iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Key information for forest policy decision-making - Does current reporting on forests and forestry reflect forest discourses?

Stefanie Linser (1), Markus Lier (2), Annemarie Bastrup-Birk (3)   

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 16, Issue 6, Pages 325-333 (2023)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor4457-016
Published: Nov 15, 2023 - Copyright © 2023 SISEF

Commentaries & Perspectives

Forest discourses help identify forest-related issues. They aim to aid policy and decision-makers in understanding forest-related challenges and opportunities better so that they may initiate possible strategies and tactics to tackle them. Ideally, information requirements for the forest discourses would be translated into measurable variables, being the basis for collecting, analysing, and reporting data and information. Our study examined the connection between major international forest reporting processes and forest discourses. We analysed summaries and key findings for policy makers of five recent major forest reports. We compared their focus with forest discourses on climate change, forest conservation, deforestation, forest decline, illegal logging, industrial forestry/bioeconomy, traditional knowledge, woody biomass production, and innovative wood-based biofuels. The paper explores how the forest discourses are reflected in the surveyed documents and closely examines the specific focus areas in the summaries for policy makers. The results show that most forest discourses are generally well-represented, albeit with different foci. The discourse on illegal logging could not be identified in any investigated documents, even though it remains a significant concern for international forest policy. Keywords related to traditional knowledge and woody biomass production could not be found in two of the analysed findings. All analysed summaries and key findings mention issues related to the climate change discourse topic. However, they lack information on emissions from deforestation, carbon dioxide emissions and carbon budgets, which are high in political discussions. The paper highlights how discourse issues have gained in complexity both topic-wise and regarding the reporting obligations, as policy and decision-makers require more timely and comprehensive information about the status’ and trends of forests.


Forest Data, Forest Information, Forest Reporting, Forest Discourse, Forest Policy

Authors’ address

Stefanie Linser 0000-0002-7505-4922
Department of Economics and Social Sciences, Institute of Forest, Environment and Natural Resource Policy, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, 1180 Vienna (Austria)
Markus Lier 0000-0002-0847-5997
Natural Resources Institute Finland - Luke, 80100 Joensuu (Finland)
Annemarie Bastrup-Birk 0000-0002-8405-8538
European Environment Agency (EEA), 1050 Copenhagen (Denmark)

Corresponding author

Annemarie Bastrup-Birk


Linser S, Lier M, Bastrup-Birk A (2023). Key information for forest policy decision-making - Does current reporting on forests and forestry reflect forest discourses?. iForest 16: 325-333. - doi: 10.3832/ifor4457-016

Academic Editor

Marco Borghetti

Paper history

Received: Aug 24, 2023
Accepted: Nov 08, 2023

First online: Nov 15, 2023
Publication Date: Dec 31, 2023
Publication Time: 0.23 months

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