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Participation and deliberation in Swedish forest governance: The process of initiating a National Forest Program

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  • Johansson, Johanna

Abstract

Over the last two decades intergovernmental organizations have supported the initiation of National Forest Programs (NFPs): forums for joint deliberation by the state, private companies and NGOs that are intended to resolve conflicts over forestry and enhance sustainability. However, NFPs do not always reconcile conflicting perspectives or produce legitimate strategies for sustainable forestry. Thus, further analysis of NFPs' organization and processes is required, including exploration of effective means to address such challenges in early stages. These are key concerns of this paper, focusing on the first process to establish a Swedish NFP. Possibilities for an NFP to constitute a new arena for deliberation and consensus-building, producing forest policy statements and action plans considered legitimate by various stakeholders, are discussed. A number of key challenges are identified through a theoretical framework based on notions regarding the input and output legitimacy of collaborative governance. Analysis of official documentation, records of public hearings and stakeholder comments from the establishment phase in 2013–2015 suggests that the process will continually face a number of challenges, including balancing production and conservation values in the new bio-economy and securing equal stakeholder participation. The paper concludes with some remarks on the future of the NFP process.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:forpol:v:70:y:2016:i:c:p:137-146
    DOI: 10.1016/j.forpol.2016.06.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    7. Primmer, Eeva & Kyllonen, Simo, 2006. "Goals for public participation implied by sustainable development, and the preparatory process of the Finnish National Forest Programme," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(8), pages 838-853, November.
    8. Voitleithner, Johannes, 2002. "The National Forest Programme in the light of Austria's law and political culture," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 313-322, December.
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    10. Elsasser, Peter, 2002. "Rules for participation and negotiation and their possible influence on the content of a National Forest Programme," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 291-300, December.
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    Cited by:

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    5. Niedziałkowski, Krzysztof & Shkaruba, Anton, 2018. "Governance and legitimacy of the Forest Stewardship Council certification in the national contexts – A comparative study of Belarus and Poland," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 180-188.
    6. Tikkanen, Jukka, 2018. "Participatory turn - and down-turn - in Finland's regional forest programme process," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 87-97.
    7. Hengst-Ehrhart, Yvonne & Schraml, Ulrich, 2020. "Back to the Forest’s future: Guiding principles of German forest stakeholders and their impact on the forestry sector," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 94(C).
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    10. Löfmarck, Erik & Uggla, Ylva & Lidskog, Rolf, 2017. "Freedom with what? Interpretations of “responsibility” in Swedish forestry practice," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 34-40.

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