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Values, Fairness and Legitimacy

In the Context of Finnish Forest and Nature Conservation Policy

Valkeapää Annukka

What should be done with forests, should they be logged or conserved? The aims of Finnish forest policy have been questioned by various stakeholder groups, including environmentalists, reindeer herders, and even forest owners. In any situation involving many interests, conflict is inevitable. However, conflicts serve vital democratic functions; without them, progress rarely occurs. This dissertation research focuses on the values, fairness, and legitimacy of forest-related decision-making in Finland and brings out citizen values and opinions on the issue. An examination of forest values held by citizens, Ministers of Parliament (MPs) and forest professionals revealed that citizens emphasized biodiversity conservation value more than economic value, while these values were almost equal in importance for MPs, and economic value was the most emphasized among forest professionals. The speed of decision-making is suggested as one principle that people use when evaluating the fairness of a decision-making process. The legitimacy was evaluated as rather positive. However, the main antecedent, procedural justice was evaluated negatively. Also the main forestry practice in the country, clearcutting, was generally met with disapproval. Following the results of this dissertation research, a more equal consideration of various groups’ viewpoints as well as a wider perspective on the benefits of forests, such as health and recreational ones, would help build trust in the sector and, further, attract experts of various fields. Given the difficulties currently being faced by the sector, such new perspectives would inspire fresh ideas and solutions.

Kirja

22 €

  • Julkaisija Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta (Helsingin yliopisto)
    Julkaisuvuosi 2014
    Sivumäärä 180
    Kieli Englanti
    Sarjat Publications of the Department of Political and Economic Studies
    Ulkoasu B5,pehmeäkantinen
    ISBN 9789521091414
    ISSN 1798-9140