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

Nijnik, Maria, Secco, Laura, Miller, David, Melnykovych, Mariana
Forest policy and economics 2019 v.100 pp. 207-213
forest policy, forestry, forests, governance, rural areas, sustainable forestry, Europe
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. Therefore, in this Special Issue of Forest Policy and Economics we 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. We also provide innovative solutions and sustainable forestry considerations, ideas potentially useful for policy makers and practice communities of different levels, having ultimate aims 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.