Understanding risk in forest ecosystem services: implications for effective risk management, communication and planning

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Uncertainty, insufficient information or information of poor quality, limited cognitive
capacity and time, along with value conflicts and ethical considerations, are all aspects that
make risk management and risk communication difficult. This paper provides a review of different risk concepts and describes how these influence risk management, communication, and planning in relation to forest ecosystem services. Based on the review and results of empirical studies, we suggest that personal assessment of risk is decisive for in the management of forest ecosystem services. The results are used together with a review of different principles of the distribution of risk to propose an approach to risk communication that is effective as well as ethically sound. Knowledge of heuristics and mutual information on both beliefs and desires are important in the proposed risk communication approach. Such knowledge provides an opportunity for relevant information exchange, so that gaps in personal knowledge maps can be filled in and effective risk communication can be promoted.


External organisations
  • Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Alnarp
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Forest Science
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-228
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The research by JP, AW, and NV was funded by a Linnaeus grant to LUCID, Lund University Centre of Excellence for Integration of Social and Natural Dimensions of Sustainability”, FORMAS, 2008-2018.

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