Understanding Consistencies and Gaps Between Desired Forest Futures: An Analysis of Visions from Stakeholder Groups in Sweden

Abstract
"Conflicting perspectives on forests has for a long time challenged forest policy development in Sweden. Disagreements about forest futures create intractable deadlocks when stakeholders talk past each other. The purpose of this study is to move beyond this situation through the application of participatory backcasting. By comparing visions of the future forest among stakeholder groups, we highlight contemporary trajectories and identify changes that were conceived as desirable. We worked with four groups: the Biomass and Bioenergy group, the Conservation group, the Sami Livelihood group and the Recreation and Rural Development group; in total representatives from 40 organizations participated in workshops articulating the groups’ visions. Our results show well-known tensions such as intrinsic versus instrumental values but also new ones concerning forests’ social values. Identified synergies include prioritization of rural development, new valued-added forest products and diversified forest management. The results may feed directly into forest policy processes facilitating the process and break current deadlocks."
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Keywords
conflict, forest policy, governance and politics
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