Large Carnivore Management in a Multi-Level Institutional Setting: Problems and Prospects

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"The goal of the large carnivore policies in Finland, Norway and Sweden (Fennoscandia) is to establish sustainable management of the four large (mammal) carnivores; bear (ursus arctos), wolf (canis lupus), lynx (lynx lynx) wolverine (gulo gulo) but also the golden eagle (aquila chrysaetos). Since this is clearly in conflict with for example the extensive free-ranging sheep farming in Norway and reindeer herding in all three countries the goal is also to reduce conflicts with societal interest and especially to reduce the number of livestock and semi domestic reindeer killed by large carnivores. "In an attempt to solve the conflicts and legitimise the large carnivore policies, the Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish parliaments have adopted strategies to involve the public in decision making and in management actions. The overarching responsibility of the large carnivore policy is still the responsibility of national environmental authorities but management committees ranging from elected politicians (Norway) via a mix of authorities and interest organisations (Sweden & Finland) have been established in regions with carnivore populations in order to adapt the management to regional conditions. "Although these strategies has been promoted as being a more democratic and effective way of addressing the carnivore issue there are a number of concerns about the establishment of these regional committees. This study will portray the approach of large carnivore management in Finland, Norway and Sweden through the perceptions of members of Regional large Carnivore Committees in the three countries on issues of representation, accountability, appropriate scale and possibilities to efficiently coordinate the policy 'horizontally and vertically' in a multi-level institutional setting and provide an assessment of its problems and prospects to deliver a sustainable outcome."



wildlife, co-management, representation, accountability, sustainability, IASC