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Relative influence of contextual factors on deliberation and development of cooperation in community-based forest management in Ontario, Canada

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Co-management of forests has been reported from more than fifty countries and stakeholder advisory committees have become central to forest planning in Canada. Scientists tend to agree that local users are capable of self-organising to manage resources more effectively than state agencies alone, whether jointly with governments or with considerable autonomy. Little, however, is known about how the network of contextual influences helps, hinders, or overrides the deliberation that facilitates the development of cooperation critical for co-management success. The objectives of the paper are to identify the relative influence of contextual factors, participants’ sense of control over contextual factors, and effects on performance. In a comparative case study of two stakeholder advisory committees in Ontario, Canada, the objectives are addressed by identifying and analysing advisory committee thinking about consensus building using network analysis of group cognitive maps. The paper concludes with three lessons regarding how the mix of hierarchical, market, and community institutions that influence community-based deliberation can be coordinated for effective forest management.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2014

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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