Holistic Indicator for Optimizing Forest Governance

  • Mihail Hanzu
Part of the World Sustainability Series book series (WSUSE)


Forests have a key role in the wellbeing of the mankind. To fulfil sustainably all demands, forest governance must adapt to ever emerging needs and values of the society. The indicator proposed here is a criterion to optimize forest governance to ever changing social needs and development. It is based on an innovative mathematical theory, named holistic-integrative field theory, developed for this purpose. The theory uses linear algebra, statistics and discrete analysis, in order to integrate all forest outputs, perceived as important by at least one actor, into an indicator. Also some fractal and cybernetic principles are embedded in the logic and algorithms of the indicator. Problems raised by the heterogeneity of the outputs are solved using vector-based mathematics. Outputs are considered as vectors with an unknown number of dimensions but with known modules (lengths). Statistical methods and discrete analysis methods are used to compute the length of a resultant vector which represents the optimization criterion. The criterion measures the effects of change on forest outputs and is used as a feedback to improve forest governance. The indicator can integrate any available data, in an iterative manner. The holistic-integrative indicator has the potential to improve forests-society-science-policy-practice interface and to operationalize the concepts of natural capital and ecosystem services as well as to provide the means for a more sustainable, efficient and integrated usage of ecosystems. It also has the advantage that it uses general public as well as scientists, industry, political or any other actors’ opinions in a continuous and integrated manner, thus it is promoting an inclusive and democratic approach in forest governance. It can also be updated for maintaining governance system connected with the development of society and to prevent unexpected negative side effects of governance changes. In the end of the chapter an example is provided.


Optimal forest governance General public acceptance Inclusive forest policy Equitability 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Forest BiometricsNational Institute for Research and Development in Silviculture” Marin Drăcea”VoluntariRomania

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