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Public participation in practice -- Assessing public participation in the preparation of regional forest programs in Northern Finland


  • Saarikoski, Heli
  • Tikkanen, Jukka
  • Leskinen, Leena A.


The paper analyses stakeholder involvement and public participation in preparing Regional Forest Programmes (RFP) in Finland. Such programmes establish the outlines for regional forest management, setting targets and action plans for industrial timber use, non-wood production, recreational activities, and nature conservation in each region. Our analysis suggests that the RFP process has brought together a significant cross-section of actors who meet on a regular basis. Hence, it has become an institutionalised cooperation between key stakeholder organisations. It has facilitated information exchange and learning about issues pertaining to forest management practices, timber markets, and protection of biodiversity. Engaging the general public in the RFP process has, however, been mostly ineffectual. The process has also fallen short of the expectations to reconcile different perspectives and produce jointly accepted strategies. The biggest challenges lie in finding approaches to address conflicts constructively and to draw up a RFP that will contribute to actual changes in forest management activities.

Suggested Citation

  • Saarikoski, Heli & Tikkanen, Jukka & Leskinen, Leena A., 2010. "Public participation in practice -- Assessing public participation in the preparation of regional forest programs in Northern Finland," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(5), pages 349-356, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:forpol:v:12:y:2010:i:5:p:349-356

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Leskinen, Leena A., 2004. "Purposes and challenges of public participation in regional and local forestry in Finland," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(6), pages 605-618, October.
    2. John F. Forester, 1999. "The Deliberative Practitioner: Encouraging Participatory Planning Processes," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262561220, January.
    3. Appelstrand, Marie, 2002. "Participation and societal values: the challenge for lawmakers and policy practitioners," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 281-290, December.
    4. Heli Saarikoski, 2006. "When frames conflict: policy dialogue on waste," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 24(4), pages 615-630, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Corral, Serafín & Legna-de la Nuez, David & Romero-Manrique de Lara, David, 2015. "Integrated assessment of biofuel production in arid lands: Jatropha cultivation on the island of Fuerteventura," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 41-53.
    2. Idrissou, Latifou & van Paassen, Annemarie & Aarts, Noelle & Leeuwis, Cees, 2011. "From cohesion to conflict in participatory forest management: The case of Ouémé Supérieur and N'Dali (OSN) forests in Benin," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(7), pages 525-534, September.
    3. Paletto, Alessandro & Ferretti, Fabrizio & De Meo, Isabella, 2012. "The role of social networks in forest landscape planning," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(C), pages 132-139.
    4. Grilli, Gianluca & Jonkisz, Jaroslaw & Ciolli, Marco & Lesinski, Jerzy, 2016. "Mixed forests and ecosystem services: Investigating stakeholders' perceptions in a case study in the Polish Carpathians," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 11-17.
    5. Yeboah-Assiamah, Emmanuel & Muller, Kobus & Domfeh, Kwame Ameyaw, 2016. "Rising to the challenge: A framework for optimising value in collaborative natural resource governance," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 20-29.
    6. repec:eee:forpol:v:89:y:2018:i:c:p:98-106 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Kangas, Annika & Heikkilä, Juuso & Malmivaara-Lämsä, Minna & Löfström, Irja, 2014. "Case Puijo—Evaluation of a participatory urban forest planning process," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 13-23.
    8. Johansson, Johanna, 2016. "Participation and deliberation in Swedish forest governance: The process of initiating a National Forest Program," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 137-146.
    9. Fabra-Crespo, M. & Rojas-Briales, E., 2015. "Comparative analysis on the communication strategies of the forest owners' associations in Europe," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 20-30.
    10. repec:eee:forpol:v:89:y:2018:i:c:p:87-97 is not listed on IDEAS


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