Session 2.1 Rethinking forest entrepreneurship and policy as a newly emerging cross-sectoral field: Insights from theory and empirics


Alice Ludvig, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU), Institute of Forest, Environmental and Natural Resource Policy and European Forest Institute – EFI Forest Policy
Research Network, Vienna, Austria 

Jerylee Wilkes-Allemann, Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH), School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences
(HAFL), Zollikofen, Switzerland

TA: Sabeth


  1. Tamaki Ohmura & Tobias Schulz: Sustainable Economy Projects Creating New Challenges for Forests: Results from a forest owner survey
  2. David E. Troxler: Identifying drivers of forest clearances in
  3. Alice Ludvig: Gender and entrepreneurial innovation in the wood value chain: Understanding social diversity as a driver for resilience

Forest entrepreneurship has been regarded as a promising solution for some of the problems in the forest-based sector, in particular for bringing more economic activities and creating more employment (Shyamsundaret al., 2020, Ludvig et al. 2016), and also a higher support in the markets promotion (Wulandari and Kurniasih, 2019). A mere focus on timber production faces increasing global challenges, ranging from climate change impacts to market failures, ecological and economic crises and recently also the consequences of the COVID-19 crises and its connected measures. These challenges may lead to, frequently in an exponential development, economic loss, land abandonment and to the loss of dynamics in the sector. The great challenge for policy support and forest owners is to find new ideas and bring innovation and entrepreneurship to the sector in a framework of multifunctional forest management, where the production of timber may be complemented and/or even replaced with the production of other goods, products and services (Martinho, 2017); e.g. in the realm of recreational services (Wilkes-Allemann et al. 2020), social innovation (Ludvig et al. 2019) and public health (Stadler et al. 2020). Behind this background the question emerges, how to find and design more adjusted policies for a sector that becomes more and more “cross-sectoral”. We want to address this in the panel. We do not see the notion of the “cross-sectoral forest sector” as a paradox, but rather as a promising solution for rethinking the governance of natural resources in general. So far, for example, forest certification, has been pointed to as one of the factors that support forest innovation and entrepreneurship (e.g. Acharya et al., 2015). Forest and rural policies have also been presented to play a determinant role (Hermansen, 2015), for instance by creating conditions to attract more entrepreneurial women to the forestry sector (Appelstrand and Lidestav, 2015), or through adjusted support instruments for female entrepreneurship (Sorensson and Dalborg, 2017).

We suggest that such insights may be considered as the basis for rethinking and designing better and more adjusted policies for the sector.

Hence, in this panel we want to invite contributions, both empirical and theoretical, from policy science, forest-related economic and social science with the goal of rethinking forest resource governance. The contributions can deal with the dynamics of institutions, institutional change, policy design, practices and patterns of forest resource use. We encourage and invite papers that tackle multiple forest resources, new forms of forest economies, (societal) benefit sharing, impacts of and impacts on gender relations, questions of inequality and resource distribution, recreation, new assets for conservation systems as well as new directions for forest management and operations. In our panel we want to explore and discuss the interrelations of policy with society and markets behind the background of new global challenges and a rethinking of natural resource management and forest entrepreneurship.