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  A STUDY OF STAKEHOLDERS’ PERSPECTIVES ON MULTI-FUNCTIONAL FORESTS IN EUROPE MARIA NIJNIK 1 *, ALBERT NIJNIK 2 , LARS LUNDIN 3 , TOMASZ STASZEWSKI 4  AND CARMEN POSTOLACHE 5 1 Socio-Economic Research Group, The Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, Craigiebuckler,  Aberdeen, AB15 8QH, United Kingdom 2  Environmental Network Limited, United Kingdom 3 Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Environmental Assessment, Uppsala, Sweden 4  Integrated Monitoring Department, Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas. Katowice, Poland 5 University of Bucharest, Romania ABSTRACT This paper explores major opportunities and challenges of the development of multi-functional forestry in Europe by analysing existing attitudes of forestry stakeholders from Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Sweden and the UK. The research applies a combination of qualitative social science (participatory) approaches and quantitative tools as a means for understanding of a sensitive system of interactions between manifold socio-economic and nature protection activities in European forests that are managed for multiple purposes. Heterogeneity of attitudes of forestry stakeholders, concerning wood production, biodiversity conservation and provision of other ecosystem services, as well as of practical issues and benefits of multi-functional forestry to local communities are analysed by using the Q-methodology. Stakeholders’ perspectives regarding multi-functional forests and their sustainable management are identified through characterization of attitudinal groups and discursive analysis. Key factors influencing the attitudinal diversity are examined. Research outputs reveal the diversity of existing perspectives, together with stakeholder’s overall realisation of multi-functional forestry and their general support of sustainable forest management. Key words :   Forests, ecosystem services,   biodiversity, forest management systems, stakeholder evaluation, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Sweden, the United Kingdom INTRODUCTION The start of the discussions about multi-functionality in forestry, and how to manage forest for multiple purposes goes back to the 1940s, but still remains a hot topic. An important question applies whether forest multi-functionality should be considered in the vertical   sense, with each lot of land or forest stand fulfilling two or more functions, or it should be used to describe a pattern of diversity in the  horizontal sense where different areas are dedicated to different functions, with set aside land or natural reserves concentrated on biodiversity •Corresponding author: phone: +44 (0)1224 395305; fax: +44 (0)1224 395036; email:  Forests, Trees and Livelihoods , 2010, Vol. 19, pp. 341–358© 2010 A B Academic Publishers—Printed in Great Britain  342 NIJNIK  ET AL . conservation. Dana (1943) implied a vertical interpretation of multi-functionalism, while Pearson’s (1944: 248) view was clearly horizontal: “effective multiple use is merely organized and coordinated specialization”. The vertical vision of multi-functionality seemed to be dominant in the last part of the 20th century, while the horizontal interpretation also has its advocates (Vincent and Binkley 1993, Sedjo 2004). Bowes and Krutilla   (1989), for example, argue that forest is capable of producing successfully a long list of desired outputs, many of which are complementary in production. In contrast, Sedjo (2004) puts forward the role for specialization in multi-functional forest management.We argue that whether forest multi-functionality is to be considered in its vertical or horizontal sense depends on the case study, the scale of observation and on the issue in question, where heterogeneity in actors’ capabilities, preferences, information and beliefs plays important role (Keohahne and Ostrom 1995). In the current paper, managed forests rather than natural protected areas are examined, and multi-functionality is considered in the vertical sense, when it is seen as an economic concept capturing multiple processes and activities taking place in forests. Forests are multi-functional by nature (Kaljonen et al . 2007). However, nowadays, the major objective of forestry in Europe is shifting from its material (commodity) production towards the provision of multiple ecosystem services, those of production, protection, social (including cultural), regulatory and supportive, including of climate change mitigation (Nijnik and Mather 2006). Since recently, the relative societal weight of forestry and its contribution to livelihood have changed. There is an increasing interest in ecosystem management, small scale forestry and adaptive forest management (Folke et al . 2003, EC 2006, Nijnik et al . 2009). Forestry policy actors, uses and activities have changed too. The shift of European forestry towards multi-functionality is reflected in policies. Its existence is backed up by institutional analysis (Nijnik and Mather   2006), and by public opinion surveys, and it is expressed in real terms on the ground (Mather et al . 2006). Currently, multi-functionality in forestry is addressed in many research projects in Central Europe, where it is seen as a land use strategy capable to meet increasing private and public demands in modern societies (Schmithusen 2007). It has become a political concept, particularly as Natura 2000 promoted an integrated approach towards management of European forests for multiple purposes (Kaljonen et al . 2007). The European Union has taken an active role in bringing together multiple environmental and development considerations into its forest policy (Brouwer et al . 2002). The criteria and indicators for Sustainable Forest Management (MCPFE 2002) are an example of formalization of spatial integration of multiple forest functions. The reform of Common Agricultural Policy also demonstrates an increased priority for the delivering of multiple objectives from forest management. Multi-functional forestry is now “institutionalized” in policies in many countries where forest legislation rests on the principle of integrated management of multiple forest benefits (Kaljonen et al . 2007).    A STUDY OF STAKEHOLDERS' PERSPECTIVES 343 EXPLAINING STAKEHOLDER PARTICIPATION IN FORESTRY THROUGH ITS MULTI-FUNCTIONALITY The key elements of multi-functional land use systems are: (i) existence of multiple commodity and non-commodity outputs that are jointly produced, and (ii) that some of the non-commodity outputs show evidence of externalities (e.g. public goods) with the markets for them not functioning, or functioning poorly (UN 2002, van Huylenbroeck et al . 2007). These two points are considered important for understanding the processes being observed in managed forests across Europe.On the one hand, it is understandable that   in multi-functional forests   (i) joint  production of multiple benefits  may result in conflicts of end-user interests. This is because forestry stakeholders include governments, land-owners and users, local communities, and various organisations, groups and individuals – the interests of which are often different. To address the complexity, and to avoid and/or resolve possible conflicts pertaining to (supply) provision and (demand) consumption of multiple ecosystem services the end-users have to collaborate and get involved more actively in the decision-making processes. Forest multi- functionality, therefore, leads to co-ordinated actions and to the development of new forms of governance which are based on collective actions when stakeholders act together  . The need for participative management of multiple ecosystem services, and the need for vertical and horizontal (i.e. cross-sectoral) co-operation (Kaljonen et al . 2007) arise precisely from dealing simultaneously with multiple objectives and multiple forest benefits, uses and users. The development of institutional capabilities (of common values and norms, i.e. of informal rules, as well as of formal rules, arrangements and competences) necessary for attaining a more sustainable multi-functional forestry requires an enhanced stakeholder engagement. There is a growing necessity to translate multi-functional sustainable forestry objectives to local level resource management practices, and this also leads to closer integration of traditional forestry (i.e. aiming at timber production) with other land use systems (for example, with agri-forestry and/or outdoor recreation) within the forest land, leading to spatial (e.g. inter-sectoral) integration e.g. at a landscape level. On the other hand, according to the OECD definition, (ii)    non-commodity  outputs of multi-functional land use are usually    public goods  (UN 2002, van Huylenbroeck et al . 2007) which are increasingly perceived as no less important than commodity production. However, manifold externalities affect the use of intrinsic components of forests, whose properties of non-rivalry and non-excludability cause market failures (Slangen 2000). Therefore, when traditional forestry (used primarily for timber) declines, and multi-functional forestry develops, the role of governance structures, others than markets increases . Good governance (Shleifer and Vishny 1998) that brings  public order (government) with an increasing stakeholder involvement in the decision-making process to control the tenure, management, production and consumption (use) of multiple public goods is becoming influential.  344 NIJNIK  ET AL . The demand and supply of marketable forest commodities can be analysed by economic models and passed on to consumers through markets. Social expectations, public preferences and the needs in ecosystem services (public goods) require new valuation methods, especially non-monetary ones . The literature provides strong arguments that preferences for the social states of public goods can be determined through non-market-oriented stated preferences or through preferences that are revealed through mechanisms, other than the market (Kearney et al . 1999, Kant and Lee 2004). These methods merit further exploration, and stakeholder evaluation of multi-functional forests in Europe presented in this paper elaborates the Q-methodology approach. A METHOD OF STAKEHOLDER EVALUATION The methodology is explained at the Q web page:  with a tutorial available at (see also Brown (1996 and 1998). It is applied in ecological and natural resource economics and management, for example, by Barry and Proops (1999), Steelman and Maguire (1999), Hooker (2001), Clarke (2002), Swedeen (2006), Vogel and Lowham (2007), Nijnik and Mather (2008) and Nijnik et al.  (2008). In the current paper, the Q-method is used to analyse attitudes of forestry stakeholders from five countries, representing the diversity of natural and socio-economic conditions of forestry development across Europe. Nature protected areas in Europe are currently fairly well monitored. However, research on forests that are managed for provision of multiple ecosystem services and where multi-functionality is considered in the vertical sense is relatively scarce. The long-lasting experience is observed primarily in Central Europe (Schmithusen 2007), whereas this issue is of increasing attention and importance for Europe as a whole. In this paper, stakeholder evaluation of interactions between forestry, farming and recreation activities, with the development of infrastructure, and entertainment and leisure facilities in woodlands, are addressed. Stakeholders sometimes are deemed to be any person, group or institution that has an interest including all those affected by an issue, whether or not they care, or even know, about it (UKODA 1995, Petts and Leach 2000). However, given a tendency of some people not to participate, Munda (2004) argues that the stakeholder concept entails the notion of actors to refer to direct participants. We share this vision, and see the main objective of participation in improving and facilitating the decision-making process. Socio-economic and ecological aspects of sustainable resource management in multi-functional forests analysed in this study can be grouped into: (i) matters which the respondents consider to be of major importance for multi-functional forest use, and major trade-offs that they foresee;    A STUDY OF STAKEHOLDERS' PERSPECTIVES 345 (ii) trade-offs between biodiversity and socio-economic forest benefits, especially of timber production (including establishment of wood fuel plantations); (iii) issues characterising the shift in biodiversity conservation strategy in Europe from the ‘save from harm’ approach (White et al. 2005)   towards the concept of sustainable provision of multiple ecosystem services. Analytical Approach: the Use of Q-Methodology The approach combines qualitative and quantitative tools for examining human subjectivity towards the issue under consideration (Stephenson 1963, Brown 1998). It allows researchers to reveal and assess attitudes and preferences from the standpoint of persons being observed (McKeown and Thomas 1988). Analysis of the diversity of opinions, for example concerning biodiversity conservation in forest management systems (FMS), starts with the consultation with stakeholders. Then, the Q-analysis of the survey results defines the typologies of views that prevail in this particular situation. The Q-method allows for a rather simple data set, as most of the data derives from how much information is implicit in each participant’s Q sort (Barry and Proops 1999).The basic procedure behind the Q-methodology technique is as follows: each Q-sort, i.e. the formal model of each person’s understanding of the points of view at issue is correlated with every other Q-sort, and their inter-correlation matrix is factor analyzed. The correlation summarizes the views among the participants, and factor analysis creates a few new uncorrelated choice variables – a set of factors, i.e. typical Q-sorts (groups of attitudes) – that capture the common essence of the several individual Q-sorts. These resulting factors represent the points of view in question – the beliefs respondents have, allowing, through a discourse analysis that follows, an explanation of possible reasons of why people have these beliefs (Brown 1996). Approaches based on Q-methodology offer insights into stakeholder preferences and assist in identification of important criteria of end-user perspectives. The technique also provides explanation of the factors influencing attitudinal diversity. This is done through the analysis of the socio-economic background of respondents and of their responses to the statements. The statements were designed through concourse analysis and in line with the research objectives. “Concourse” (“concursus” in Latin) meaning “a running together”, is the full breadth of social discussions and discourses, surrounding the particular issue under study, e.g. forest multi-functionality, as in our case. A concourse can be derived from interviews or written narratives and can be comprised of different discourses and media, encompassing things spoken and written (Stephenson 1978, Davies et al . 2005). Relevant literature sources form the basis of statements design. The statements were pre-tested with experts from the AlterNet (i.e. “A Long-Term Biodiversity, Ecosystem and Awareness Research Network” funded
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