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Browsing by Author "Hytönen, Outi"

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  • Hytönen, Outi (2013)
    This thesis deals with public opinion of the decision making concerning forest policy in Finland. The data used was part of a nationwide mail survey examining the perceptions of the legitimacy of forest policy and its predictors in Finland. The data comprised of the answers to the question “What would you like to focus on in the decision making concerning forest use?”. The answers were analysed using inductive content analysis. The topics from the data were categorised under four themes: values, political decision-making, actors and practises. Based on the answers forests are regarded as multifunctional and the different value conceptions are equally respected. However, the existing value conflict between economic and ecological values was evident. The forest policy cannot be legitimised only on the basis of economic use of the forest resources. The biodiversity, nature protection and the recreational benefits of the forests must also be taken into account according the citizens. The results were analysed in the light of the goals and procedures set in the main documents of the Finnish forest policy. The aim was to compare the similarities and differences between current forest policy and citizens’ perspectives, and to find out if one can make any judgements about the acceptability and legitimacy of the forest policy. In general, citizens know what is included in forest policy decisionmaking, and the opinions are consistent with current policy. Certain forestry actions and forest owners’ decision-making power are the main points of conflict. Clear cuttings and especially the objection of them was the most essential topic in the data. This is against the prevailing forestry practises, since clear cuttings are the most used method in final felling. Citizens suggest alternative forestry practises like thinning and uneven-age management to be used in the felling of timber. According to the results concerning political decision making the main conflict arises from forest owners’ participation possibilities and the distribution of power. The procedural justice of the forest policy is not fully justified and legitimate, since citizens feel forest owners have too little decision-making power on their own forest property.