Challenges of municipal greening and multifunctional forest management: The case of Finland

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Abstract

The structure of the Finnish forest sector is in transition due to institutional, social and market-driven factors. While non-industrial private forest owners have been researched extensively, the pressures faced by public forest owners have been left relatively unexplored. Our study is a part of a broader research programme attempting to form new understanding concerning the municipal forest owners in Finland. Our research questions were: (1) how are municipal forests divided into different usage categories, (2) how is their current usage expected to change in the future, (3) what various preferences exist among municipal decision-makers concerning the use of municipal forests, (4) what various aims might the different decision-making preferences represent (both conflicting and complementing), (5) do municipal decision-makers representing different types of municipal backgrounds elicit differences in the way they orientate themselves towards forest usage? Survey data were collected during 2011–2012 using a web-based questionnaire sent to all continental municipalities in Finland. Responses were received from 139 municipalities (a response rate of 43%). Based on the survey, there is need for multifunctional municipal forest management. However, service markets seem to mostly support commercial forest usage. Besides timber production, a four-dimensional structure describing decision-making in municipal forest management was linked with (a) nonwood economic values of forests, (b) health effects of forests, (c) image of the municipality and (d) carbon neutrality goals.
Original languageEnglish
JournalUrban Forestry & Urban Greening
Volume14
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)982-990
Number of pages9
ISSN1618-8667
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 4112 Forestry

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