Public participation in practice -- Assessing public participation in the preparation of regional forest programs in Northern Finland
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.
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- 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.
- John F. Forester, 1999. "The Deliberative Practitioner: Encouraging Participatory Planning Processes," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262561220, March.
- 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.
- 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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