on economic growth.