Participation and societal values: the challenge for lawmakers and policy practitioners

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Participation is about finding consensus in diversity and reflects a normative shift towards multiple-use values that recognise that forest management should blend multiple management objectives into a coherent set of practices. A framework to incorporate interest groups' values and needs into functional forest management systems has yet to be institutionalised in contemporary forest policy and management. Participation is not just a means but also a model for involving those concerned. It should be understood as a pro-active approach for creating an enhanced understanding of objectives, problems and their solution. Optimally any participative process will help to create more informed operative decisions, and thus provide a more solid base for policy outputs, increasing the chance of reaching 'sustainable' decisions that consider long-term effects. The analytical framework of this paper draws on theoretical traditions within the sociology of law and legal theory, and analyses some recent national legislation and international law with respect to participation. It proposes a set of guidelines that aim to facilitate participation (as opposed to merely pro forma consultation) with particular reference to the formulation and implementation of National Forest Programmes (NFPs). (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-290
JournalForest Policy and Economics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Law and Society

Free keywords

  • Aarhus Convention
  • public participation
  • environmental decision-making
  • value pluralism
  • legitimacy


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