InnoForESt’s conceptual approach is to understand, further develop, and share successful policy and business innovations for sustainable forest ecosystem service provision. The following key concepts and frameworks underpins InnoForESt work.

Social-Ecological Systems and Ecosystem Services

The case study regions are conceptualised as social-ecological-technical systems. In these, the provision of forest ecosystem services is determined by biophysical conditions and institutions/governance structures, such as hierarchies, network initiatives or market mechanisms, and different mixes of policy instruments.

Differences in management systems and infrastructural conditions are further influencing factors. A system approach allows InnoForESt to understand the patterns and factors that enable and constrain efforts for creating, implementing and using policy instruments and business models.

The concept of social-ecological systems (Loft et al., 2016)

Innovations systems approach

Fostering the provision of forest ecosystem services by forest management and policy needs dedicated change and enabling strategies. InnoForESt makes use of pertinent innovation frameworks in its project design.

As illustrated in the figure the pathways for innovations in which InnoForESt builds on are:
(1) novelty creation in and by local practices in protected spaces, i.e. innovation platforms;
(2) and ways for their mainstreaming over time, leading to modifications of the regime.

InnoForESt main focus for development and mainstreaming of policy tools and business models (cf. Rip, 2012, modified)

Multi-actor approach

With help of multi-actor approaches and respective methods, stakeholders support each other for exploring regional innovation potentials in the forestry sector and bringing them into use. Potential end users such as forest managers, administration, tourism organisations, or Protected Area managers, but also forest enterprises, industry partners from bioeconomy, actors along the wood-processing value chain,

intermediaries and finance organisations for carbon markets and biodiversity offset schemes are explicitly considered and included in the project.

This approach is expected to lead to a cross-fertilisation of knowledge and ideas between actors, and the co-creation and ownership of innovations.

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