- School for Forest Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Forests have provided non-wood forest products (NWFPs) that sustain local communities for Millennia. Today, the role of NWFPs for local livelihoods differs in time and space. International policies highlight the importance of NWFPs globally and in European countries. Using a case study approach I studied use and governance of NWFPs in three rural areas that represent a gradient in economic development, i.e., Småland (Sweden), Roztochya (Ukraine), and Kortkeros (Komi Republic in Russia). This thesis is based on 307 semi-structured interviews, analysis of global, national and regional legal documents and systematic literature analysis. In forest-dependent rural areas NWFPs continue to be an important part of livelihoods by ensuring food security both directly, and by providing additional income (Ukraine and Russia). In wealthy rural communities it is a cultural tradition and a part of recreational activities (Sweden). Governance of NWFPs differed among the case studies and the countries they represent. In Sweden there are on-going debates between different actors, stakeholders and organizations on how to govern NWFPs due to increasing commercial harvest of plant origin NWFPs. In Ukraine, there is a top-down government regime related to NWFPs, which actually exists only de-jury, not de-facto. In the Russian case study there has been a shift from government to governance due to the conflict between traditional use of NWFPs and commercial forest logging that led to legitimization of local communities’ rights in NWFPs use and governance. In order to establish new forms of NWFP governance, there is a need for developing landscape approach initiatives that aim at establishing place-based stakeholder partnerships that represent different sectors at multiple levels of governance. Sustainable use, management and governance of NWFPs are an integral part of sustainable forest management (SFM). The multi-functional value of NWFPs provided by forest landscapes is important for rural communities, but often is neither supported by national policy and management regulations nor appropriate governance. To promote sustainable use of NWFPs new policy instruments should be developed in all three countries.
sustainable forest management; rural livelihoods; landscape approach initiatives; forest products; wild food; medicinal herbs; rural development
Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
2016, number: 2016:08
ISBN: 978-91-576-8518-6, eISBN: 978-91-576-8519-3
Publisher: School for Forest Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences