بررسی پذیرش اجتماعی برای سیاست های مدیریت جنگل های عمومی به عنوان تابعی از عوامل اجتماعی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|19433||2012||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Forest Policy and Economics, , Volume 14, Issue 1, January 2012, Pages 148-155
Several policy instruments have been proposed in order to minimize the negative impacts of local communities' activities on forests. The present paper presents an empirical survey conducted in a Greek forest area on the island of Lesvos, focusing on citizens' perceptions of alternative management scenarios along with the role of social factors on these perceptions. Our results demonstrate that citizens are supportive of policies which are not solely state-based. Furthermore, higher levels of local social capital are positively correlated with citizens' perceptions in favor of proposed co-management policies.
Several policy instruments have been proposed in order to minimize the negative impacts of local communities' activities on forests (van Gossum et al., 2009 and Weiss, 2000). Traditionally, forest management is conducted through governmental regulations determining the activities that can take place in forest areas (Blouch, 2010, Chowdhury and Koike, 2010 and van Gossum et al., 2009). However, the implementation of regulations is not considered sufficient for the sustainable management of forests (Chowdhury & Koike, 2010). Economic-based instruments, initiated mainly from governmental actors (Weiss, 2000), are alternative measures that have been applied both in public and private forests. Indicative examples are funding mechanisms and subsidies (Weiss, 2000), financial incentives and taxes (Barua et al., 2010, Fortney et al., 2011 and Fortney and Arano, 2010). Recent developments identify the need to apply new and softer policy instruments in order to achieve the environmental protection of forests, local economic development and minimization of social conflicts (Chowdhury and Koike, 2010, Matose, 2006, Misra and Kant, 2004, Nayak and Berkes, 2008, Nuggehalli and Prokopy, 2009 and Sandstrom and Widmark, 2007). In this context, different types of co-management frameworks have been applied promoting the cooperation of state institutions with non-governmental actors and citizens (Robson & Kant, 2007a). Irrespective of the policy instrument applied a significant parameter which should be taken into consideration prior to policy implementation is the level of social acceptability present among local communities and actors involved in management processes (van Gossum et al., 2009). Especially in the case of co-management policies, acceptability is linked with the level of citizens' and actors' participation, which is a significant prerequisite for the successful implementation of such initiatives (Jones, 2010a and Jumbe and Angelsen, 2007). According to the relevant literature, several factors influence community reaction to a proposed policy such as the level of awareness and concern for forests (Baranzini et al., 2010). Furthermore, the proximity to the forest, the changes imposed from a proposed management policy (Blouch, 2010) and the benefits which accompany it, both at the individual and collective level, influence citizens' perceptions of a proposed policy and their level of participation (Jumbe and Angelsen, 2007 and Nuggehalli and Prokopy, 2009). In addition, demographic characteristics, such as income, education and age are also regarded as important influential factors (Baranzini et al., 2010 and Fortney et al., 2011). Apart from the above factors, social capital has been recently recognized as an important parameter in environmental policy literature (Becker et al., 2005, Behera, 2009, Gough et al., 2008 and Pretty, 2003) and can explain citizens' perceptions of forest policies. In the present paper, social capital will be defined as a combination of cognitive and structural elements, focusing mainly on social trust, institutional trust and social networks (Putnam, 2000). It is expected that communities with higher levels of social capital will be more positive towards forest management policies and also more willing to participate in co-management projects (Jones, 2010a, Jumbe and Angelsen, 2007 and Pretty, 2003). Regarding institutional trust, several actors are involved in the management of forests, both governmental and non-governmental (Meidinger, 2011). Citizens' perceptions and participation in the context of proposed forest policies are determined by the level of trust of the entities with which they have to collaborate (Gong et al., 2010). In addition, in circumstances where institutions responsible for control actions act ineffectively, illegal activities increase concerning access to the forest from the public and uses of the natural resource (Iftekhar and Takama, 2008 and Nayak and Berkes, 2008). As a consequence, the level of trust of institutions significantly influences the level of acceptance of a proposed policy and the relevant behavior of citizens (Jones et al., 2011). Furthermore, development of trust between different actors is essential (Sandstrom & Widmark, 2007) in order to minimize costs of cooperation (Ostrom, 2000) especially during the implementation of participatory management policies (Robson & Kant, 2007b). The level of trust between individuals is equally important. Social trust may be divided in two main categories: generalized and particularized trust (Uslaner & Conley, 2003). The former refers to trust of other people in general whereas the latter explores the level of trust of specific social groups. Social trust has been positively linked to environmental behavior (Jones et al., 2011 and Pretty, 2003) and citizens' reaction towards proposed policies (Jones, 2010a). In communities with high levels of social trust, citizens consider that their fellow residents will support the common good in the context of a proposed policy for the sustainable management of a forest (Pretty, 2003 and Van Laerhoven, 2010). Thus, in order for high levels of social acceptability to be present, it is important that a sense of collectivity exists between individuals (Ostrom, 1990). Finally, social networks are also a significant component of social capital (Coleman, 1990) and have been linked to sustainable forest management (Behera, 2009). Social networks refer to the development of organized (formal networks) and non-organized (informal networks) collectivities in a community along with the level of participation of individuals and actors in these networks (Putnam, 2000). Social networks are responsible for the promotion of information concerning activities of environmental management in a community and the actors responsible for these activities (Jones, 2010b and Nuggehalli and Prokopy, 2009), the level of citizens' participation in co-management frameworks (Djamhuri, 2008) and also the level of environmental awareness and responsible environmental behavior (Cramb, 2005 and Jones et al., 2011). Consequently, social capital is an important social factor which should be taken into consideration during the planning of forest policies. The present paper presents an empirical survey conducted in a Greek forest area. In Greece, the majority of forest land is state owned (Papachristou et al., 2009 and Siry et al., 2005). Furthermore, decision-making processes and policy implementation are conducted by state actors (Kalabokidis et al., 2008 and Kassioumis et al., 2004). Some exceptions may be found in the case of forests included in national parks where new management actors have been created consisting of representatives from governmental and non-governmental entities (Papageorgiou & Vogiatzakis, 2006; www.ypeka.gr). Despite these changes, substantial improvements to national forest management are necessary due to the continuing natural and human pressures on Greek forests (Iliadis et al., 2002, Kalabokidis et al., 2008 and Papachristou et al., 2009) and the need to shift to more sustainable forest management practices. In this context, the empirical survey had two main objectives: (i) to explore the potential of shifting to more participatory management frameworks and (ii) to investigate the role of social factors on citizens' perceptions of forest management issues. Specifically, the empirical survey was conducted in the forest of Megali Limni, situated on the island of Lesvos, through the distribution of a questionnaire focusing on: (i) the investigation of environmental awareness and environmental behavior of individuals connected with their nearby forest, (ii) the exploration of opinions of the local community on three alternative management scenarios and (iii) the investigation of the influence of social factor, emphasizing on social capital elements, on citizens' perceptions for the proposed scenarios.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The level of citizens' participation in forest management schemes in Greece remains significantly low. Currently, there are no policy initiatives allowing or promoting the participation of citizens in decision-making processes. The present study highlights the fact that citizens are supportive of policies which are not solely state-based. Specifically, in the community of Agiasos, citizens are willing to collaborate with local institutions in order to achieve the sustainable management of the forest surrounding their community. Furthermore, according to the results of the study, the level of social capital in the area is relatively high and is positively connected with citizens' perceptions towards proposed co-management policies. Specifically, high levels of social trust among the locals indicate the tendency of citizens to trust each other regarding the use of common-pool resources. Similarly, the high level of trust in local institutions reveals a more positive attitude concerning their effectiveness when managing natural resources and the possibility of developing strong collaborations with them. These findings underline the fact that local community perceptions and the level of local social capital should be taken into consideration during decision-making processes. However, in order to design effective forest management frameworks further research should be conducted focusing on the perceptions of all stakeholders including state and local authorities involved in policy-making procedures and all forest users.