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Doctoral thesis2017Open access

Participatory scenario analysis in forest resource management : exploring methods and governance challenges from a rural landscape perspective

Carlsson, Julia


The forested landscape holds multiple socio-cultural, ecological, and economic values that are interlinked and dependent on each other. Policy makers, scientists, and practitioners increasingly emphasise the need for new governance procedures that consider multifunctional forest values and support decision making concerning trade-offs between them. At the same time, the diverse range of actors who own and use these values on local, national, and global levels must be considered. This thesis explores how scenario analysis can strengthen participatory aspects in forest governance by engaging local forest actors in interviews and discussions concerning sustainable futures of their forest landscape and community in Vilhelmina municipality, Sweden. By combining qualitative and quantitative methods, three explorative (possible) scenarios and one normative (desirable) scenario are developed in participatory workshops, and presented as narratives and models of ecosystem services assessment. The thesis includes four scientific papers - three discuss the performance and usability of scenario methods and one discusses the need and opportunities for implementing a landscape perspective in forest planning. By exploring innovative participatory methods and incorporating integrated landscape planning, the sectorial planning tradition can be developed into new collaborative governance procedures across interests, sectors, levels, and scientific disciplines and create coherent policies and management practices. The Model Forest concept is a useful example of a local collaborative arena where different actors can meet and discuss their common landscape. Scenario analysis is a suitable and creative tool as it provides information about potential and desired futures, enhances understanding for complexity, and facilitates discussion of planning options in a transdisciplinary manner. Scenario analysis can strengthen the local competence of action and help people define their needs and how these needs could be met. The diversity of knowledge and experiences among actors should be seen as a resource for creating new ideas and solutions. The balance between an increased participatory involvement in planning and research processes and the conditions for creating a successful high-quality process must be carefully considered when choosing methods.


forest owners and stakeholders, forest policy, future studies, INTEGRAL, integrated landscape planning, multiple forest values, participation, rural development, scenario analysis, transdisciplinarity, Vilhelmina Model Forest

Published in

Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
2017, number: 2017:14ISBN: 978-91-576-8801-9, eISBN: 978-91-576-8802-6
Publisher: Department of Forest Resource Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science

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