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Multi-stakeholder collaboration in Russian and Swedish model forest initiatives : adaptive governance toward sustainable forest management?

Elbakidze, Marine and Angelstam, Per and Sandström, Camilla and Axelsson, Robert (2010). Multi-stakeholder collaboration in Russian and Swedish model forest initiatives : adaptive governance toward sustainable forest management? Ecology and society. 15:2, 1-20
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Official URL: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol15/iss2/art14/

Abstract

Building the adaptive capacity of interlinked social and ecological systems is assumed to
improve implementation of sustainable forest management (SFM) policies. One mechanism is collaborative
learning by continuous evaluation, communication, and transdisciplinary knowledge production. The
Model Forest (MF) concept, developed in Canada, is intended to encourage all dimensions of sustainable
development through collaboration among stakeholders of forest resources in a geographical area. Because
the MF approach encompasses both social and ecological systems, it can be seen as a process aimed at
improving adaptive capacity to deal with uncertainty and change. We analyzed multi-stakeholder
approaches used in four MF initiatives representing social–ecological systems with different governance
legacies and economic histories in the northwest of the Russian Federation (Komi MF and Pskov MF) and
in Sweden (Vilhelmina MF and the Foundation Säfsen Forests in the Bergslagen region). To describe the
motivations behind development of the initiative and the governance systems, we used qualitative openended
interviews and analyzed reports and official documents. The initial driving forces for establishing
new local governance arrangements were different in all four cases. All MFs were characterized by multilevel
and multi-sector collaboration. However, the distribution of power among stakeholders ranged from
clearly top down in the Russian Federation to largely bottom up in Sweden. All MF initiatives shared three
main challenges: (a) to develop governance arrangements that include representative actors and
stakeholders, (b) to combine top-down and bottom-up approaches to governance, and (c) to coordinate
different sectors’ modes of landscape governance. We conclude that, in principle, the MF concept is a
promising approach to multi-stakeholder collaboration. However, to understand the local and regional
dimensions of sustainability, and the level of adaptability of such multi-stakeholder collaboration initiatives,
empirical studies of outcomes are needed. To assess the adaptive capacity, the states and trends of economic,
ecological, social, and cultural dimensions in actual landscapes need to be linked to how the multistakeholder
collaboration develops and performs over the long term.

Authors/Creators:Elbakidze, Marine and Angelstam, Per and Sandström, Camilla and Axelsson, Robert
Title:Multi-stakeholder collaboration in Russian and Swedish model forest initiatives : adaptive governance toward sustainable forest management?
Series/Journal:Ecology and society (10381665)
Year of publishing :2010
Volume:15
Number:2
Page range:1-20
Publisher:Resilience Alliance
ISSN:1038-1665
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Refereed:Yes
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 5 Social Sciences > 506 Political Science > Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Keywords:boreal forest, multi-level collaboration, sustainable development
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-259
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-259
ID Code:8430
Department:(S)
External funders:FORMAS and Marcus och Amalia Wallenbergs minnesfond and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and Swedish Institute
Deposited By: Marine Elbakidze
Deposited On:17 Nov 2011 12:29
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:47

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