Towards a global framework for analysing the forest-based bioeconomy

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The bioeconomy approach offers potential solutions to global challenges, including sustainable forest management. The body of literature on the forest-based bioeconomy is rapidly expanding, and the diversity of approaches is bewildering. In this paper, we (1) discuss and clarify terminology related to the forest-based bioeconomy as a basis for (2) developing a general framework for analysing the forest-based bioeconomy, which is then (3) applied to two bioeconomy cases. The point of departure is a structured literature review; through qualitative content analysis, we identified the key questions characterizing current approaches to the forest-based bioeconomy; subsequently, the two cases were investigated through analysis of nominal and functional national bioeconomy policy documents and case-specific literature. Answering the key questions allowed the identification of five distinct schools of thought that make up the global framework: the biotechnology, techno-bioresource, socio-bioresource, eco-efficiency, and eco-society schools. These provide a systematic tool to analyse key paradigms, public policy goals, product or service sold, stakeholders, strength of environmental sustainability, and likely transition pathways. We illustrate the application of the framework through analysis of two cases (medicinal plants in Nepal and timber in Finland). We end by discussing how to operationalize the framework further.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1673
Issue number12
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Research areas

  • Finland, forests, Nepal, non-timber forest products, schools, sustainable development, timber, CIRCULAR ECONOMY, SUSTAINABILITY, BIODIVERSITY, GREEN, ERA

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