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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Forest social values: the case of Dalasjö, Sweden

Lidestav, Gun; Bergsten, Sabina; Keskitalo, E. Carina H.; Linck, Lisa

Abstract

Forest social values has been put forward as an umbrella term for a new and less material relationship between people and the forested landscape, a relationship that more recently has become a policy issue. In this case study we explore how forest-related values are conceptualised in the case of Dalasjo, in Vilhelmina, Sweden, where a recent process involving determining protection for social values took place in relation to, and simultaneous with, governmental considerations regarding the application of a social values concept. By means of focus group and key informant interviews, the study demonstrates that forest social values are not only about forest per se, or even the physical and user values per se. Further, the diverse but still general understanding of forest social values on a policy level is demonstrated. This stands in contrast to the specific and place-based understanding of the local community, emanating from both individual and collective experiences. Thus, it is concluded that a policy use of social values terms, which may be difficult to identify from the outside, makes the definition of values in specific land use conflicts more complex rather than offering a possibility to immediately provide clear basis for planning tools.

Keywords

Focus group interviews; place; policy processes

Published in

Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research
2020, Volume: 35, number: 3-4, pages: 177-185
Publisher: TAYLOR & FRANCIS AS