Purposes and Challenges of Public Participation in Regional and Local Forestry in Finland
Forest Policy and Economics
Public participation in regional and local forest planning in Finland was researched. The questions were: (1) What is the purpose of public participation? (2) What are the challenges of public participation? The results are based on the analysis of discourse communities in a case study concerning a Regional Forest Programme and forest management planning. It was shown that the purpose of participation was to promote communication at the regional level and to gather information at the local level. The general conclusion is, that the regional forest programmes include practices to offer possibilities for communication among participants. This does not mean, that all the programme processes have reached consensus automatically. The case studied here reached compromise. The case study points out problems faced, if public participation would become common practice at the local level on non-industrial private forests lands. In forest management planning it would result in an excessively demanding mediator/expert role for the planner. The need to consider all relevant issues, e.g. biodiversity management, would also become apparent. The study supports the idea that public participation as communication has better possibilities to promote sustainable forest management than public participation as information gathering.
Leskinen, Leena A., "Purposes and Challenges of Public Participation in Regional and Local Forestry in Finland" (2004). All UNF Research. Paper 14.