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Siebrand, Sander (2006) Participatory forest management in conflict situations. Other thesis, SLU.

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Abstract

During the last decades natural resource management in general and forest management in particular have changed. In the past forests were managed for a single commodity and for the general public, but lately more and more emphasis has been put on the multi-functionality of forests. Thus it has been recognized that multiple interests are connected to forests and that the general public in fact consists of a variety of stakeholders. The interests connected to forests are often incompatible and sometimes conflicts arise over them. Participation, the involvement of stakeholders into a decision-making process, has been suggested to be a suitable approach to manage multiple interests and to avoid the escalation of conflicts in many cases. The changing of natural resource management has manifested itself in international forest policy in which participation has received considerable attention. Also in Sweden forest management has changed over the past decades; in the 1980s and 1990s conservation issues became incorporated in forest management and recently also social values have become a part of the objectives of Swedish forest policy. Participation also has gained importance; in 2005 Sweden ratified the Århus Convention in which participation has a central place. Participation may be an approach to deals with the multiple interest and the returning conflicts in the mountainous forest regions. The regions have been inhabited by the Sámi since ancient times. These indigenous people have the ancient right to live on these lands and herd their reindeer. Besides multiple interests there thus also exists a dilemma of overlapping rights. The objective of this study was to to implement a stakeholder and interest analysis, and on the basis of it acquire knowledge about participation in forest management in the mountainous forest regions of Sweden. A case study was executed around the planning of clear-cuts in a 500 ha mountain forest in Swedish Lapland (Stöken). Multiple rights, interests and stakeholders are connected to the planning in Stöken. Two forests owner associations have the right to harvest timber and the Sámi have the right to graze their reindeer on the same land. Beside that, Stöken is located on the opposite shore of a very important cultural heritage site and has high nature values. The two main techniques used during this case study are semi-structured interviews and document analyses. Eight representatives were interviewed. On the basis of the interviews the interests that are connected to the planning in Stöken were identified, as well as the stakeholders that should represent these interests. Insight was also gained in how these interests relate to each other and how they are competitive. Together with the analysis of special forestry plans that include nature and social values the interviews gave insight in how participation is currently practiced. Most importantly the respondents were asked on which level of influence the different stakeholders should be able to participate in forestry planning in the future. Seven interests appeared to play an important role in the planning in Stöken: cultural heritage, local inhabitancy, reindeer husbandry, large-scale forestry, recreation and tourism, ownership of adjacent land, and environmental and nature values. These interests are all to some extent competitive with forestry. Some interests are besides that competitive with each other. Participation currently only consists of consultation with the involved Sámi Community. Such consultations are required by law and have a formal character. They often take place behind closed doors. The main findings of this study are that stakeholders should be informed about felling plans from the very beginning, but that providing information is not enough and stakeholders should be actually involved in planning processes, preferably on the levels of influence of advisory body or cooperation. The conclusion of this study is that in addition to the circumstances in mountainous forest areas (multiple right, interests and stakeholders, and escalation of conflicts) and the stimulation of participation in national and international forest policy, participation is wanted by the stakeholders themselves.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Keywords: Forest planning, participation, stakeholder, key biotope (skoglig planering, deltagande planering, intressent, nyckelbiotop
Subject (faculty): Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science > Dept. of Forest Ecology and Management
Divisions: SLU > Faculty of Forest Sciences
Depositing User: Inga-Lis Johansson
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2006
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2015 09:45
URI: http://ex-epsilon.slu.se/id/eprint/1350

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