There has been a strong quest for mapping and assessing ecosystem services (ES) to support governance. Yet, the institutional landscape that governs ES provision across multiple contexts has received less attention. We fill this research gap by developing and operationalising a framework for the analysis of policy documents that address European forest ES provision. By coding and analysing references to forest ES as well as innovations and governance mechanisms addressing these ES in national strategies on forest, biodiversity and bioeconomy, we map the institutional landscape of forest ES provision in Europe. We further analyse how biophysical supply of forest ES is connected to policies paying attention to ES and identifying innovations and governance for their provision. Innovations identified in policies centre around value chains of wood and bioenergy or biodiversity conservation, while non-wood forest products, cultural heritage, and recreation receive little attention. Biophysical supply of provisioning ES is connected to policies emphasising many innovations, while little supply of regulating ES could trigger service innovations and several new governance mechanisms. As forest ecosystems have received much attention in global, European and national sustainability policies, our institutional mapping illustrates that there is room for more use of innovations in promoting ES provision.
- Institutional landscape
- Forest ecosystem services
- Ecosystem services governance
- Document analysis
- Policy analysis