Conventional and New Ways of Governing Forest Threats: A Study of Stakeholder Coherence in Sweden.

Abstract

Based on a framework for analyzing stakeholder coherence horizontally and vertically, the present study examined the governance of forest threats in Sweden. Opinions of forest risk governance in stakeholder groups with and without a connection to private forestry were compared (n = 2496) and the opinions were analyzed in relation to current governance practices. More specifically, forest threat appraisals, trust in the Swedish Forest Agency (SFA), and the acceptability of forest risk policy measures directed at private forest owners were assessed. Results revealed an overall coherence between different stakeholders in this context. However, the groups differed in, for example, the acceptability of the hypothetical regulative measure aiming to reduce damages threatening the forest long-term (e.g., climate change). Furthermore, an extensive use of advice for a fee may challenge particularly the internal, but also the external, legitimacy of forest risk governance. The forest owner stakeholder group showed lower threat appraisals when evaluating threat to one's own forest rather than to the Swedish forest, except regarding browsing by animals. Regulations were not disapproved of in any of the stakeholder groups, although the forest owner group generally displayed higher acceptability of encouraging measures compared to the general public. Trust in the SFA was furthermore confirmed as an important driver of policy acceptability, and higher threat appraisals of novel threats, such as climate change and fire, resulted in a higher acceptability of measures less central or new in this context. The value of analyzing stakeholder coherence for natural resource management and governance is discussed.

DOI: 10.1007/s00267-017-0951-z

Cite this paper

@article{Eriksson2017ConventionalAN, title={Conventional and New Ways of Governing Forest Threats: A Study of Stakeholder Coherence in Sweden.}, author={Louise Eriksson}, journal={Environmental management}, year={2017} }