D5.1: Interim Ecosystems Service Governance Navigator & Manual for its Use
Ewert Aukes, Peter Stegmaier, Mónica Hernandez-Morcillo
With contributions from
Peter Adolphi, Viera Bastakova, Sara Brogaard, Caterina Gagliano, Veronika Gezik, Michael Klingler, Jutta Kister, Tatiana Kluvankova, Torsten Krause, Lasse Loft, Jiří Louda, Carsten Mann, Claas Meyer, Francesco Orsi, Eeva Primmer, Claudia Sattler, Christian Schleyer, Stefan Sorge, Martin Špaček, Christa Törn-Lindhe
Reviewers: Torsten Krause, Carol Großmann
|Work package||WP5 Innovation process integration|
|Deliverable nature||Report (R)|
|Date of delivery||Contractual||31 January 2019||Actual||31 January 2019|
|Total number of pages||88|
|Keywords||Forest Ecosystem Governance Innovation, SETFIS, Biophysical mapping, Governance Situation Assessment, Stakeholder Analysis, Constructive Innovation Assessment, Role Board Games|
Deliverable 5.1 presents an interim Navigator to be used as an internal practical tool for project partners (at this stage). It serves as a guidance to improve understanding on Forest Ecosystem Services (FES) governance innovations. As a matter of fact, the Navigator comprises the InnoForESt approach, as it is currently emerging in course of innovation action. The Navigator entails a compendium of “heuristics” understood as a set of practical tools (yet rooted in theory) integrating the project knowledge generation and communication approach to forest ecosystem services (project glossary, analytical framework, fact sheets, typologies, workshops, etc.). It aims at giving orientation, not setting hard rules. The interim Navigator can, of course, also be read by the interested public outside this project for a first impression of the InnoForESt approach.
This deliverable, elaborated under WP5 leadership, has been co-authored with colleagues from the entire project and is thus a true joint deliverable. It draws information from the other InnoForESt work packages by integrating their analytical approaches, tools, and methods employed. It reflects on possibilities and limitations, options and alternatives of the elements currently in use. It also builds on the experience of the six Innovation Regions identifying basic patterns of forest ecosystem services governance innovation in practice “that work”. This is a living Navigator which will be periodically reviewed and updated to repeatedly incorporate advances and new understandings of the heuristic tools as they develop.
A project Navigator, as we understand it in InnoForESt, is strongly rooted in the socio-political context of the innovations that are studied and cannot instantly be separated from this context. All methods applied are tailored to the innovations to be analysed and further developed. In turn, this also means that a presentation of methods is not complete without outline of the innovations themselves. Hence, this Navigator also includes preliminary empirical orientations based on the regional socio-political innovation contexts including the respective project’s practice and scientific partners, entities we term Innovation Regions. There are InnoForESt Innovation Regions, in which payment schemes for ecosystem services or variants thereof are introduced or developed further, for example, in Finland and Germany. Others rethink the way they convey knowledge about forest ecosystem services, as it happens in Sweden and Austria. In Italy, the provincial forest management agency undertakes efforts to innovate its management practices of their special land-use type, the mid-elevation forest-pasture landscape. Finally, in the Czech and Slovak Innovation Regions, new practices of collective forest management are explored.
We chose a reporting structure which may surprise the scientific reader. It is very much linked to our commitment to the innovation contexts. The empirical orientations do not, as is common in scientific writing, follow the elaboration of theory and method. Rather, we want to express the importance of the empirical material by moving it further up in the reporting structure. After the introduction, in section 2, we present an overview of the theoretical background of the project as well as the analytical methods used to come to the empirical orientations. These empirical orientations, based on a Stakeholder Analysis and a Governance Situation Assessment, follow suit in section 3. Section 4 provides a deeper look at the methods used in InnoForESt, including a technology-assessment-based Constructive Innovation Assessment method, experimental Role Board Games, the systematic development of prototypes, and the provision of methods fact sheets for dissemination in practice contexts. In section 5, the Navigator ends with an outlook on plans how to convey the knowledge and methods acquired in the project in training circumstances, practice interactions, as well as the digital innovation platform which InnoForESt is developing.
This deliverable outlines the approach the InnoForESt project is currently developing in each regional innovation action. It provides all project members and all others interested orientation about the how InnoForESt works. This is the reason why it is called a Navigator.
The report provides overview, examples, and guidance. It is less of a scientific character than a manual:
- In section 2, we present an overview of ways we do analysis and come to orientations about the reality in the Innovation Regions.
- These orientations, based on the analysis of the stakeholders involved in the Innovation Regions and a first holistic glimpse on the political situations (“Governance Situation Assessment”), follow suit in section 3.
- Section 4 provides a deeper look at the methods used in InnoForESt, including a method for “Constructive Innovation Assessment”, and experiments called “Role Board Games”, as well as for the development of test instances (“prototypes”) for the innovations. A number of fact sheets about the methods employed are also available within this report.
- In section 5, we describe which trainings and interactions with practitioners and the digital innovation platform which InnoForESt is developing.
Table of contents
2.1 Glossary of core terms and heuristics 5
2.2 Biophysical and institutional mapping 9
2.3 Social-Ecological-Technical Forestry Innovation Systems (SETFIS) 11
2.4 Fact sheet InnoForESt Stakeholder Analysis 14
2.5 Fact sheet on Governance Situation Assessment 18
3 Preliminary empirical orientation 25
3.1 Typology of Forest Ecosystem Services stakeholders 25
3.2 The Forest Ecosystem Services governance innovation situation 27
3.2.1 Austria: Finding and developing a new way of utilizing the forest in the Eisenwurzen region (Styria, Austria) 30
3.2.2 Finland: Finding an accepted governance mechanism for a “Habitat Bank” 31
3.2.3 Germany: Redeveloping the “Forest share” (“Waldaktie”) 32
3.2.4 Italy: Forest-pasture management innovation in the Primiero region (Province of Trento) 33
3.2.5 Sweden: Redeveloping the “Love the forest” (“Älska skog”) educational initiative 34
3.2.6 Czech Republic/Slovakia: Innovating the management of collectively owned forest areas 35
3.3 Preliminary transversal analysis 40
4 Stakeholders interaction approach 45
4.1 Provision of a physical & digital platform 46
4.4 Constructive Innovation Assessment for strategy articulation 48
4.5.2 Role Board Games for prototype assessment and reconfiguration 52
4.6 Responsibility Navigator 53
4.6.1 Ensuring Quality of Interaction 54
4.6.2 Positioning and Orchestration 54
4.6.3 Developing Supportive Environments 54
4.6.4 Practical issues for InnoForESt 55
5.1 Constructive Innovation Assessment 57
5.1.1 Scenario building basics 58
5.1.2 Preparing for a stakeholder workshop 59
5.1.3 Documenting the stakeholder workshops 60
5.3.1 Qualitative Comparative Analysis 64
5.3.2 Agent-based Modelling 69
Annex 1: List of problems compiled by Innovation Teams and characterised according to type of problem and levels involved 80
Figure 1: Set of heuristic tools as explained in this Navigator 2
Figure 2: Analysis framework for ecosystem services governance innovations 12
Figure 3: The three types of processes in support of stakeholder interaction 43
Figure 4: Digital and physical meeting platforms 44
Figure 5: Elements of co-creation networks in the InnoForESt context 44
Figure 6: Three elements of the strategy articulation workshops 45
Figure 7: Variant combinations of the strategic workshop series and the role board game depending on the specific context to which the method is applied 46
Figure 8: Responsibility Navigator as developed in the Res-AgorA project. 51
Figure 9: Top: Representation of scenarios as telescopes directed at the future. Bottom; Scenario combinations (colour groups) and their general thrust 55
Figure 10: Principle coupling of CINA and innovation network processes 56
Figure 11: Generic conceptualisations of a governance innovation situation 57
Figure 12: Role Board Game situation with players 60
Table 1: Ecosystem services targeted in the Innovation Regions 2
Table 2: Glossary of key terms and concepts used in this Navigator, and their definition characteristic for the InnoForESt project 6
Table 3: Innovation characteristics per innovation region 36
|AUT||Austria||MAES||Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services|
|ABM||Agent-Based Modelling||MLP||Multi-Level Perspective|
|AEM||Agri-Environmental Measures||NGO||Non-Governmental Organization|
|Oppla||Operationalisation of Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services|
|CICES||The Common International Classification of Ecosystem Services||PAT||Provincia Autonoma di Trentino (Autonomous Province of Trentino)|
|CLC||CORINE Land Cover||PES||Payments for Ecosystem Services|
|CORINE||Coordination of Information on the Environment||PR||Private|
|PSR||Programma di Sviluppo Rurale (Italian Rural Development Programme)|
|CZR||Czech Republic||QCA||Qualitative Comparative Analysis|
|D||Deliverable||RBG||Role Board Game|
|EU||European Union||SA||Stakeholder Analysis|
|FES||Forest Ecosystem Services||SETFIS||Socio-ecological Technical Forestry
|GER||Germany||SME||Small and Medium-sized Enterprises|
|GIS||Geo-Information Systems||SNA||Social Network Analysis|
|GSA||Governance Situation Assessment||SWE||Sweden|
D2.1 – Deliverable 2.1: Mapping of forest ecosystem services and institutional frameworks, draft report
D3.1 – Deliverable 3.1: Analysis framework for governance of innovation factors in business and policy processes for forest ecosystem services
D4.2 – Deliverable 4.2: Set of reports on CTA workshop findings in case study regions, compiled for ongoing co-design and knowledge exchange
D5.2 – Deliverable 5.2: Report on stakeholders’ interests, visions, and concerns
D5.4 – Deliverable 5.4: Design on training events to develop innovation
WP2 – Mapping and assessing forest ecosystem services and institutional frameworks
WP3 – Smart ecosystem services governance innovations
WP4 – Innovation platforms for policy and business
WP5 – Innovation process integration
This InnoForESt Navigator provides an integrated view on the core approach chosen by the project partners to observe existing and stimulate new/further innovations of forest ecosystem services (FES) governance. In this interim version, we take stock of what has so far been developed during the first year of the InnoForESt project. It collects, interprets and explains, as well as translates useful strategies for forest ecosystem services governance innovations into practical terms.
We aim for the Navigator to become a practical tool both for project-internal and field-wide, external use during and – looking ahead towards the final version – also after the project. The Navigator can be used as a manual, as we provide suggestions for practical application throughout the sections – if work in an Innovation Action is not already straightforward and practical in itself.
As a project, InnoForESt is constructed to further innovations in six different practice contexts. We call these practice contexts ‘Innovation Regions’ to connote the totality of practices, stakeholders, policies, and localities that encompass the targeted innovation. The six Innovation Regions revolve around the following innovations:
- Austria: exploration of ways to strengthen existing and constructing novel value chains around forest products, potentially including material products (e.g., furniture, tiny houses) as well as educational programmes
- Finland: operationalisation of a ‘payments for ecosystem services’ scheme in the form of a habitat bank acting as intermediary for (corporate) investments in forest biodiversity protection
- Germany: expanding an existing payment for ecosystem services scheme involving tree planting by investors
- Italy: exploration of new ways to improve existing management practices for a specific landscape type: mid-elevation forest-pastures
- Sweden: redevelopment of an educational program with a competitive format which should educate school children in forest knowledge in a playful way and let them experience various aspects of forests
- Czech Republic/Slovakia: exploration of new ways to manage forests in a collectively-owned, self-organised legal setting.
The innovations pursued in the Innovation Regions selected by the project involve a variety of forest ecosystem services in order to gain a comprehensive overview of practices ‘that work’ in terms of making our relation to forests more sustainable. Table 1 shows, which services in the broader sense are targeted in which Innovation Region or currently under consideration.
Defining the Navigator
The Navigator should be seen as a practical tool. You can use it as a manual to apply to your innovation to develop it further.
You will find that the Navigator contains different methods to further understand your innovation and its social context. We hope to clarify the applicability of those methods with the help of introductory explanations.
In this report, we have also carved out more general dimensions of implementing governance innovations for the provision of forest ecosystem services in different contexts, for example, regarding the types, interests, and visions of stakeholders, and the governance situation into which the innovations are projected.
The report facilitates the coherence of the individual analytical approaches, tools, and methods employed in the project while appreciating their diversity. It reflects on possibilities and limitations, options and alternatives of the elements currently in use. Thus, drawing on the experiences of the six Innovation Regions, this report helps to identify and clarify basic patterns of forest ecosystem services innovation practice ‘that work’.
Table 1: Ecosystem services targeted in the Innovation Regions
|Natural hazards protection|||
|Tourism and recreation|||||||
The Navigator is also based on the stocktaking and assessment of the biophysical and institutional mapping in Europe more generally, as documented in Deliverable 2.1. It will later be refined with additional findings from the tested and reconfigured innovation prototypes in project Work Package 3 (WP), as well as the digital platform development work in WP4. It will result in a set of empirically-grounded typologies that offer practical orientation for forest ecosystem services governance innovation interactions. The first explorative version of these typologies is presented in this interim’s version.
When envisaging this report, we have deviated from the typical structure of scientific reporting. Although focused on the theoretical and methodological frameworks on which the InnoForESt approach draws, we opted for a prominent positioning of initial empirical findings to emphasise their centrality. Figure 1 illustrates the various aspects covered in this Navigator across the WPs.
Figure 1: Set of heuristic tools as explained in this Navigator
Section 2 deals with the theoretical frameworks and provides a glossary informing the InnoForESt rationale and language. In addition, two data generation methods are described. When describing methods used within the project, we endeavour to embed these methods in a narrative explaining when and how they can be used as well as what their limitations are. In section 3, we present the first results generated in the Innovation Regions. Later, in sections 4 and 5, we move on to the methodological background and practical implications of the results produced in InnoForESt so far.
Set of heuristic tools
In this section, we present and briefly explain the heuristics, by help of which the project has started to explore and assess the six Innovation Regions, the associated political and biophysical circumstances for forest ecosystem services governance innovations in the seven countries where the innovations take place, and the involved actors.
We understand heuristics as a set of tools to assess and appraise existing governance situations for forest ecosystem services that serve both the interests of our practice partners and the scientific aspects of the project. Heuristics will thus be presented as a set of ‘practical tools’ developed by the different WPs which will carve out frame conditions as well as practical activities fostering the sustainable use and provisioning of forest ecosystem services, including their possibilities and limitations, options and alternatives from the major theoretical, methodological, and analytical dimensions.
Glossary of core terms and heuristics
What is this?
- Large international projects encompassing multi-actor approaches, like InnoForESt, require a shared terminology in order to develop a common conceptual understanding.
- This glossary is an alphabetical compendium of key terms that are used on a regular basis within the project. It serves as a pivotal element for coherent communication and to be able to link findings within the project.
List of heuristic tools
First, we clarify terms which are specific to the InnoForESt project context in a glossary. Then, 4 methods are explained which you can use to analyse your innovation and the context in which you want to introduce or further develop it:
- Biophysical and institutional mapping
- The theoretical framework (‘SETFIS’)
- Stakeholder analysis
- Governance situation assessment
- The key terms presented in Table 2 were initially given in the InnoForESt proposal, but they have been complemented in the course of the ongoing discussions during the periodic project meetings. The compilation of the glossary is an ongoing activity of improving and reviewing shared terminology throughout the course of the project.
- The now common terminology of notions summarized in the glossary will serve as a ‘tertium comparationis’, as an integration device on project level.
How to use it?
- The concepts presented below offer the chance to get a better idea of what we mean with certain terms in this project as a whole, as compared to specific literature or individual use.
- The glossary can be used as a reference to enable clarifications during project meetings or workshops with different stakeholders.
Limitations of use
- We are aware that other – in some cases also scientific – meanings of some terms exist, and we do not claim exclusiveness.
- Indeed, the glossary is neither supposed to replace the local language, which may have relevance for the actors in the Innovation Regions, nor does it render readers’ translation of the notions into the local mindsets and practice contexts unnecessary.
Table 2: Glossary of key terms and concepts used in this Navigator, and their definition characteristic for the InnoForESt project
|Biophysical and Institutional Mapping||Europe’s biophysical forest ecosystem services are well understood on a general level. InnoForESt refines the knowledge base by providing fine-grained maps of the supply of selected, relevant forest ecosystem services in Europe. The institutional mapping component adds knowledge about future societal demand for forest ecosystem services based on public policy. These mapping processes are not a stand-alone effort. They also provide relevant background knowledge for the Innovation Teams to understand and manage their innovation in their specific local context (WP4 and WP5).|
|Business model||“Representation of a firm’s underlying core logic and strategic choices for creating and capturing value within a value network” (Shafer, Smith, & Linder 2005: 202)
Key components: the sample of strategic choices, the creation of value, the network, and the value preservation
|Constructive Innovation Assessment (CINA) is the method for innovation assessment in InnoForESt, inspired by Constructive Technology Assessment (Schot & Rip 1997). It consists of a series of workshop activities, including preparation and evaluation/reflection/learning materials, for multi-stakeholder constructive visioning and assessment of the six governance Innovation Regions in focus.|
|Digital innovation platforms are virtual spaces for knowledge exchange. As part of the InnoForESt webpage (www.innoforest.eu), each Innovation Region will be provided with a space, which has an open public part presenting the innovation in the respective local language and in English; and a protected space which the innovation teams can use for sharing information with their local network. The digital platform, like a physical one, should serve the stakeholders communication and exchange, and are co-designed with innovation teams.|
|The six initial governance innovations in InnoForESt are different Payment schemes for forest Ecosystem Services (PES) and new partnerships/network approaches/ actor alliances. Payment schemes are in focus in Germany, Czech Republic, Finland, and Italy; network/partnership approaches characterise the innovations in Austria, Slovakia, and Sweden.|
|The Ecosystem service governance Navigator has the function for the project to provide an integrated view on the core approach chosen to stimulate and observe innovations of forest ecosystem governance. In this interim’s version, we take stock of what has been developed during first year of the project. It collects, interprets and explains, as well as translates useful strategies for forest ecosystem services governance innovations into more practical terms.|
|Fact sheet||These overviews provide easily accessible information about the diverse set of methods used in InnoForESt. By detailing the processes and suitability of the methods in different phases of an innovation process, the fact sheets present innovators in other innovation contexts with a toolbox to enrich the understanding of their Innovation Region and help them push their innovation.|
|Factor reconfiguration means hypothetical or real experimenting with changes in (key) factors when seeking a different design that can potentially work on larger scale or in a different context.|
|Factors||Factors are “observed conditions or processes that influence the innovation and its development process.” (InnoForESt Deliverable D3.1, p. 3)|
|FES||Forest Ecosystem Services|
|1. Provisioning: Includes all material outputs from forest ecosystems, such as wood, mushrooms, berries or game. These are tangible things that can be exchanged or traded, as well as consumed or used directly or processed, e.g., for construction, energy or food.
2. Regulating: Includes all the ways in which ecosystems regulate ecosystem characteristics, functions or processes, such as drought resistance, carbon sequestration or water cycles. People benefit from these services directly and indirectly.
3. Cultural: Includes all non-material ecosystem outputs that have symbolic, cultural or intellectual meaning or value (including, e.g., recreation).
|Governance Situation Assessment||The governance situation assessment in InnoForESt serves two purposes. Knowing about governance arrangements, histories, structures and processes not only provides an overview of the socio-political context in which an innovation is taking place or is planned, but also lays the groundwork for the development of scenarios that can be used in strategic workshops for the purpose of Constructive Innovation Assessment.|
|The idealised innovation process depicts what should happen in Innovation Regions in order to best analyse, develop, and foster governance innovations for forest ecosystem service provision. The process consists of three interlinked elements: innovation platforms, networking activities, and workshops.|
|Refers to the practice partners in Innovation Regions.|
|Refers to the six initial governance Innovation Regions in InnoForESt (formerly ‘Case Study Regions’).|
|Innovation Team (IT)||Innovation teams (ITs; formerly ‘Case Study Teams’) consist of the science partner and the practice partner who are cooperating in the Innovation Regions.|
|The matching framework offers methods to assist in innovation/prototype development and assessment, which includes the assessment of their transferability to other places (matching).|
|Matching tool||The matching tool helps to identify contexts in which certain prototypes have potential to be fed into another context. The methods used for matching could be something very simple like an Excel table or much more complex (e.g., Stakeholder Analysis, Governance Situation Assessment, QCA, SNA, Net-map, etc.).
The idea – in this project – is to develop a European matching tool to identify places with potential for innovations, e.g., as web-based devise, potentially to be integrated into the Oppla website.
|Together, as multi‐actor teams, practice and science partners facilitate the innovation processes in the six Innovation Regions, starting as regional innovation network approaches that become scaled up (and interconnected) to national and to EU‐wide networks on good innovation practices for exchange and learning.
Practice partners provide or establish the innovation network and stimulate the forest ecosystem services governance innovation idea. All scientific work and effort is supposed to contribute to the practice partners’ objectives. Practice partners include public policy agencies, private forest owners and enterprises, industry partners, environmental NGOs, as well as tourism and hunting associations.
Science partners are research institutes from – or linked to – the six Innovation Regions collaborating with the practice partner to analyse and support the innovations scientifically.
|Prototype||A prototype refers to a vision (a scenario, scenario narrative, and model) that describes the future development of the governance innovation in focus. Future development directions are agreed upon by the innovation teams and stakeholders of the governance innovation in terms of its upgrading and upscaling potentials. A prototype is based on the reconfiguration of factors that improve the initial innovation. Prototypes of innovations are different from the initial innovation as they are a future vision, that allows for an abstraction of conditions (i.e., decontextualized from the initial innovation context).|
|Role Board Games (RBG)||A Role Board Game is used for testing the innovation factors as well as testing and making visible behavioural changes of stakeholders in different settings. It also facilitates the stakeholders (or partners) to learn from each other during the game and to develop a mutual understanding. This is expected to foster innovations and problem solution strategies and sustainability-oriented behaviour, from individual towards collective level which, ideally, enables more sustainable behaviour of all stakeholders involved.|
|Scenario||A scenario, as InnoForESt understands it, is at the same time a ‘useful fiction’ and a ‘holding device’. A ‘useful fiction’ is a coherent story or plot of a world, in which the innovation has taken on a specific shape. A ‘holding device’ is a condensation of what is known about one specific possible development. In other words, a scenario is a thoughtful, systematic, rich mixture of creativity based on prior knowledge of the governance situation. See section 5.1 for more detail.|
|Socio-ecological technical forestry innovation systems (SETFIS)||This is the analysis framework for the governance of policy and business innovation types and conditions. It serves as an analytical lens to support the exploration of influencing factors on governance innovations to secure a sustainable provision of forest ecosystem services. The creation of the analysis framework builds on the idea of complex processes within linked social-ecological-technical-forestry-innovation systems (SETFIS) of the InnoForESt Innovation Regions.|
|Stakeholder Analysis||InnoForESt has carried out a stakeholder analysis for each Innovation Region. Such a mapping exercise is meant to find out about a broad range of stakeholder categories. It is necessary to have a broad, exploratory range as characteristics that are (potentially) important when shaping or fostering the governance innovation processes will differ across innovation contexts.|
|Strategic workshop||Constructive Innovation Assessment (see elsewhere in this glossary) is carried out in strategic workshops. As opposed to regular work floor interactions, these strategic workshops are characterised by a careful preparation including the (further) development of scenarios representing possible innovation prototypes.|
|InnoForESt produces a range of tailor-made support products that assist workshop activities and networks. These products are available at different points in time and relate to different innovation activities. Science partners in Innovation Teams function as translators for scientific support requests. Products are listed in the Appendix presenting “The idealised innovation process” and will be available on the digital innovation platform.|
|Training||InnoForESt’s approach will be translated into a training manual for practitioners. The training materials are based on internal training sessions as well as other products and deliverables of the project. This contributes to InnoForESt’s sustainability and enables the transfer of the approach to other innovation contexts.|
|Typology of Forest Ecosystem Services Governance Innovation Situation||The assessment of the governance situations in the Innovation Regions delivered a preliminary typology of governance innovation situations (see elsewhere in this glossary). Eleven categories were distinguished to meaningfully compare governance situations across such different innovation contexts. Based on the innovation analytical approach taken in InnoForESt, these categories cover different levels of the socio-technical system that is the innovation, e.g. regime, niche, and landscape developments. In addition, it maps the core issues in the innovation context and assesses their structuredness (see Fact sheet on Governance Situation Assessment for more details).|
|Typology of Forest Ecosystem Services stakeholders||Based on a thorough stakeholder analysis in InnoForESt’s Innovation Regions, patterns of stakeholders as well as “odd men out” were distinguished. The typology differentiates between stakeholders’ (a) sphere, (b) business type, (c) scale, and a qualitative assessment of their (d) openness to innovation.|
|Work floor/work meetings||As opposed to strategic workshops, work floor or work meetings are all interactions between the Innovation Team and stakeholders that are not linked immediately to the discussion of scenarios. Think of simple phone calls to catch up with certain stakeholders, discussions in preparation of workshops or bringing stakeholders in contact with each other.|
Biophysical and institutional mapping
What is this?
As both ecological and institutional contexts matter for innovations in the forest sector, InnoForESt captures both and provides a first basis for a more context-relevant analysis of innovation evolution, which potentially spurs innovations. In general, there is a good spatial understanding of Europe’s biophysical forest ecosystem services (Maes et al. 2013), but ecosystem service supply and demand have been matched only as rough estimates of scarcity (Burkhard et al. 2012). What is missing, so far, is a thorough analysis of the societal demand for forest ecosystem services, as expressed in policy.
InnoForESt D2.1 proposes 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 experts. In the past years, several European policies have gradually taken up the notion of ecosystem services, and the European Forest Strategy fares well in reference to and integration of the term (Bouwma et al. 2018). To complement this understanding, InnoForESt analyses the ways in which national forest related policies recognise forest ecosystem services and how this recognition coincides with biophysical ecosystem service supply at the spatial scale.
The biophysical mapping of forest ecosystem services focuses on the supply of ecosystem services, identifies the relevant services and defines indicators to map the selected ones. Pan-European maps are produced using the ‘Common International Classification of Ecosystem Services’ (CICES) as well as the ‘Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services’ (MAES) indicators using ‘Coordination of Information on the Environment Land Cover’ (CORINE or CLC) and MAES data and published literature, as reported in D2.1. The relevant forest ecosystem services are:
Ecosystem services and their measurement
What are ecosystem services?
Ecosystems – forests in the case of InnoForESt – provide a range of goods and services that contribute to the long-term benefit of society. These goods and services are termed ‘ecosystem services’.
How are these measured?
There are different classifications of ecosystem services. For our biophysical and institutional mapping, we have used mainly two classification systems, namely ‘The Common International Classification of Ecosystem Services’ (CICES) and ‘Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services’ (MAES).
- Presence of plants, mushrooms and game
- Mass stabilization and control of erosion rates
- Water retention potential
- Pollination potential
- Habitat maintenance/protection
- Soil organic matter
- Carbon storage
- Experiential and recreational use
- Symbolic value.
The institutional mapping is designed to identify future societal demand for forest ecosystem services, as formalized and expressed in policy, i.e., policy demand. The policy demand is analysed through detailed policy document analysis, for which a protocol and database are developed and reported in D2.1. The mapping focuses on forest strategies in the Innovation Regions and their countries as well as in other forested countries of Europe. Also, biodiversity strategies and bioeconomy strategies are analysed in the Innovation Regions or their countries.
Based on the combination of biophysical and institutional mapping, InnoForESt recognizes the connection between abundance or scarcity of forest ecosystem services and their coincidence with strategic commitment to innovations and new governance mechanisms. The mapping supports the transfer of innovation as well as upscaling and further co-learning in comparative high potential context regions.
How to use it?
- InnoForESt innovations can be included in the output map as pins with pop-up boxes of information.
- Innovation Teams and Innovation Regions in InnoForESt and beyond can look for similar forest ecosystem services and/or institutional conditions for transferring their ideas.
- Innovation promoters, such as policy-makers can look for biophysical and institutionally favourable innovation and governance settings for the promotion of sustainable use and provision of ecosystem services.
Limitations for use
- The six InnoForESt innovations provide much detailed understanding of innovation processes, but this kind of rich data cannot be mapped.
- The mapping is coordinated with InnoForESt’s sister project SINCERE, to include over a hundred innovations as pins onto the map. If this does not eventuate, the map will include relatively little about innovations.
Social-Ecological-Technical Forestry Innovation Systems (SETFIS)
What is this?
For a better understanding of governance innovations, an analysis framework is being developed for explaining the emergence, growth, and spread of successful governance innovations for the sustainable provision of forest ecosystem services. It helps practice partners and scientists alike to gain a good understanding of what has led to the innovation in the region, and the necessary context conditions. Building on the hypothesis that this kind of governance innovations emerge in interconnected social-ecological-technical forestry systems, the analysis framework serves as an analytical lens to explore essential direct and indirect positive and negative factors influencing governance innovation types and conditions. Insights from this analysis support project partners and political decision-makers in two ways:
a) Retrospectively, to gain a good understanding of the emergence and development of forest governance innovations (i.e., what factors have influenced the innovation, from early ideas of its emergence and its developments until now); and
b) Prospectively, on conditions enabling their upscaling and upgrading potentials (i.e., what is needed for a similar innovation elsewhere, or an improved version of the innovation in the current context; how to reduce risks for failure).
To date, links between the provision of forest ecosystem services change depending on demand and supply structures, including socio-economic determinants (e.g., from bioeconomy or diversification of societal interests for forest uses) and governance strategies (type of policy instruments, multi-level and multi-sector interactions), which have been defined mostly on a conceptual level (e.g., De Groot et al. 2010; Potschin & Haines-Young 2011; Van Oudenhoven et al. 2012). Governance of ecosystem services has also been conceptualised (Primmer et al. 2015), and institutional constraints on applying the concepts have been recognised; including competing interests, scientific disputes, professional norms and competencies (Saarikoski et al. 2018). Specifically, boreal forest ecosystem services have been organised with the conceptualisations (Saarikoski et al. 2015).
This is the theoretical background on which InnoForESt is built. You can think of it as a pair of glasses through which we look at innovation development in the six regions. With it, we can better understand how certain forest ecosystem services innovations came to be and how to support the implementation of other innovations.
The framework is a combination of two perspectives: social-ecological systems theory and socio-technical systems theory. Both theories have different starting points and come from different scientific disciplines, despite their similarity in name.
However, systematic connections between social, biophysical, and technological factors have not been analysed with a focus on institutions and governance, let alone innovations. Socio-technical systems are crucial for the provision of forest ecosystem services, as information and communication technology is part of ecosystem service infrastructure and exchange processes (cf. Smith & Stirling 2010). Consequently, our SETFIS (Social-Ecological-Technical Forestry Innovation System) framework builds on – and combines – theories and concepts in the realm of social-ecological systems (e.g., McGinnis & Ostrom 2014; Ostrom 2011), institutional economics (e.g., Hagedorn 2008; North 1990), environmental and transformation governance (e.g., Armitage et al. 2009; Gunderson 2002; Jordan 2001; Kemp et al. 2007; Olsson et al. 2004), and socio-technical and innovation systems (Asheim et al. 2011; Geels & Schot 2007; Voß & Fischer 2006) to describe the complexity of linked subsystem dimensions, their interactions and impacts on the functioning of governance innovations. Further, concepts with direct relevance to forest ecosystem services, addressing their governance (Primmer et al. 2015), including multiple-levels, multiple actors, and multiple rationalities (Loft et al. 2015) are integrated.
The analysis framework addresses biophysical, institutional, and technical forestry system dimensions (see Figure 2). In addition, the framework also includes respective sets of fostering and hindering factors that may influence governance innovation dynamics. Thus, the analysis framework serves to collect information on historical developments, and assumptions of future developments of the innovation. In order to so, we translate the dimensions and factors into qualitative questions to identify and explain how innovations emerge, develop, and unfold in a co-created way. As InnoForESt builds on the multi-actor approach (cf. Lang et al. 2012; Scholz & Steiner 2015), continuous knowledge exchange between interdisciplinary science, and multi-sector and multi-level practice partners, is managed at all project stages.
This co-creation of knowledge helps explicating the connection and interrelation between social-ecological-technical influences on governance innovations in a holistic and stakeholder-oriented way (cf. McGinnis & Ostrom 2014).
The framework, as shown in Figure 2, will be empirically applied to the six Innovation Regions. In form of qualitative interviews and/or as part of strategic workshops, stakeholders reveal the development history of ‘their’ governance innovation and are guided through the exploration of the forestry innovation system. In this process, both scientists and practitioners gain a good understanding of past-present innovation dynamics, which enables them to purposefully create innovation-friendly system conditions, such as the adaptation of key influencing factors that are favouring certain intended development paths.
Through the analysis, the dimension/factor interdependencies are revealed, and adjustment possibilities of crucial influencing factors can be elaborated together with stakeholders for road mapping strategies, depending on the vision and ideas of participating actors. As such, the analysis framework supports collecting information in a comparable way over six Innovation Regions by analysing, diagnosing, explaining, and predicting system dimensions, influencing factors, outcomes, and requirements for governance innovations to emerge, develop, and work in an intended way. These insights are the basis for fostering and improving governance innovations and respective policy and business recommendations that create enabling conditions for the sustainable provision of forest ecosystem services. For example, policy makers gain a better understanding of which governance mechanisms or instruments work best under what conditions and in in which context to encourage and foster innovations and their uptake in the forestry sector. The implications for forest owners, and other local stakeholders, are to diversify their product and service portfolios.
Ideally, service providers in the Innovation Regions benefit from new business opportunities, the creation of new income streams, and job possibilities.
Figure 2: Analysis framework for ecosystem services governance innovations
By creating incentives (e.g., through payments for ecosystem services) for better and more sustainable forest management impacts for society are an increased public good and/or common pool forest ecosystem services provisioning, such as carbon storage, maintenance, and improvement of biodiversity habitat, recreational opportunities, etc.
How to use it?
- Application of the framework: The analysis framework serves as a checklist for comprehensively analysing the dimension and factors that have influenced governance innovations in a region, i.e., developments from early ideas to its current status. The framework also offers a set of questions (Appendix of framework document D3.1) asking for current information available, insights into historical developments, and assumptions of future developments of the innovation in focus.
- Data generation and analysis: Information about innovation developments is generated, for example, with help of individual experiences, semi-structured interviews, focus groups or workshops with key stakeholders in Innovation Regions. The question catalogue helps to categorise and evaluate the influence of dimensions/factors that played out in certain regions and particular contexts.
- Translating results into future steps & strategies: Results are translated into future steps for action for concerned stakeholders in Innovation Regions. Based on an overview on crucial influencing factors, the ones that are developed well, the ones with potential to improve, or new opportunities, as well as challenges and threats and for future innovation development, strategies for creating favourable conditions can be jointly developed in a structured and targeted way.
Limitations for use
- Orientation, not prescriptive: The set of questions is meant as an orientation to elaborate on factors influencing innovation. The set is designed to detect further influences which are deemed important by stakeholders.
We inserted open questions in each set of questions to improve our understanding of governance innovations design and functioning, and to improve the conceptual understanding of innovation development. Also, not every question has to be asked, in particular when information has been already gathered by other project activities.
- Dimensions, no sequence: The sequence of analysis questions does not need to follow the sequence of dimensions as presented in this guideline; interviewees are free to reshuffle, combine questions or change them to ‘yes-no’ answers to ease the evaluation. However, for reasons of comparability among the different Innovation Regions, all dimensions should be covered in innovation assessment.
Fact sheet InnoForESt Stakeholder Analysis
What is this?
- This tool describes the analytical framework and provides practical guidance for identifying (potentially) relevant stakeholders in an innovation region and
- for assessing their characteristics including their interests, visions, and concerns as well as interlinkages between them.
- While the main focus lies on stakeholders at the local and regional level, the tool can also be used to identify and assess relevant national or European/global stakeholders.
- The generic Stakeholder Analysis carried out here will be one cornerstone of the subsequent Governance Situation Assessment (cf. section 2.5 below), it allows for comparative analyses of relevant characteristics and stakeholder types across Innovation Regions, and
- contributes to the development of a corresponding Stakeholder Analysis cutting across the entire project.
How to use it?
- In practice, this tool suggests, first, a broad and rather comprehensive list of stakeholders and stakeholder types potentially relevant for fostering or hampering the governance innovation (process) in an Innovation Region. This does not mean that all stakeholder types are likely to be relevant in each and every Innovation Region and thus would need to be analysed in depth. Rather, it can be seen as some kind of ‘check list’ innovation teams can use to decide which stakeholder (groups) might be relevant and thus would need to be considered in the Stakeholder Analysis in their Innovation Region. At the same time, this list can be complemented by stakeholders not yet featured in the list, but with high relevance for the respective governance innovation.
- Second, the tool provides an extensive overview of analytic categories to be covered by the empirical analysis, i.e., the potentially relevant stakeholder characteristics. Again, this is meant to be an initial starting point for, for example, designing semi-structured interview guidelines. Again, it can be complemented with questions about additional characteristics considered relevant for the governance innovation under scrutiny.
- Third, a diverse set of empirical approaches is suggested, from which innovation teams can choose when planning the Stakeholder Analysis. Which approach to choose certainly depends, among others, on the already existing knowledge of stakeholder constellations and stakeholder interests and characteristics, the resources available to carry out such a Stakeholder Analysis, and the number and types of stakeholders to be covered.
|Fact sheet InnoForESt
Christian Schleyer, Peter Stegmaier, Jutta Kister, Michael Klingler, Ewert Aukes
1. Main purpose of Stakeholder Analysis in InnoForESt
The project aims for an integrated approach to knowledge generation, stakeholder interaction, and triggering governance innovation. Thus, it is crucial to identify and map a diversity of stakeholder characteristics, including their interests, visions, and concerns (e.g. civil society perceptions, user demands, facilitators’ suggestions etc.) both regarding forest ecosystem services and in general. The stakeholder analysis is not carried out by an external party coming into the Innovation Region, but by the Innovation Team itself, as it already has a feeling for potential conflicts and sensitivities in the Region. Findings from the stakeholder analysis feed into a typology for understanding the bigger picture and comparing the innovations. As a second aim, a deeper understanding of the stakeholder constellations in an Innovation Region enables a confident and cognisant facilitation of the co-production process of the innovation.
In this fact sheet, we focus on the initial analysis of forest ecosystem services’ stakeholders constellations in the Innovation Regions at the beginning of the project. The findings are compiled in D5.2 (month 12).
2. Typology and analysis of FES stakeholders (T5.2 / D5.2)
2.1 For InnoForESt’s innovation actions to be successful, relevant stakeholders need to concur with and participate in the innovation process. To realize this ambition, we need to know who the respective Innovation Region’s stakeholders are, how they are interlinked, and what their interests, visions, and concerns are.
In practice, Innovation Teams are chiefly responsible for the empirical work. To allow for the comparison of stakeholder constellations across Innovation Regions, the categories of the stakeholder analysis have to be harmonised somewhat (i.e. targeted stakeholder types, analytical categories for stakeholder characteristics and appropriate empirical methods). While harmonisation for the purpose of comparison is necessary, we have made sure that the special characteristics and peculiarities of the Innovation Regions are still visible and reflected in the findings. This will lead to the development of a cross-cutting stakeholder typology. This typology will also feed into the T5.1 interim forest ecosystem services governance innovation Navigator (due in month 15) (see fact sheet on Governance Situation Assessment – T5.1/T4.2/D4.2/D5.1).
Note that the results of the individual stakeholder analyses are crucial ingredients for the innovation processes: Innovation Teams need them to plan the innovation co-production activities.
The Innovation Teams probably have some level of knowledge about the relevant stakeholders already. Whatever actual or perceived knowledge gaps exist on part of the Innovation Teams influences the data gathering method as well as the categories used to analyse those data. In addition, which stakeholders to interview or to enquire about as part of the Stakeholder Analysis depends on the required knowledge and expertise.
2.2 In the following, we suggest a list of a) stakeholder types to be considered; b) analytic categories; and c) a range of possible empirical approaches to be covered:
There are many ways to categorise and ‘sort’ stakeholders. For example, they may have different actual or potential roles with respect to the governance innovation (process) under scrutiny, e.g. funders, implementers, or mediators/intermediaries. They may come from different societal spheres, such as public/state, private sector, and civil society; or they might be (actual or potential) beneficiaries of, or (negatively) affected by the innovation. Further, they might be situated and active at various spatial and administrative scales, such as local/regional, national, or perhaps even international – and some might even be active at several scales at the same time. Furthermore, they might be enablers of the governance innovation, or slow down and oppose the innovation (process). Finally, the different stakeholder groups might also hold different levels of power to influence the innovation and affect its governance.
Indeed, the first step of the Stakeholder Analysis is to identify those actors that are actually or potentially involved in or affected by the governance innovation in the respective Innovation Region and at what levels and different realms they operate.
Empirical approaches for Stakeholder Analysis include identifying and analysing written sources, such as relevant published research, legal documents, planning materials, policy documents, etc. Particularly fruitful are:
These approaches may be employed by themselves or in combination. Which method(s) to choose, depends on several factors. These factors include: the time and personnel available for the analysis; the intended degree of detail and comprehensiveness of the results; the availability and quality of relevant previous stakeholder analyses; and the complexity of the stakeholder context.
2.3 Time schedule
Limitations for use
- Although the tool neither prescribes a concrete number of stakeholders to be analysed, nor the level of detail on which to explore stakeholder characteristics, nor the empirical approach for collecting the stakeholder-relevant information, the sheer range of potential stakeholders and their characteristics potentially worthwhile to investigate may be perceived as overwhelming by the innovation teams.
- Time and other resources may be critical on part of the Innovation Teams, or the team members tasked to carry out the Stakeholder Analysis. First-hand experiences with some of the empirical methods suggested may be limited. Here, a careful, yet thorough assessment of the knowledge gaps with respect to stakeholders and their characteristics and their relevance for the governance innovation under scrutiny is needed to enable the innovation team to choose the appropriate range and level of their empirical approach.
- Synergies with the concrete way of carrying out the Governance Situation Assessment that builds upon the Stakeholder Analysis will need to be explored.
- Even a carefully and properly conducted Stakeholder Analysis will only be able to capture the status quo. With the governance innovation process progressing, stakeholder constellations may change, as may the vested, specific interests of stakeholders involved in the process. Thus, procedures would need to be defined for updating and/or expanding the Stakeholder Analysis to account for the changes in context or focus of the respective governance innovation (process).
Fact sheet on Governance Situation Assessment
What is this?
- Mapping: This tool shall give orientation for carrying out the analysis of the governance situations, into which forest ecosystem services innovations may be placed.
- Process, situation, and change in focus: It combines a situational view on the constellation of stakeholders currently involved and their relations with the dynamic perspective of the prior, current, and future (planned, imagined, expected) developments.
- This heuristic builds upon the generic Stakeholder Analysis (cf. section 2.4 above), while now also emphasising the politics regarding what innovation shall be pursued and which role might be played by whom.
- It conceptually anticipates the SETFIS framework, which is better useable at a later stage in the innovation trajectory when more knowledge has been gathered and the nature of the innovation has become clearer, thus has the role of a ‘SETFIS-light’ or SETFIS starter-kit.
How to use it?
- Analysts should use this “heuristic” as a guideline to include all crucial dimensions of the starting situation. It is a lens for discovering the situation, not a ready-made explanation of what the case is.
- It helps to assess the situation in direct view of preparing activities and meetings in the Innovation Region with the stakeholders.
- It has a particular value for the CINA workshops (cf. sections 4.4 and 5.1) and the scenarios to be elaborated based on the results of the work with the stakeholders.
- It helps to sketch the conditions under which any option for pursuing an innovation needs to be seen.
- It anchors the CINA scenarios in the (political, business) reality.
Further suggestions about how to use this heuristic are explained in the fact sheet itself.
governance situation: topics
Ewert Aukes, Peter Stegmaier, Christian Schleyer
This is a set of guiding questions that should assist you to get a more comprehensive idea about the situation that characterises the innovation you are trying to tackle and foster in your Innovation Region. Topics 1 and 2 are the link to the Stakeholder Analysis (SA).
We are speaking of the ‘forest ecosystem governance innovation’, in brief: “the innovation”. We are speaking of ‘actors’, because it may be worth looking beyond the stakeholders already identified. The upcoming abbreviation GSA means Governance Situation Assessment.
It might be enough to describe the situation on one page per topic. Use more pages and be more detailed if convenient.
If anything is unclear, please, do not hesitate consulting with Peter, Ewert, or Christian!
Topic 1: Actors
(In the SA, the actors are mapped as such; here, the focus is on their roles and interests in the governance/policy-making; so, what’s the actors’ political (in the broadest sense) agenda, etc.)
Topic 2: Actor interactions
(Emphasis here is on how actors play together/against each other; crucial to know regarding the political atmosphere)
Topic 3: History of the innovation
(You could use a timeline here, e.g., in form of a table listing the main features of the process line-by-line.)
Topic 4: Current situation of the innovation
Topic 5: Expected developments for the innovation
(This could be core to the alternative workshop scenarios!)
B. Assessing the governance situation: the key problem structure
This part aims at identifying the problem structure of the case: the main struggles and agreements. If you know these, you basically address them strategically.
Look back into part A and collect the current key problem issues in the advancement of the innovation in your case studies. „[P]eople’s involvement is mediated by problems that affect them“ (Marres 2007: 759). They mobilise such problem issues and are mobilised through them when dealing with public affairs. Key problem issues are those aspects of the innovation or its context that are perceived and eventually communicated in the Innovation Region as to be taken care of.
These problem issues most likely refer to a set of barriers/obstructions that need to be tackled in order to advance the innovation. They may actually characterise the crucial dimensions of the innovation.
(1) In a first step, identify and summarise these issues:
Make a list of all problem issues associated with the innovation (political, business, physical, cultural, technological, actors, etc., whatever you think characterises the state of affairs for the innovation for those involved), as found in A.
Decide which are the most important ones (a) from practitioners’ viewpoints and (b) from your observant’s point of view.
(2) In a second step, describe each problem issue in terms of the ease or difficulty with which it can be handled.
We suggest allocating the problem issues into four (one more or less) different categories:
Please describe your categories in terms of their problem structure.
Please, describe in your words how it makes sense to categorise each of the crucial issues in such a way (you can be as brief as you think it sufficient to understand also for case outsiders).
From this, at a later stage a more fine-grained analysis of factors will follow (WP3). This is no factor analysis – just a rough exploration of the key tensions and agreements characterising the overall picture.
Supplement: Problem categories
This supplement is supposed to elucidate how the figure on key problem issues works (p. 3 of the Governance Situation Assessment sheet).
The figure is based on what has been called the governance of problems and attempts to categorise types of problems depending on two dimensions:
To make this a little bit more concrete, we provide a similar figure including examples related to forest ecosystem services, see below.
These are just some examples. Based on your deeper knowledge and understanding of forest ecosystem services problematics you may as well categorise the examples differently. However, we hope, the figure can serve as a first hunch for how to describe “all issues associated with the innovation (political, business, physical, cultural, technological, etc., whatever you think characterises the state of affairs for the innovation)” in terms of their problem structure.
If things are still unclear, we are happy to help!
Limitations for use
- Since the Governance Situation Assessment heuristic implies concepts which are not necessarily common knowledge, it requires the assistance of experienced facilitators (in this project through WP5) in a number of intensive meetings with each Innovation Team. It is also useful to hold a short workshop, during which the approach is elucidated.
- The first version of the findings may require extensive commenting by the facilitators and some collaboration in order to achieve the right density of analysis. Templates will be developed for future use.
- Users may find the approach time consuming or too detailed. However, the usefulness of having this overview at hand may become visible only during the scenario writing, the discussion of the scenarios during the first CINA workshop, or even during the analysis of the workshop results.
Preliminary empirical orientation
This chapter offers a first preliminary empirical orientation about the six governance innovations, for which prototypes will be developed. It presents the core findings of the Stakeholder Analysis (Deliverable 5.2) and from the Governance Situation Assessment in preparation of the innovation platforms and the CINA workshops. These core findings are meant to build a bridge between the specific cases and the abstract theory used in this project by moderately categorising overall characteristics of the innovations.
In the following, we provide both a brief orientation about the typical forest ecosystem services stakeholders involved in our Innovation Regions, as well as a set of first explorative governance situation ‘typologies’. The collection and presentation of these key characteristics are supposed to provide an empirical appreciation of the broader picture of forest ecosystem governance innovation studied in this project. In combination with the more theoretical heuristics and methods constituting the InnoForESt approach, and the findings of the overall European biophysical and institutional mapping in WP2 (Deliverable 2.1), the Navigator allows for a realistic assessment when comparing our own project cases, as well as for further application to new cases outside of or after the project. More detailed deliverables, such as D5.2 ‘Report on stakeholders’ interests, visions, and concerns’ and D3.1 on the ‘Analysis framework for the governance of policy and business innovation types and conditions’ allow for more in-depth reflection of the respective Innovation Regions and the theory.
Typology of Forest Ecosystem Services stakeholders
In current democratic societies, the range of stakeholders involved in the public debate and decision making about a topic is usually broad and diverse, albeit depending on the level of decentralization of a state. In order to keep the InnoForESt innovation action as compatible as possible with stakeholder perspectives, we need to know who the stakeholders are, what their interests, visions, and concerns are, and how they are interlinked. Approached in this way, the assessment of the stakeholders’ key orientations regarding forest ecosystem services governance innovation is not an end in itself. It fosters the co-production of innovation networks and prototypes by linking up with the needs and issues on the ground.
In order to facilitate the identification and mapping of stakeholder constellations in the Innovation Regions, we suggested an analytical approach that would direct attention to a broad range of stakeholder categories as well as to a multitude of stakeholder characteristics that are (potentially) important to be aware of when shaping or fostering the governance innovation processes. Clearly, regional stakeholders involved in or familiar with the larger field of forest governance are very likely to have a good understanding and knowledge of who additional relevant stakeholders are and what their interests and visions are. However, employing a comprehensive analytical approach allows regional innovation managers to compile stakeholder-related information in a systematic, yet flexible and adaptable way. That is, such an approach can make sure that all potentially relevant stakeholder (types) are actually included in the screening of the stakeholder constellation, and that all potentially relevant stakeholder characteristics are actually explored to the extent possible. At the same time, the approach allows to add other (types of) stakeholders that may be of particular importance for the concrete topical and/or regional context and to complement the set of stakeholder characteristics with new aspects or to ‘zoom in’ or elaborate on selected characteristics that are found to be crucial. Documenting the gained knowledge in a systematic and concise, yet sufficiently detailed written form, is considered to be an important means for facilitating discussions and reflections on perceptions among stakeholders leading – or being involved in – the governance innovation process, and beyond.
A systematic, analytical documentation facilitates the comparison of stakeholder constellations across Innovation Regions. From the findings in other Innovation Regions, a regional innovation manager may learn about the importance of particular types of stakeholders that he/she did not yet consider being relevant and/or important for the governance innovation under scrutiny. Now, he/she may be inclined to explore a potentially facilitating role of this (new) stakeholder type. Of course, it may also go the other way around: making the (potentially) destructive role of a particular stakeholder (type) explicit in one Innovation Region may alert an innovation manager in another region to a potentially similar role or behaviour of this stakeholder type (if relevant in the innovation under scrutiny). That innovation manager could then address the issue pre-emptively in a constructive way.
On a practical level, in order to make the findings of the stakeholder assessments in the different Innovation Regions comparable we developed – together with WP2 but also refined according to the empirical findings in the Innovation Regions – a set of stakeholder categories and corresponding stakeholder attributes including:
- ‘Sphere’ – general distinction between private, public, public-private, and collective, referring to the dominant form of ownership of and within organisational units or stakeholder groups.
- ‘Business type’ – referring to a more detailed or descriptive and more economy-wise classification
- ‘Scale’ – referring to the prior localization of the stakeholder’s scope for action from the local to international scale.
- ‘Openness to innovation’ – referring to the willingness towards the ‘new’, or to readiness to embrace new thinking and change.
Based on the regional accounts in the D5.2 ‘Report on stakeholders’ interests, visions, and concerns’, a cross-regional comparison of stakeholder constellations has been developed. We found that between 11 and 21 stakeholders were identified in each Innovation Region, deemed to be important – or at least relevant – with respect to the forest ecosystem services under scrutiny in general, or with respect to the pursued governance innovation(s) in particular. The stakeholders come from different spheres (private, public, collective, or private/public), play different roles in economy and society, and operate at different scales ranging from local to international. Some of them benefit directly from one or more concrete ecosystem services (“demand”, e.g., sawmills, tourists, local residents) while others do so indirectly. There are stakeholders that are actively managing forests and thus affecting the kind and level of ecosystem services provided (“supply”), often with different objectives (e.g., maximising timber extraction vs. maximising biodiversity benefits or carbon storage) and means (e.g., wood cutting vs. monitoring bark beetle infestations).
There are also stakeholders that benefit and support rather indirectly from forest ecosystem services, by shaping the management of forests (e.g., policy makers designing and implementing policies related to forest ecosystem services, or financing organisations organising payment schemes fostering the sustainable use of forests/forest ecosystem services). Further, the level of interconnectedness between stakeholder groups and individual stakeholders appears to be quite heterogeneous, depending, among others, on the ‘history’ of the innovation (process), the diversity of interests with respect to forests and forest ecosystem services, and their societal roles (e.g., state authority, civil society actor, SME, etc.).
The Forest Ecosystem Services governance innovation
Analysing the governance situation in a systematic way has a dual purpose: firstly, it is a useful way of getting an overview of the socio-political context of the envisioned governance innovations. Depending on the pre-existing knowledge and needs of the particular innovation region, the assessment can be a detailed study or be carried out in a more superficial fashion. Second, such an overview of the socio-political context of the envisaged innovation lays the foundation for the Constructive Innovation Assessment, in which possible innovation options are debated with the help of detailed and context-rich scenarios. This assessment contains dedicated ‘strategic workshops’ as part of the broader stakeholder interaction and network building process. These strategic workshops, based on the appreciation of the stakeholder and governance situation, offer a fair chance not just to discuss innovation options in an abstract way, but rather to enable actual innovation action in an empirically informed way.
For a preliminary analysis, we compare some of the similarities and differences between the Innovation Regions regarding innovation-relevant aspects below. These innovation-relevant aspects may range from differences between innovators and incumbents, to describing how similar or different innovations are embedded in their regional context (see Table 3 for more). The following categories have been distinguished for meaningful comparison of innovation dimensions of the InnoForESt forest ecosystem services governance innovations:
- Current regime is the of forest ecosystem services now in place, which the InnoForESt governance innovation seeks to influence, transform, or propose an alternative to. As a result, ‘regime’ may mean different things in different Innovation Regions.
Purpose of Governance Situation Assessment
Before you start promoting your innovation, analyse the governance situation.
This has 2 purposes:
- You get an overview of the socio-political context.
You want to start up and nourish your niche innovation successfully. This depends on your deep knowledge of the socio-political context of your planned innovation.
- You do the groundwork for a ‘Constructive Innovation Assessment’
You need thorough knowledge of the stakeholders in the socio-technical system for a fruitful Constructive Innovation Assessment. With that knowledge, you can explore new avenues for technological development.
In the Finnish Innovation Region, for example: the innovation targets the current national voluntary environmental protection system (= regime) by implementing a voluntary payment scheme for ecosystem services (= niche). In Sweden on the other hand, the incumbent regime is an educational competition teaching students about forest ecosystem services, which is supposed to be transformed in content and potentially in format (= niche).
- Incumbents describe which organisation is currently the main protagonist stabilising the regime. The type of organisation can differ depending on the forest ecosystem services governance innovation.
Such an incumbent may be a regional government’s forest management agency as in the Italian Innovation Region or a for-profit knowledge institute, as is the case in Sweden.
- Innovators denote the organisation(s) “driving” the innovation. These may be different types of organisations. We mean those actors who are “enacting” the innovation because they are convinced it is worthwhile, as well as the “selectors”, who are at least ready to consider the innovation, if not yet to decide for it. We don’t mean any kind of direct causal or one-sided determination (“driver”), but rather the interplay between enactors and selectors. In some cases, the Innovator is the same organisation as the Incumbent, but this is not at all obligatory.
While in the Italian Innovation Region, the Innovator is the same as the Incumbent, the Forest and Wildlife Service of the Autonomous Province of Trento, a not-for-profit knowledge institute – ‘SYKE’ – is the Innovator in the Finnish Innovation Region. SYKE is not an Incumbent, because it is not in charge of the current regime.
- Niche maturation is the level of development an innovation has reached in a protected space (here called ‘niche’), but not yet as part of the current regime. The assumption is that innovations need a particularly safe and fertile space to grow. Innovations without such a space will hardly survive. Being in such a space is, however, no guarantee for success.
In the Austrian Innovation Region, the niche is still unstable and exploring avenues of further development. On the other hand, the niche in the German Innovation Region is stabilised and readily matured to take a next step of broadening its reach.
- Origin of innovation vis-à-vis governance structure. With the information from the previous categories, we can determine whether the innovation originates within or outside the current governance regime. This position is an indication of the quality and quantity of resistance (institutional, business, culture, social?) the innovation may encounter in its establishment process.
Niches developed by innovators other than the incumbent organisations, i.e., ‘outside’ niches, can be found in, e.g., the Finnish and German Innovation Regions, where a not-for-profit knowledge institute and an NGO respectively enact innovative ideas. Conversely, in the Italian and Swedish Innovation Regions the innovating organisations are the same as the incumbents. In the Italian Innovation Region, the provincial forest management agency is working on innovating its own forest governance practices. Similarly, a for-profit knowledge institute intends to review its own forest ecosystem services educational contest.
- Dominant interactions are described in terms of their degree of permanence and formality. Dominance is, however, also a question of how powerful and relevant they are perceived by the actors involved, but this will require further empirical research during the remaining time of the project.
Standing meetings play a considerable role in the Finnish and Italian Innovation Regions. In Finland, the innovators meet with other stakeholders in other policy-making venues, whereas in Italy, the provincial forest management agency maintains regular interactions with stakeholders that are necessary to work with. In the Swedish, Italian and Finnish Innovation Regions the interactions are mostly formal.
- Changes in actor constellations across project development stages. To understand the development of the innovation stakeholder network, this category contains a brief history in networking terms.
For example, the German and Swedish niches consist of a relatively stable network of stakeholders contributing financially to the innovation. In the Austrian niche, the stakeholder network is still emerging as niche dynamics have been stimulated not too long ago.
- Governance process mechanisms give an indication of the regime and niche dynamics related to the innovation. This may relate to governance or market processes (or combinations thereof) depending on the Innovation Region.
In several Innovation Regions the niche or the regime is coordinated by a competitive coordination mode. As such, the Finnish and German niches revolve around exchanges trading funds for protected areas. In the Austrian niche, the idea is to enact new value chains based on forest ecosystem services. The regime dynamics in the Italian Innovation Region follows the guidelines of the provincial forest management agency.
What can you do with the information from the Governance Situation Assessment?
With the information from the Governance Situation Assessment you have deeper knowledge of the innovation. We termed relevant aspects ‘innovation dimensions’. These are:
Current regime, Incumbents, Innovators, Niche maturation, Origin of innovation vis-à-vis governance structure, Dominant interactions, Changes in actor constellations across project development stages, Governance process mechanisms, Character of core issues, Character of external developments, Governance-ecology interactions.
- Character of core issues comprises a description of the core issues perceived in the governance situation assessment with respect to the multi-level perspective outlined in D3.1 and footnote 3.
In some Innovation Regions it is not yet clear what form the niches shall take (Austria, Germany, Italy, Sweden), which means that core issues often relate to the exploration of directions to develop the niche. The regime comes into play when the innovator is looking for ways to define the niche as separate from the regime (Germany, Sweden) and when the innovator wants to find out how envisioned niches would fit, link up to, or supersede the current regime. In the Italian Innovation Region, the innovation landscape is not so much an issue, as the innovator perceives the niche as mainly interacting with the regime.
- Character of external developments. The interactions between external developments and the forest ecosystem services governance innovation. This innovation dimension makes use of the niche-regime-landscape terminology.
Given that the project targets forest ecosystem services, external developments that the innovators often cannot change, but which they have to relate to, include large-scale societal issues such as climate change or migration. In Innovation Regions such as the Finnish the niche also has the potential to influence the innovation landscape, for example, if it manages to change the way Finnish businesses interpret their corporate social responsibility.
- Governance-ecology interactions. Starting from the idea that there is a complex interdependence between forest ecosystem services governance and ecology, which sometimes becomes visible very quickly and sometimes takes considerable response time to show, this category describes these interdependencies.
Some of the niches have direct influence on the forest ecosystem services, but to different degrees. The Finnish and German niche may turn forest areas previously under threat of deterioration into protected areas. The educational trips organised in the Swedish Innovation Region and potentially organised in the Austrian Innovation Region have less drastic influence on the existing forest areas. On the other hand, most governance innovation niches possess the potential to influence the forest ecosystem services in their Innovation Region indirectly.
The educational niches existing in the Swedish Innovation Region and planned in the Austrian Innovation Region, as well as the payment schemes in Finland and Germany have the potential of changing the way their target audiences, i.e., selectors, relate to the forest ecosystem, sometimes even profoundly. In Italy, the niche may introduce new land uses that are even more sustainable than before.
These categories give a thorough overview of the governance situation in each respective Innovation Region. They are based in several literatures about the multi-level perspective, networks, or governance of problems. The categories are generally inspired by innovation literature and are closely connected to the SETFIS scheme (cf. 2.3 and Deliverable 3.1).
In the following subsections, we put the separate information on Innovation Regions to use and indicate preliminary cross-Innovation Region findings. The following descriptions of problems and their level of structure distinguished in the Innovation Regions are based on the GSAs provided by the innovation teams. See Appendix 1 for a table of all problems, including their classification in Hoppe’s (2010) quadrants depicting the governance of problems and on which level of the Multi-Level Perspective the issues fit.
Austria: Finding and developing a new way of utilizing the
forest in the Eisenwurzen region (Styria, Austria)
Many of the issues identified in the Austrian Innovation Region should be seen in the light of the emergent character of the forest ecosystem services governance innovation. Many explorative issues – some more, some less concrete – were reported. They are a mixture of moderately structured issues in the dimensions of knowledge and norms and values. The following can be distinguished as overarching issues:
- Knowledge gaps with respect to legal frameworks, regional planning policies, intellectual property rights, and commercial aspects. The three innovation scenarios proposed in the Austrian Innovation Region – tiny houses, design furniture, and forest experience and education – are for now in their early stages of development, both regarding to specific content as well as the institutionalisation thereof.
- Fair division of labour and financial compensation. Neither of the innovation scenarios builds on existing production processes or organisational infrastructures. While there are already commercial valorisation processes for forest ecosystem services in the Innovation Region, these are all characterised by fragmented value chains. It will be one of the challenges for the Innovation Team to produce an innovation narrative shaping a common identity for the innovation stakeholder platform and for opening up avenues for structural support with respect to knowledge and funding.
- Stakeholder openness to innovation. It is, as yet, unclear how stakeholders can be inspired to keep an open mind for new ideas and system transformations. While the solution to this issue may perhaps be found in relevant social-scientific literatures ranging from inclusive innovation to nudging or forms of social learning, it is still uncertain, which (combinations) of these fit the situation in the Innovation Region.
The Innovation Team also distinguished a set of unstructured core issues:
- Definition of Eisenwurzen Design. It is uncertain whether there are craft and design traditions in the Innovation Region which could be rightfully characterised as ‘Eisenwurzen Design’. Even if it does exist, the stakeholder network needs to find a consensus on whether it is necessary to define such Design and how to do so.
- Bringing together a variety of interests and forming a functioning innovation network and platform. This is a complex process. On the one hand, it very much depends on the precise contents of those diverging interests. On the other hand, a promising consensus about the objectives of the innovation network and platform still needs to be identified.
The explorative, emergent character of the forest ecosystem services governance innovation in the Austrian Innovation Region means that many of the distinguished issues cut across the niche, regime and landscape levels. The process of defining the innovation niche also relates to exploring ‘what is’ in the surrounding regime and landscape, not only to find out what kind of forest ecosystem services governance innovation could have potential, but also to gauge the societal, economic, legal and political possibilities and frameworks for the proposed, still-rather-fluid innovation niches ‘in-the-making’. Patterns of problem-solving strategies have not yet developed in this young Innovation Region. If they exist at all, they are organised and implemented on an ad-hoc basis.
Finland: Finding an accepted governance mechanism for a “Habitat Bank”
The problem structure in the Finnish Innovation Region relates to both knowledge and norm-value domains and consists of three unstructured issues which are partly outside of the reach of the innovators.
- The innovation weighs in on the debate about feasibility of measuring biodiversity and the additionality of offsets. While through its intention the innovation takes a clear stance in this debate, it is by no means a settled one, neither with regards to the knowledge required, nor the norms and values involved.
- There is a general danger of failing to achieve biodiversity and nature conservation targets under international treaties, which is an unstructured issue, too.
- One problem currently limited to the niche is how to find a suitable brokerage mechanism in the specific Finnish context. Few examples of setting up a compensation scheme are known. It is unknown, however, what structure the brokerage should take and there may be disagreement on which kind of brokerage mechanism to choose.
In addition, two moderately structured problems exist:
- The innovation team needs to find more suitable conservation areas for the compensation scheme, which are not yet used for other schemes or regulatory mechanisms, such as Natura2000. This represents a knowledge issue.
- There is a tension between regulatory and voluntary approaches to biodiversity conservation, which is a norm-value debate waging in the regime sphere.
Given that the way the innovation in question is supposed to take is already quite clear-cut, many of the issues involved are exclusively related to the niche itself. Nevertheless, the issues also show how the proposed niche ties into the wider regime and even landscape of biodiversity conservation. Finally, one problem-solving mechanism was distinguished, i.e., actors might use the media for leverage in some cases, while they remain cooperative at the negotiation table.
Germany: Redeveloping the “Forest share” (“Waldaktie”)
Three core issues were observed in the German innovation region.
- Public discourse opposes quantification of ecosystem services (ES), due to fear of economization, rationalization of nature, and green-washing by companies. Parts of the German Green party critically scrutinize supporting the ‘Forest Share’ concept, because they assume that monetization of ES will ultimately lead to their over-use. Chances are that potential investors in ‘Forest Share’ also follow the public discourse meticulously, as they want to preserve their environmental image and avoid accusations of green-washing. Since the problem is about different values and perceptions, the information about the situation is clear. This is a moderately structured problem.
- Budget cuts at the federal state-level department responsible for the ‘Forest Share’ resulted in staff reductions. The department’s reduced ability to maintain the efforts invested into and attention directed at the Forest Share created by these cuts also has negative consequences for the Share’s further development. On first sight, this issue seems to be a structured one, as it is a financial problem and information about it is openly available. However, as budget cuts are disproportionately higher in this department than in others, differing norms and values regarding the necessity and utility of the Waldaktie within the governmental institutions responsible for assigning the budget may play a role. It is known that ecological shares are a programmatic issue only for the Green Party, not for others. With a federal state parliamentary election coming up, the importance political parties assign to this kind of policy instrument, especially when government-organised, becomes an important issue for the further development of the Forest Share in the future. This would make it a moderately structured problem.
- New goals for forest ecosystem services protection under the ‘Forest Share’ are still unclear. One option is the merger of the existing shares for forests (“Waldaktie”), peat-lands (“MoorFutures”) and orchard bonds (“Streuobstgenussschein”) into a mixed portfolio from which shares may be bought based on the ES concept. This mixed portfolio faces the challenges that it is unprecedented and that the organization of the ES amounts in the combined shares is unclear. The second option is refining the ‘Forest Share’ as a standalone share that will include more than climate ES alone. A possible third option would be to realize that ‘Forest Share’ as a product is already good enough and the actors involved agree not to change it at all. The situation presents an unstructured problem because aside from the vague vision of a more holistic model there is not much known about the future concept. Furthermore, little is known on how to create the process itself.
The German governance innovation faces challenges in all three spheres of niche, regime and landscape. There are some evident knowledge gaps, but some value disagreements may slumber below the surface. Within the niche, it seems that everything is possible. The CINA workshops present good opportunities to explore which options are accepted.
In turn, given that the question which way to go is an unstructured issue, agreement on values is not enough to bring the innovation to a higher level. The critical knowledge gaps need to be filled. The landscape issue of a critical public discourse may hold guidance as to how to redesign the ‘Forest Share’ in order to avoid public backlash. In the promotion of the innovation, it needs to become clear, also to the broader public, why the issue of greenwashing does not pertain to the ‘Forest Share’. If it actually is relevant, precautionary measures need to be built into the ‘Forest Share’ that prevent greenwashing from happening. The fact that it is unknown how the envisioned evolutions of the Waldaktie may be realised practically, figures as a central tension. Furthermore, it adds to the necessity of doing at least some exploratory knowledge gathering as to how, e.g., the portfolio combination selling may occur. No specific, established problem-solving strategies were distinguished.
Italy: Forest-pasture management innovation in the Primiero region (Province of Trento)
In the Italian innovation region, four key issues are observed:
- Incongruence between the purpose of existing forest infrastructure and the potential of the forest ecosystem (productive vs. recreational and other). Currently, forest roads are exclusively designed for forestry operations. However, the roads seem not to be adequate for that purpose in some places as width and curvature prevent timber trucks from manoeuvring freely. For example, sawmill owners plead for the expansion of roadside spaces to improve access for larger-sized trucks and, in turn, increase the competitiveness of local timber companies. In addition, the little roadside space available leads to unsafe situations as roads are increasingly used by hikers to explore the territory. Although stakeholders such as public land owners (often municipalities), private land owners mostly from the equine and game sector, the Alpinism club, the tourist office, and sawmill owners acknowledge that forests also provide functions other than production, e.g. recreation, they point to the limited functionality – i.e. for production purposes – formally assigned to roads in forest areas. In consequence, most stakeholders acknowledge the necessity of forest roads as access infrastructure for experiencing the forest. Hence, the inadequacy of forest roads to cater to these different functions prevents those forest functions from being fully seized. Nevertheless, the issue is not a forestry-technical one as the know-how required to improve the roads is present. Rather, legislative and management officials have not yet found a way to tackle the issue which presents some more difficulties in these spheres. One aspect of this issue is that funding to improve roads (but not to build new ones) is available from the rural development programme (“PSR”), but this may only be used by public land owners to pursue forestry production goals.
- Operators of the forest-wood supply chain (woodsmen, in particular) require field support. Specialized personnel should provide guidance on which trees to cut for a low-cost, efficient and safe clearing. All stakeholders recognize operator support in the field as an important issue and good practices about how to provide such support are known already.
- Bureaucracy continually impairs interactions between multiple stakeholders and private initiatives, such as tourist organisations. Although private actors perceive it as a big obstacle, the fact that it is ingrained in the public administration’s functioning makes it difficult to tackle. Possible solutions have to be explored.
- Wood firms struggle with the idea of opening up to the global market and support protectionist policies to repel actors from outside the Province due to their small size (2-3 operators). Other actors, e.g., tourist operators and administration, do not perceive the level of opening to the market as a problem. Knowledge about the effects of opening up the market needs to be gathered and communicated to be able to support decisions.
In sum, the major uncertainties in this Innovation Region relate to institutional issues mainly on the regime level. To a large part, more knowledge is necessary, e.g., related to the institutional and managerial opportunities for preparing forest infrastructure for multi-functionality, or to the effects of market deregulation on local SME’s. However, these knowledge issues also involve questions related to norms and values. For example, optimizing forest infrastructure for timber production could go together well with a stronger competition of local forestry SME’s with incoming companies. Is that what the provincial government or the Forest Department wants? If smaller-scale businesses and eco-tourism are much more desirable, decisions need to incorporate this. It could be useful to investigate a streamlining of bureaucratic practices along with options to optimize forest infrastructure (in one way or another) as both would involve knowledge about the functioning of the administration or could lead to new laws and regulations.
As the vision of the governance innovation has not yet been developed in the Italian innovation region, and given these institutional knowledge gaps, it seems that filling these blanks is a pre-condition for formulating the next steps in innovation development. No specific established problem-solving strategies except for those standards in a hierarchical governance (principal-agent: PAT vs. Forest Department) mode were distinguished.
Sweden: Redeveloping the “Love the forest” (“Älska skog”) educational initiative
The Swedish governance innovation deals with a mixture of different kinds of issues in all spheres (niche-regime-landscape) as well as in the knowledge and norm-value domain:
- Finding a suitable topic and set-up for the next edition of the educational initiative. A major difficulty is to come up with a well-balanced topic due to vested interests, which makes this issue a moderately structured problem in the norms and values domain. Some possible options are shifting the scope, adding a stronger focus on migrants, adding value chain aspects, or adding more actors with different viewpoints. This relates to another issue underlying the set-up of the initiative. In the current organizational structure, it is difficult for the practice partner to balance the interests of investing partners with public ones and their own knowledge and educational role. This tension crystalizes most visibly in the innovation objectives of the educational initiative. On the one hand, initiative partners share a common ambition of increasing awareness on forestry and forests in Sweden, making people spend more time in the forests, and attracting future potential employees. On the other hand, the questions with which topics to achieve this ambition and which aspects of forestry, forest ecology and societal aspects to stress, are central to the debate. That means that the issue is structured on the level of the general objectives, while the situation is much fuzzier when diving into more specific objectives.
- Broader societal links to be made for the initiative’s new competition topic. Societal links could be the incorporation of aspects such as climate impact and bio-economic potential of Swedish forests, or more socio-political elements such as migration. One practical as well as strategic issue concerns the appropriate embedding of the educational initiative in school curricula. It is a practical issue, because schools need to be able to work with the topic. It is strategic, because the topic needs to link up somehow with what schools are doing anyway. Indirectly, this issue poses a challenge due to inconsistently endowed schools regarding knowledge, time, staff and threats of increased segregation in Swedish society. This issue is by and large moderately structured and relates to the knowledge and norm-value domain at the same time. In the past, the existing regime has developed at least two problem-solving mechanisms to increase success of the initiative. First, topics leading to unsolvable or intractable controversies were excluded. And second, scientists and research findings were seen and used as mediators between initiative partners in cases of disagreement.
The problem context in the Swedish Innovation Region is characterized by a complex of challenges. Many of those challenges can be perceived on the landscape level, given the fact that the governance innovation is not a new topic and the ambition is to link this topic to broader societal debates. On the other hand, connected to finding a new topic, the organizational structure of the initiative is also investigated. Changes may be related to roles of established partners, or the addition of new participating partners. The latter problems are more in the niche sphere or sometimes cut across to the regime sphere. Furthermore, the challenges mentioned above are mainly located in the norms and values domain, due to the ambition to bring together actors with many different interests in a broader, constructive dialogue.
Czech Republic/Slovakia: Innovating the management of collectively owned forest areas
The backdrop of the collectively-owned Czech and Slovak Innovation Regions is balancing individual interests and societal interests. This is not only a typical issue in the field of nature development and environmental issues. It may especially represent an issue in the legal organisation of the two Innovation Regions. The Slovak Innovation Region is organised as joint ownership of private property, while the Czech Innovation Region is run by a land trust in the form of a non-governmental organisation of which individuals can become a member. Individual interests influence the organisational policy in different ways and individual influence may be stronger in one Innovation Region than in the other making their comparison an interesting case to study ways of organising the governance of balancing individual interests and societal interests. Conversely, it is possible that the self-organising character of the Innovation Regions actually accelerates the evolution of nature-based forest governance and increases the willingness to introduce innovative approaches in forest governance. A difference between the two Innovation Regions is their funding structure. The Czech Innovation Region is currently more dependent on external funding, without which it could not function, than the Slovak Innovation Region, where revenues come from forestry activities by-and-large.
The Czech and Slovak Innovation Regions are linked by a set of common issues. First, both Innovation Regions suffer from declining revenues, due to decreasing timber prices, lower timber harvests or lower forest protection certificate sales.
Second, the national legal frameworks are contradictory in both countries, as legal requirements for nature protection run counter to prescriptions pertaining to commercial use of timber. Third, stakeholder conflicts of interest are apparent in both Innovation Regions. On the one hand, the activities of the innovation enactors may spark conflicts with hunting organisations, as is the case in the Czech Innovation Region, where planned fences around young tree seedlings were feared to impede free movement of game and hunters. On the other hand, the Slovak Innovation Region experiences conflicts between stakeholders interested in nature protection and those arguing for a stronger focus on economic use of their forest areas.
Also, within the Innovation Regions, some issues prevail. In the Czech Innovation Region, four issues have been distinguished:
- Lacking Public Relations capacity. In the past, much of the Innovation Regions revenues came from donations elicited by PR activities. As the capacity to carry out these activities has recently declined, this major source of income is in danger of drying out.
- Conflicts of interest with other stakeholders. The forest conservation activities of the Innovation Region have raised irritation among other stakeholders who saw their activities impeded. For example, the Czech Innovation Region has built fences around the areas in which they carried out their activities, which in turn prevented the free movement of game. In turn, hunting organisations protested and started a formal procedure to have the fences removed.
- Weak national legislation supporting nature conservation. An issue resulting from the previous is the perceived favouring of game hunting activities by current nature conservation policies.
- Fragile organisational reputation. The president of the organisation plays an important role in local politics. Political opponents engage in presenting the innovation in a negative light.
As these issues reveal, problems that arise in the Czech Innovation Region are often resolved through formal procedures. Issues arising within the Czech non-governmental organization are dealt with at the annual general assembly or board meetings.
The issues in the Slovak Innovation Region are fivefold:
- Conflict with not-for-profit organizations. It is difficult for the Slovak Innovation Region to align its interests with that of other environmental organisations. One example is the conflict arising after a large storm had damaged part of the forest. While the collective management in the Slovak Innovation Region wanted to proceed with turning the fallen trees into commercial timber, an environmental organisation started a procedure to prohibit this. Some organisations also demand that the Slovak Innovation Region should do more than it is legally obliged to do.
- Discrepancy between ecological and socio-political borders. The traditional forest governance borders, which are still in force nowadays, date back to Austro-Hungarian times. However, these governance borders do not coincide with the borders of the forest ecosystems. This makes effective governance of the ecosystem hard, as activities outside of the area under community governance may have impact on them.
- Different attitudes of members towards innovations. The distribution of shareholders across the country also means that motivations to innovate may be diametrically opposed.
In former times, the organisation was local, and most shareholders were locals, too. Nowadays, people all across the country can become a shareholder and this group already represents just under half of all shareholders. This may also lead to contests over which forest governance strategies should be implemented with people across the country potentially having less connection to the area itself. A reduced connection to the local ecosystem, so it is feared, may increase the call for increasing income out of forestry activities instead of preserving the forest ecosystem.
- Problematic cooperation with Ministry of Environment. In addition, the Slovak Innovation Region is not on good speaking terms with the Slovak Ministry of Environment.
- Bark beetle plague. The Slovak Innovation Region is struggling with threats of bark beetle outbreaks, which have occurred in the past. Although past outbreaks were the reason to turn to more nature-based forest governance and this change of direction paid off to a certain extent, the threat still exists.
Similar to the Czech Innovation Region, problems in the Slovak Innovation Region are usually solved through official, formal channels, such as complaint procedures with the Ministry of Environment.
Table 3: Innovation characteristics per innovation region
|Current regime||Fragmented stakeholder landscape/FES value chain||National, voluntary environmental protection system||Forest share including carbon storage ecosystem services||Close-to-nature Forest-pasture management in mid-elevation mountainous area||Educational competition about FES||Self-organised management of collectively owned forest|
|Incumbent||Decentralized, no incumbent exists||National government||State government||Provincial government||For-profit Knowledge Institute||Local communities|
|Innovator||Private civil society actor||Not-for-profit Knowledge Institute||NGO||Provincial government||For-profit Knowledge Institute||Local communities|
|Niche maturation||Orientation & exploration phase||Operationalization stage||Maturity and development assessment and redevelopment||Orientation & exploration phase||End of 1st life-cycle assessment and redevelopment||Orientation & exploration phase|
innovation vis-à-vis governance structure
|Newly established and partly pre-existent||Permanent, formal||Constructive, cooperative||Permanent, formal||Temporary, formal||CZR: many connections to diversity of actors, low intensity interactions; SVK: many connections to diversity of actors, active community has many irregular and informal meetings|
|Changes in actor constellations across project lifecycle stages||Broadening of range of (potentially) cooperating stakeholders; emerging network||Small stable network with large spectrum of satellites||Small stable network of administration and forest area provider; one large, relatively permanent purchaser and many other satellite purchasers||Regime has had a relatively constant network of actors; if anything, some private forest managers have dropped out of regime-type forest management activities.||Stable network of paying partners; some debate about participation at start, but not so much later on||CZR: stable local network
SVK: strong local network, growing across the country in recent years
|Regime: Business as usual, decentralized market dynamics; Niche: stimuli to construct new FES value chains||Regime: voluntary; Niche: uncertain||Payment scheme||Governance follows executive agency lines: there are forest management planners and operational employees, interwoven by regular meetings and information exchange||Frequent meetings of steering group; investing partners advocate their interest||Regime: conflicts between interests;
Niche: exploration of new revenue alternatives, e.g. value chains
|Character of core issuesb||Niche: what will the niche be precisely? Niche-regime: how do niche ideas fit into current practices, laws and regulations? Niche-landscape: can the niche link up with usually FES unrelated sectors?||Niche: brokerage and area designation, but value issues underlying; influence on landscape level||Niche-Regime issues; one other core issue holds for all similar payments for ecosystem services||Landscape not an issue, core issues revolve around niche and regime level||Niche-regime: how to differentiate niche from regime; Niche-landscape: how to speak to important societal topics while maintaining a good investment base||Niche: value conflicts of what should be done;
Regime: settled ways of doing things, deterioration of business conditions, legal ambivalence
|Climate and demographic change impacts viability of FES sector, might open up new opportunities; rural development funding is an opportunity||Niche seems to have influence on landscape level||Niche fits with forests’ positive connotation, creates meaning and regional embeddedness||Climate change begins to have a stronger grip on the innovation region. The niche turns into a response to a feeling of urgency.||Immigration and sustainability have been in the landscape and reflected in the regime; no similar niches in the landscape||Looming bark beetle infestation|
|Direct: educational trips into forest
Indirect: new ways of processing existing forest products being developed
|Direct: Protection and ‘renaturalisation’ of existing forest areas
Indirect: changes in rights and responsibilities pertaining to forest areas
|Direct: New areas being protected; individuals coming into forest for planting trees
Indirect: addition of FES to portfolio changes perception of forest
|Direct: new ways of managing the existing forest-pasture areas
Indirect: subsequent new uses of forest-pasture area
|Direct: visits of school classes into forest (production) areas
Indirect: transformation of youth’s attitude towards the forest and potential behavioural change
|Direct: new ways of sustainable forest governance
Indirect: improving economic situation of participants
|a I.e., regime and niche dynamics. b See InnoForESt deliverable D3.1, section 3.3 for terminology.|
Preliminary transversal analysis
Several pairs of Innovation Regions are identified based on the type of governance innovation they are pursuing:
- Innovation within payments-for-ecosystem-services framework: The Finnish and German Innovation Regions are both organizing a payments-for-ecosystem-services system, albeit in different phases of maturity and scope – operationalization respectively redevelopment phase. Notwithstanding the differences in socio-political context and specifics of the payments-for-ecosystem-services system – relating to biodiversity in Finland, and, for now, relating to carbon offsetting in Germany –, there may be learning potential regarding the administrative organization of the schemes and ways to integrate more ecosystem services.
- Innovation beyond payments-for-ecosystem-services framework: The current openness to pursue different future innovations, possibly in combination, visible in the Austrian innovation may reveal novel ways of governing ecosystem services sustainably, which go beyond the settled idea of payments for ecosystem services. Similar to the Swedish and Czech/Slovak Innovation Region, the options of an educational program and other productive uses of local timber in new value chains are on the table in Austria. InnoForESt may deliver new sustainable forest value chain alternatives that can be placed alongside payments for ecosystem services in the ecosystem service perspective toolkit.
For understanding the structure of an innovation, it is useful to know, whether the governance innovation comes from within the current governance system (Incumbent innovators) or network of players, or whether it is being brought in by organisations not immediately involved with it (External innovators). Whether or not the innovation comes from within the current regime or from the outside makes a difference for the routines, commonalities, and legitimacy of the actors driving it. Outsiders will likely have more difficulty making their innovation count, than insiders will.
- Incumbent innovators: In the Innovation Regions of Czech Republic/Slovakia, Italy and Sweden, the innovator is at the same time incumbent. In these cases, the ambition to innovate current practices is the result of a critical self-review.
- External innovator: In Austria, Finland and Germany, organisations other than those currently involved in the governance regime feel there is a need to act to compensate for the inertia of the incumbents, and to suggest new ways of organizing the particular forms of forest ecosystem services governance.
Why would you? You may see patterns when you look at more than one innovation at the same time. Furthermore, you can learn from other ways of doing things.
How do you compare? You can take characteristics of the innovations and see how they are similar or different (see Fehler! Verweisquelle konnte nicht gefunden werden.).
What else? You cannot assume that things that work in other innovations will immediately work in your situation, too. If you want to use lessons from other innovations, you have to see how they fit your specific governance situation.
The formality and permanence of interactions among stakeholders in the Innovation Regions influence the stability of the innovation network. In general, frequent formal interactions enable stakeholders to become acquainted with each other’s positions and perspectives, which may in turn improve trust relations among them. The same can be said about low fluctuations in the constellation of the stakeholder network. The fewer the changes in the network the easier trust relations will evolve. A potential downside of stable informal stakeholder networks can be the insensitivity to or ignorance of other perspectives or new incentives from unexpected parties from the outside. To prevent getting stuck in such stabilised patterns of thinking and perceiving, precautions need to be taken. Looking at Table 3, informal interactions are uncommon in all of the Innovation Regions. In addition, there are different combinations of dominant interactions which cannot be traced back to a specific governance innovation aspect. Instead, they depend at least on the niche maturation of the innovation as well as the current regime. For example, the fact that no clear interactional pattern has developed yet in the Austrian Innovation Region can be ascribed to the fact that it is still in an unstable, exploratory phase. On the other hand, in the Italian Innovation Region, where forest governance interactions have developed over a long time, actors knew each other and had their usual interaction patterns, at least until the recent provincial elections. Similar to many other elections, these provincial elections can stir up these previously stabilised conditions and transform the innovation climate in the Innovation Region. With new parties in the provincial parliament and potentially the provincial government, powers and capabilities of existing actors may shift or new ones may be introduced. This situation may mean that once again interaction patterns need to get underway and trust needs to be built. Previously obvious connections need to be re-established or new ones made. Well-known actors in the innovation network may have new tasks, interests and capabilities, which need to be mapped, before meaningful innovation action can be undertaken. The consequences of the fact that the Innovation Team is in the orientation phase as to what innovation road to take still need to be seen. Although the potential destabilisation of previously trusted interaction networks may seem daunting, the introduction of new stakeholders into the Innovation Region may just as well spur new and previously unimagined ideas for the innovation niche.
There are numerous issues currently at stake for the innovators:
- Niche focus: Most core issues in the Innovation Regions tend to revolve around the niche itself (Table 3), i.e. what its content will be, how it should function and who will participate. This is, e.g., the case in the Italian and Austrian Innovation Region, where the Innovation Teams are exploring how the forest ecosystem services governance can be innovated, including new management techniques, new sets of actors or business models.
- Niche embedding: Although the niche is the main focus, in several of the Innovation Regions, issues pertaining to the regime also have to be solved. For example, in the Austrian Innovation Region, a number of questions pertaining to the regime-level legal framework need to be answered in order for the directionalities explored in the niche to be clarified further. On the other hand, in the German and Swedish Innovation Regions, the differentiation of the niche from the regime is furthered. A few Innovation Regions also consider the landscape. For example, debates on the societal level potentially influence the outcome of the innovation process in the Swedish Innovation Region.
Due to the similar geopolitical region in which the Innovation Regions are situated, the character of external developments among regions is aligned. Situated in Europe and the EU, i.e. rather closely together on a global scale, all Innovation Regions are subject to similar large-scale, societal, transboundary issues, of course with each EU member state having its own manifestation of those issues. All Innovation Regions are dealing with the following issues:
- Climate change urgency. Climate change and adequate responses to it are mentioned in relation to forest ecosystem services.
- Societal urgency. Other pressing societal matters, such as immigration or sustainability in general, are also linked up to forest issues.
There are also some topics that could have been expected to influence the governance situation in the various Innovation Regions, but did not appear in the accounts:
- Economic recovery. Improvements of the economic situation of the Innovation Region, especially with reference to the 2008 economic crisis, are not mentioned by any assessment.
- Political trends across Europe. Contestation of scientific knowledge and the strengthening of populist political parties have not been mentioned as issues by governance situation assessments.
- Popularity of austerity policies. The popularity of austerity policies in the wake of the economic crisis seems not to have impacted the forest sectors in the Innovation Regions. Perhaps, the German Innovation Region with its budget cuts comes closest, but it would be speculation to claim that these cuts were part of austerity considerations.
The potential effects of the governance innovations on the forest ecosystem services on the ground are diverse, depending on the ecosystem services targeted (Table 3).
- Limited governance impact on forests: Innovation Regions working on cultural ecosystem services seem to have less of a lasting direct impact on the forests, as students or tourists visit the forests without dramatically changing the management of forests or forest ecosystem processes. For these Innovation Regions, there is potentially a strong indirect and long-term effect, relating to changed attitudes, values and associated behaviour towards forests in general.
- Heightened governance impact on forests: In other Innovation Regions, the governance innovation has direct impact and may transform forest management and ecosystem service processes considerably in the short term, e.g., when production forests are turned into protected areas, or when a new way of cutting trees is tested. In such cases, land use, rights and responsibilities are primarily subject to change as an indirect consequence of the governance innovation.
It is also important to mention at what level policies about forests are made – e.g., in Germany it is the federal state level, in Italy the regions, while Sweden and Finland are very centralized. Only very recently, Sweden is undergoing a decentralization process in the forest sector – although it is still quite unclear what the outcome will be and to what extent this will change the current management approaches.
A final remark on the political climate is necessary. Democratic elections can lead to changes in the political system and climate, which in turn may affect the environment and forest ecosystems. Although the governance innovations themselves target different forest ecosystem services, the Swedish and Italian Innovation Region, according to the Governance Situation Assessments, face similar uncertainties due to recent national and provincial elections. In both Innovation Regions, the election outcomes may impact the course of the governance innovation in the future.
However, given the organizational structure of the innovations – with the Italian practice partner directly subordinated to the provincial government and the Swedish practice partner independent of any governmental level – the impact may take different shapes. Whereas the Italian innovation may be directly shaped by the new government, it is merely the topic of the next educational initiative’s edition that may differ due to election results in the Swedish Innovation Region and thereby changing interest by participating partners and stakeholders. The Finnish governance innovation also faces potential changes due to upcoming elections and it is for now uncertain whether the mood surrounding the innovation will change as a result. All Innovation Regions in this project will see elections on one level or another within the time-frame of this project (or could be under the impression of recent elections shortly before the project started). It would be an additional empirical question how far the elections and political changes affect the innovation climates. Elections resulting in changing and new players and shifting political majorities can go hand-in-hand with new or altered discourses that potentially affect forest ecosystems, forest ecosystem services and forest management (such as what is seen as politically desirable and economically or ecologically viable). Our impression is that some core political convictions so far often taken for granted are challenged these days. Although this project cannot investigate them, it nevertheless should be aware of them and their potential or already visible influence on forest ecosystem services and the innovation of their governance.
Stakeholders interaction approach
In this section, we describe the overall stakeholder interaction strategy for this project, as well as the key platform interaction strategies, such as:
- General engagement strategy with and among stakeholders;
- The empirical foundation of all interaction efforts;
- The CINA strategy articulation workshops;
- The prototype development and dissemination;
- The Responsibility Navigator is introduced as a meta-governance framework for coordinating and collaborating in this project and its innovation platforms.
The principal objective of InnoForESt is to foster innovations on the ground. This objective is mirrored in the strong cooperation with the practice partners from the Innovation Regions. Such an approach presupposes close engagement with existing groups of actors but may also entail the active support of existing or new networks and platforms in later stages of the innovation process. Given the strong actor orientation of the project, ways of finding and mobilising stakeholders are emphasised. Finding and contacting them is relevant throughout the innovation process, in order to scope opportunities, but it is most important, when the innovation is rather new. Mobilising stakeholders can be an issue throughout the innovation process, too, as the innovation teams may need additional support to spark the interest of those stakeholders relevant for the innovation. On an operational level, this process entails a continual dialogue between science and practice partners, including bilateral talks about methodological issues, assistance with analyses, training, etc.
Figure 3: The three types of processes in support of stakeholder interaction
Stakeholder interaction happens according to three types of processes (see Figure 3). First, stakeholders meet under the label of the innovation platforms to communicate, exchange knowledge, and carry out common activities.
Second, networking activities are used to involve potential additional partners in the region. In this way, the aims, processes, collaborations, and exchanges can be fostered. Third, the innovation teams organize a series of workshops with very specific targets of strategy articulation and innovation assessment. All three types of processes are closely linked and help the innovation teams to analyse, develop and foster their forest ecosystem services governance innovation. Figure 3 shows how all three types of processes build upon each other and how they are intended to support the core level of the innovation – a lively stakeholder network working towards more sustainable provision of forest ecosystem services.
Provision of a physical & digital platform
The InnoForESt approach provides a meeting platform in the real and the virtual world that represents the work floor of the innovation (Figure 4). In both cases, the platforms offer spaces to meet, exchange, and work together in meetings, seminars, and workshops. First, the infrastructure at the Innovation Region constitutes the physical parts of the InnoForESt platform. This does not only include a stakeholder interaction facilitator with an office space to work and meet with stakeholders, but also all formal and informal meetings. The local stakeholder interaction officer organizes and manages the network and workshop activities taking place in the respective Innovation Region. Second, the InnoForESt website (www.innoforest.eu) essentially represents the digital platform. The website’s protected section is exclusively accessible for project partners and allows for different types of knowledge exchange, for example,, through fact sheets, blogs, etc. Further connections to other platforms are currently explored.
Figure 4: Digital and physical meeting platforms
Additionally, within the digital platform, each Innovation Region will have a protected online space to communicate, to exchange information, and to provide updated details on workshops outcomes, as well as latest news in the local languages.
In order to successfully realize an innovation in practice, there has to be a network of stakeholders that carries the innovation forward. From the InnoForESt perspective, the innovation network consists of all local and regional stakeholders familiar with, or interested in becoming involved in, the innovation action. Being member of this network enables stakeholders to participate in activities dealing with the innovation. They learn about it, debate its potentials and risks, and, in turn, gradually but surely co-develop it. In an ideal situation, the innovation network includes decision makers from forest practice and administration as well as otherwise interested actors from public administration, civil society, nature conservation, agriculture, tourism, or business.
Figure 5: Elements of co-creation networks in the InnoForESt context
In addition, the establishment of stakeholder networks across the Innovation Regions is supported. These extended networks would include actors from other regions, the national level, and different sectors that may become involved in networking activities over time. These co-creation network activities for forest ecosystem services innovations can be summarised in three parts, which can, but do not have to, occur sequentially (see Figure 5). First, through interaction in the stakeholder network the socio-political and biophysical situation becomes analysed and clarified. Second, the stakeholders in the network maintain an open outlook on who should also be involved and, thus, contribute to mobilising other potential stakeholders and building the network further. Third, the stakeholder network co-develops and co-revises the forest ecosystem services innovation.
Once innovation networks are initiated, the network members can be brought together in a series of strategic workshop activities. The platforms provide the organizational structure in which the workshops can take place. For a successful development of the forest ecosystem services governance innovation, three kinds of strategic workshops are implemented in each Innovation Region over the course of the project. These strategic workshops constitute the core of what the InnoForESt project calls ‘Constructive Innovation Assessment’. Strategic workshops come to life and thrive when they are based on well-defined, innovation-specific scenario narratives as a main input. Scenario narratives can be seen as visions of possible futures of the innovation, which become more specific after every workshop and whose focus gradually shifts from innovation definition to road mapping.
The three kinds of strategic workshops constituting the workshop series are: (a) innovation analysis and visioning, (b) prototype assessment, and (c) preparing future conditions (see Figure 6).
Figure 6: Three elements of the strategy articulation workshops
These three types of workshops follow a logical sequence of innovation development, which can be entered at different levels depending on the stage of one’s innovation:
- In the workshop dealing with ‘innovation analysis and visioning’ an understanding is gained of what makes the innovation work, and what its actual and/or potential impacts and limits are. Furthermore, the activities develop a vision how the inn
- ovation coordination can happen or improve. These discussions should all be based on insights of the development of the innovation and its key influencing factors (related to governance, institutions, economic, environmental, or practical issues). This workshop type leads to a set of concrete ideas on how the innovation should be improved and developed further, resulting in what InnoForESt calls innovation ‘prototypes’ (see Sections 2.1 and 4.5), i.e., the version of the innovation that the innovation network wants to proceed with.
- During the second type of strategic workshops, the innovation prototype chosen during the first analysis and visioning workshop is assessed.
This comprises the critical debating of idealized models of the improved innovation by a large range of stakeholders from the innovation network, asking questions such as: (a) what are the chances of the innovation to succeed, (b) what are the risks of an improved innovation that is for example, augmented to a larger region, (c) what are current and potential economic, social, and ecological impacts and benefits? A special element in the prototype assessment workshop can be an experimental role board game, which will explore these questions from a different perspective.
- The last strategic workshop in the sequence discusses which future conditions need to be prepared. This presupposes a good idea of how the innovation should ideally look like and how it should work in future applications. Based on the discussion about the conditions that need to be prepared to make the innovation work, the stakeholders develop an innovation roadmap that highlights what needs to be chan