University of Oulu

Nijnik, M.; Kluvánková, T.; Nijnik, A.; Kopiy, S.; Melnykovych, M.; Sarkki, S.; Barlagne, C.; Brnkaláková, S.; Kopiy, L.; Fizyk, I.; Miller, D. Is There a Scope for Social Innovation in Ukrainian Forestry? Sustainability 2020, 12, 9674.

Is there a scope for social innovation in Ukrainian forestry?

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Author: Nijnik, Maria1; Kluvánková, Tatiana2; Nijnik, Albert3;
Organizations: 1The James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen AB15 8QH, UK
2SlovakGlobe: Slovak Academy of Sciences and Slovak University of Technology, 81243 Bratislava, Slovakia
3Environmental Network Ltd., Aboyne AB34, UK
4Ukrainian National Forestry University, Gen. Chuprynky Str., 103, 79057 Lviv, Ukraine
5Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, WSL, Zürcherstrasse 111, 8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland
6European Forest Institute, St. Antoni M. Claret, 167, 08025 Barcelona, Spain
7Cultural Anthropology, University of Oulu, Pentti Kaiteran katu 1, FI-90014 Linnanmaa, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2020
Publish Date: 2021-02-04


Social innovation is recognised for its potential to turn societal challenges into opportunities and develop sustainable solutions for people and nature. We identify and examine challenges that Ukrainian forestry is facing and apply an “action arena” conceptual approach to explore whether and how social innovation can enhance the sustainable development of forestry. We develop a framework to analyse the reconfiguration of social practices by using research methods that focus on the use of documentation of the institutional contexts and interviewing forest policy experts, as well as stakeholder evaluation of the challenges and ways forward for Ukrainian forestry. We apply the Q-method to identify stakeholder attitudes and examine the role of people in the reconfiguring of social practices and promoting sustainable development of the forest sector. Implications for changing the rules of the game and institutional perspectives on forestry are identified, with examples of social innovation initiatives presented. Results show that to emerge, develop, and be transformative, social innovation must have supporting institutional conditions to create new norms, rules, and social practices. Relevant stakeholders need to envision alternative futures, reshape places, and become more actively engaged in decision-making processes. We identify the key directions for changing the rules of the game and the opportunities that social innovation has to offer.

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Series: Sustainability
ISSN: 2071-1050
ISSN-E: 2071-1050
ISSN-L: 2071-1050
Volume: 12
Issue: 22
Article number: 9674
DOI: 10.3390/su12229674
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 520 Other social sciences
616 Other humanities
Funding: This research received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement (GA) 677622 (H2020 SIMRA–Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas), GA 727577 (AgriLink) and GA 862448 (SHERPA). It was also partly funded by the Rural & Environment Science & Analytical Services Division of the Scottish Government through its Strategic Research Programme (2016–2021), Research Grant Agency of the Slovak republic (Vega) for the project No: 2/0013/17 and Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship, Grant No ESKAS-2019.0425.
EU Grant Number: (677622) SIMRA - Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas
Copyright information: © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (