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Report, 2008

Commercial activities in a local natural resource dependency perspective

Thellbro, Camilla; Lidestav, Gun


Natural resources are important to the individual and to society. However, the definition of ‘natural resources’ as well as the regulation of the use of them vary. In order to determine which types of natural resource and access to them that can be considered important to a local society and by whom, a case study was undertaken in a rural boreal municipality. This study related natural resources to commercial activities by means of a questionnaire to 424 randomly selected workplaces in Vilhelmina municipality. Results show that 78% of the respondents consider themselves highly dependent on local natural resources (LNRs) and that they, together, engage many people. LNR dependent respondents were grouped by cluster analysis into seven LNR/LNR access dependency profiles. Clear patterns were found with respect to main business categories in terms of dominance, and variation within profiles and overlap between profiles. Forest and/or agricultural farming (FAF) businesses were for example more or less separated from other types of businesses (‘various’) but still they were not unified as a group but found in, and even dominating, more than one profile. Similarities and differences with respect to geographical locations, customers and engagements further characterise the profiles. High LNR dependency and patterns identified indicate the value of the chosen approach in relation to other types of approaches. It supports the notion that a LNR/LNR access dependency perspective on commercial activities could help to improve strategies for strengthening the local economy and maintaining and developing the rural boreal municipality as a resource community


rural; local economy; local society; natural resource field; rural resource community; property rights; small business

Published in

Studia Forestalia Suecica
2008, number: 216, pages: 1-19
ISBN: 978-91-85911-53-0
Publisher: Skogsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet