Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

Forest and Society is an international and interdisciplinary journal, which publishes peer-reviewed social, political and economic research relating to people, land, and forests. Forest and Society has main geographic focus on Southeast Asia but we do not limit research possibilities that compare between and across regions.


Section Policies

Regular Research Articles

Regular research articles which have not been published previously, except in a preliminary form, may be submitted as regular papers/original research papers. The word limit is 8000 words (but not restricted), excluding Tables, Figures and Reference.

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Review Articles

Reviw papers exists for the expression of opinions, and allows authors to submit material which may not be appropriate for original research articles but which contains ideas worthy of publication.

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Commentaries are peer-reviewed, this is a type of short communications which consist of no longer 3000 words, and should also include abstract around 250 words which summarise the main argument of the piece. This section is formulated as one of the following types:

Science Critiques: Critically discuss previous research published relevance to the topic of social, political and economic research relating to people, land, and forests (in Southeast Asia). Critiques are not based on opinion. These should be discussing other authors' theories, hypotheses, methodologies, or conclusions, or a mix thereof.

Policy Forum: This pieces should be short and to the point, addressing a particular aspect about contemporary, dynamics, or future of specific policy investigated. This section enables not only researchers but also policymakers and practitioners to make timely contributions to policy debates. Contributions are based on expert analysis, literature review, or practitioner reflections regarding concrete policy issues. Pure opinion pieces will not be considered. 

Methodological Engagement: This forum is designed to identify some of the various ways of the specific methodology developed. 

  • Micah Fisher
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The Reports section consists of brief factual summaries of research and reports from institutions. Reports and Review Papers should comprise 500-5000 words. 

Book reviews, and Conference Reports should comprise 800-2000 words and conference reports 1000-2500 words.

Field notes:This section are intended to provide a bottom up picture of empirical material reported. 


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Forthcoming Meetings

Notices of forthcoming meetings for listing in the Calendar section are welcomed. Entries must be received at least three months before publication.

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Special Section on community forestry and sustainable development in Vietnam: Potentials, opportunities, and challenges

To contribute to a better understanding of community forestry in Vietnam, studies on the implementation of community forestry from diverse perspectives will be essential. However, evidence-based studies are still lacking in the processes, trends, and effectiveness of the current policy and institutions. How can community forestry contribute to sustainable development in Vietnam? What are the current potentials, opportunities and challenges of community forestry for a sustainable development future in Vietnam? In addition, few studies have paid a strong attention to the role of community forestry in strengthening the resilience of forest communities in the context of climate change and the implementation of the contemporary issues such as PES, REDD+, and FLEGT.


  • Micah Fisher
  • Do Thi Huong
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The Future of Tanah Papua - Towards Multi-disciplinarity on Adat, Biodiversity, and Sustainable Development

Forest and Society is seeking submissions on the multiple layers of adat, conservation, and development issues in Tanah Papua. What questions do we need to ask for science and policy? What decisions, policies, and programs should be promoted to achieve appropriate balance between economic development, conservation, and sustainability? How can these decisions be shaped by the right actors, premised on the best available information, and developed through appropriate forums that encourage broad participation and transparency?

Types of contributions:

We are especially eager to receive contributions that explore the notion of futures, how we assess alternative trajectories, and the role of the next generation of land, development, and conservation in Tanah Papua. We anticipate the main contributions to be full length papers between 6,000 – 9,000 words. However, to encourage more diverse perspectives on these issues,  and accommodate the increasing trend toward research co-production, we are expanding submissions to incorporate shorter pieces (1,000 – 3,000 words) under targeted headings, including Policy Forum, Field Notes, and Methodological Engagement.


  • Policy Forum pieces should be short and to the point, addressing a particular aspect about contemporary regulatory, administrative, and other aspects of public policy specific to Tanah Papua.
  • Field Notes are intended to provide field insights into development, adat, and conservation as experienced among and by communities. This could include ethnobiological reflections, participatory mapping initiatives, local institutional practices and perspectives, and a range of other possibilities.
  • Methodological Engagement are submissions designed at identifying some of the unique challenges and realities of conducting research on these timely topics in Tanah Papua. Such methodological perspectives can bridge both the academic and the practical, and is geared towards supporting various stakeholders in evaluating the many elements and dynamics, as well as innovations for conducting meaningful research in Tanah Papua.

  • Rodrigo Cámara-Leret
  • Larry A. Fisher
  • Micah Fisher
  • Muhammad Alif Sahide
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Special Section on tropical mangrove ecosystem in Malaysia: Ecologies and economies, challenges and opportunities

The total global coverage of mangrove forests amounts to 15.62 million hectares. Of this total, 3.7% is found in Malaysia. Mangroves are established mostly along the western coast of Peninsular Malaysia and in the states of Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysian Borneo. It is one of the most productive ecosystems, located on sheltered shorelines and estuaries,  and has a unique ability to adapt in soil that is permanently waterlogged, in water whose salinity fluctuates with low oxygen concentration (Hogarth, 2007).

In Malaysia, Bennett and Reynolds (1993) conducted a case study on the economic value of the Sarawak Mangroves Forest Reserve. They found that mangroves support marine fisheries worth US$21.1 million per annum and up to 3000 jobs, timber products worth US$123,217 per annum, and a tourist industry worth US$3.7 million per annum.  Employment opportunities are also important for the local community where the main activities include forestry (poles and production, replanting, and supply of forestry inputs), fisheries (capture fisheries, cockles’ production, fish processing), ecotourism, small business, boat buildings, repairs and maintenance, and other downstream fishery activities.

In spite of its significant contribution to the socio-economic dynamics in Malaysia, mangrove ecosystems are threatened in various ways, such as reclamation, pollution and other land-used activities resulting in habitat destruction, loss of biodiversity and decline in marine resources. The constant pressure exerted by anthropogenic (more than natural) events is responsible for its decline at a faster rate than that of tropical rainforests (Alongi, 2008). Along with mangrove cover depletion, the loss of its biodiversity and economic value are resulting in negative outcomes (Satyanarayana et al., 2012). 

Therefore, Forest and Society is initiating a call for papers that will contribute to an in-depth examination of Tropical Mangrove Forests in Malaysia: Ecologies and Economies, Challenging and Opportunities. Overall, we seek to better understand how the role of mangrove ecologies are changing, how they can be sustained, and what role they will have in the future of sustainable development in Malaysia.

This special section belongs to a series of recent calls by Forest and Society on emerging trends of community forestry schemes across the Southeast Asia region. The primary aim is therefore to promote high – quality research on sustainable development from diverse perspectives. We invite authors of various backgrounds ranging from academics, researchers, students, concerned citizens, policymakers, and forestry practitioners to contribute original research across a range of methodological approaches (quantitative, qualitative, and mixed).

We also invite practitioners into our scientific community and accommodate submissions that contribute to the co-production of science. We therefore expand opportunities for short pieces under more targeted topical headings, such as: Policy ForumField Notes, and Methodological Engagement. These formats are ideal for those that would like to share up-to-date discoveries and developments on mangrove research, policy, and implementation in Malaysia.  

  • Micah Fisher
  • Seca Gandaseca
  • Mohd. Hasmadi Ismail
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Special Section: The economies, ecologies and politics of social forestry in Indonesia

Forest and Society is initiating the first of its series on emerging trends of social forestry across Southeast Asia by examining dynamics taking place in Indonesia. The primary aim is to take stock of evidence on the rapid implementation of social forestry permits across Indonesia and to promote knowledge on the realities, achievements, challenges and pathways to sustainable strategies for the future. We invite authors from academics, researchers, students, concerned citizens, policy makers and forestry practitioners to contribute original research, on a range of methods (quantitative, qualitative, and mixed), to improve our collective understanding of social forestry in Indonesia. We invite paper submissions on politics, ecology, economy and culture. We also welcome research approaches at various scales, including review articles that take on a macro perspective or rich contextual studies of site-specific experiences, as well as comparative approaches across sites.

  • Ahmad Dhiaulhaq
  • Micah Fisher
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Special Section on community-based conservation in the Wallacea region

We seek entries on a broad set of topics connected to the theme of community-based conservation in the Wallacea region. We invite research engagement on the following question: What are the practices, opportunities, and challenges for community‐based conservation in Wallacea? This line of inquiry also opens up the opportunities for entries from a broad range of backgrounds and traditions, including conservationists, social and natural scientists, policy-makers, indigenous people and activists, resource management professionals, and other practitioners. On a level of praxis, we are especially eager to provide greater insight into the notion that on the one hand community‐based conservation has experienced increasing outside investment, but on the other, there is greater concern that community‐based conservation is not working. Is, as Berkes (2004) has noted, the emphasis on community and participation diluting the conservation agenda, and if so in what ways? Can conservation be a concept that can be separated from people, lives, and livelihoods? How do we continue to the think about people and conservation as a broad set of policies and objectives?

In this light, we are especially eager to invite a greater number of non-traditional researchers into this research effort. We have therefore expanded the volume to include opportunities to submit short insight pieces to accommodate the increasing attention on the notion of science co-production (Beier et al., 2017). The broad categories for such submissions include: Policy Forum, Field Notes, and Methodological Engagement. We envision, for example: i) Policy-makers could present papers on the latest developments on current policies enabling community-based conservation; ii) Activists and local communities could submit oral histories and other innovative approaches on, for example, emphasizing local species naming systems that highlight conservation practices; iii) NGOs and other practitioners could submit innovations on community participation and multi-stakeholder approaches; iv) Natural scientists could submit a list of species and other data accounting systems with local partnerships. These are just a few among numerous possibilities for contributions.


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Special Section: Land, society, and disaster

This special section examines the interactions between changing dynamics of land across Southeast Asia and its most debilitating effects: disaster.

  • Micah Fisher
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Special Section: People-centred forestry in Thailand

This special section examines the people-centred on forestry management in Thailand. These may include, but are not limited to, rights and tenure discussion, governance and institution issues, share of benefits mechanism, forest conflict management, community forest and climate change, as well as securing local livelihoods

  • Ahmad Dhiaulhaq
  • David Gritten
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Special Section: Power game and recentralization in Indonesian land use politics

This section invites scholars that use power theories, bureaucratic politics, including recentralization while decentralizing forest or other land use sectors in Indonesia. This could be a theoretical overview as well as an empirical examination of specific case in Indonesian land use politics landscape. This section is also open for particular policy case in Indonesia e.g. Forest Management Unit, Social Corporate Responsibility, and community forestry

  • Micah Fisher
  • Muhammad Alif Sahide
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Special Section: Agrarian transformation in Thailand - commodities, landscapes, and livelihoods

      Over the last two decades, there have been extensive discussions about the priorities and processes of agrarian and rural transformation in Thailand. The production and value systems surrounding agricultural transformation involves the overall restructuring of a subsistence-oriented economy to a market-oriented one. Agricultural households are increasingly prioritizing and becoming more dependent on intensive and specialized production of cash crops. Rural livelihoods are also relying more on off-farm income generated by local urban centers or remittances sent back from migrant workers. Although outmigration and the remittance economy has supported rural households, there are also other consequences, most evident in the scarcity and changing labor practices in agricultural sectors. This transformation is affecting rural society in perplexing ways, such as the decline in poverty rates, the increasing levels of economic differentiation, improving access to education, and the perceived withering of community solidarity. These trends of agrarian transformation reflexively interact with broader developments in Thai society, related to an increasing population, processes of urbanization, public policy interventions, natural resources limitations, and changing societal values.

      This special section attempts to provide a picture of the processes of transformation over time and examine the current conjunctures taking place across rural communities in Thailand. Our entry point is through the lens of agricultural commodities. We believe that explaining the multiple sources and effects of certain commodities in particular locations in Thailand provides distinct explanatory potential. For example, rubber, a crop originally grown in the South of Thailand has been widely introduced in the northeast region for the past 30 years, affecting local community dynamics, creating new projects, changing cultivation practices, and initiating new ways of interacting with the state and international markets. Another example is rice, an important staple crop for rural households, grown widespread across the country. Rice farmers have been directly affected by agricultural policies from various government policies in the last two decades. Currently, vast stretches of paddy fields are being converted to other cash crops. Farmers are facing new choices to choose a staple, plant cash crops, and migrate seasonally to find work in other business sectors. Other examples include agricultural commodities geared to supporting a vision of tourism, illicit agricultural production of poppies in upland and border areas, and a multitude of others. Agrarian transformation provides perplexing, contradictory, and paradoxical effects, which can at once empower and dispossess. We are open to any papers that examine agrarian transformation through the lens of longstanding or newly introduced (or lack thereof) commodities that allows for a better understanding of change taking place across Thai rural society. 

  • Sukanlaya Choenkwan
  • Micah Fisher
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Peer Review Process

Editor in Chief will assign the manuscript to a corresponding Editor or Managing Editor for further handling. The Editor or Managing Editor will request at least two scientists to review the manuscript. All manuscripts are subject to single-blind peer review whose reviewers' identities will remain anonymous to the authors and are expected to meet standards of academic excellence. Reviewers are aware of the identity of the authors, but authors are unaware of the identity of reviewers. 


Publication Frequency

Forest and Society categorized the research field for open access journals to be published bi-yearly, in April and November. Forest and Society is also possible to published special issue and special section. A special issue and special section enables us to publish papers focusing on specific themes, often related to a “hot topic” 


Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. 

All contents is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. This is in accordance with the BOAI definition of open access.



This journal utilizes the LOCKSS system to create a distributed archiving system among participating libraries and permits those libraries to create permanent archives of the journal for purposes of preservation and restoration. More...



Forest and Society have a policy of screening for plagiarism. We use Anti-Plagiarism Software Turnitin to check the authenticity article


Guest Editor tasks and responsibilities

  1. Assist in the development and approval of a Call for Papers for the Special Issue/Section

  2. Circulate and promote the Call for Papers for the Special Issue/Section through your personal networks, social media groups, and at relevant conferences or workshops

  3. Encourage the submission of relevant, high-quality manuscripts that address the central themes of the Special Issue

  4. Assist in reviewing and selecting the most appropriate submissions for review - papers that fit within the scope and quality expectations of the Special Issue/Section.

  5. Work with the Editors to identify appropriate reviewers for each of the selected papers; monitor and support the review process 

  6. Work with the Editors to evaluate reviewers' comments and ensure that the comments are adequately addressed by authors before final approval of submitted manuscripts

  7. Develop an introduction to the Special Issue/Section that summarizes the key themes and major insights of the selected manuscripts

  8. Circulate and promote the Special Issue once it is published. This may include citing the individual papers, sharing the Special IssueIssue/Section with colleagues and practitioners, developing training and instructional materials, etc.

  9. Assist in organizing and leading follow up meetings and conferences to promote the Special Issue/Section and seek program and policy applications 

All of the above will require regular communication via email and/or conference call. We expect all Guest Editors to participate actively and regularly in these discussions, and to respond in a timely manner to all email communications.


Publication and Author Rights

By submitting the manuscript, authors give up all publishing rights to the publisher of the Forest and Society including online (Internet) publishing rights. Parts of the journal’s content, such as figures and tables, may be reproduced without prior permission, provided reference is made to their source.