Can social innovation make a difference to forest-dependent communities?

This editorial article introduces the central theme of a new Special Issue of the Forest Policy and Economics Journal, with a focus on social innovation and sustainable forest management.


Attention to social innovation and its role in sustainable development have been rising. However, the knowledge of social innovation pertaining to rural areas, including the forestry sector is lacking.

The editorial article for a forthcoming Special Issue of the journal Forest Policy and Economics provides a platform to exchange understandings and advance scientific knowledge of the role and place of social innovation in the development of forest-dependent communities and of forest social-ecological systems, underpinning this development.

Papers included in this issue blend diverse theoretical positions into a coherent explanation of spatial variability, case and context specificity of social innovation, encompassing its empirical diversity, complexities and multiple dimensions. The suggested articles improve existing knowledge of determinants of success seeking to answer the question of how to support enhanced governance and social innovations, addressing multiplicity and priorities of social needs, and new social relationships and collaborations.

The issue also provides innovative solutions and sustainable forestry considerations, ideas that are potentially useful for policy makers and practice communities of different levels, with the ultimate aim of increasing the well-being of forest-dependent communities and building the resilience to changes taking place in remote rural areas of Europe and beyond.

Read the full editorial article here and check MedForest regularly for future information about the Special Issue.


Nijnik, M., Secco, L., Miller, D., & Melnykovych, M. (2019). Can social innovation make a difference to forest-dependent communities? Forest Policy and Economics, 100, 207-213. doi:10.1016/j.forpol.2019.01.001

SOURCEForest Policy and Economics
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EFIMED is the Mediterranean Facility of the European Forest Institute. Based in Barcelona, Spain, it was launched in 2007.