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Factors influencing Norwegian small-scale private forest owners’ ability to meet the political goals

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Norwegian forest policy has high-level, complex objectives for the products and benefits from the forest, including increased contribution to the climate, preservation of biodiversity, and creation of economic values. In Norway, it is first and foremost small-scale private forest owners who have to deliver on these expanded goals. The article reveals owners’ lack of forestry competence, and elaborates on the role of forestry employees (advisers) in owners’ decision-making processes, be it forestry-competent owners or not. There is, however, a decreased number of advisers in the private and public forest services, implying that forest owners are atomised in the meaning of being alone. This type of individualization and an increasing lack of forestry competence among forest owners are a contradiction. The mismatch is serious for the government and the forestry business because it probably hampers the fulfilment of the political objectives. The article presents six options for meeting the obstacles to goal fulfilment. The article is based on two research projects from the counties of Tr√łndelag and Hedmark. Data were collected between 2002 and 2007 and include survey, focus group interviews, in-depth interviews, fieldwork and document analysis.

Keywords: Forestry competence; NIPF owners; Norway; individualization

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Centre for Rural Research,University Centre Dragvoll, Trondheim, Norway

Publication date: August 1, 2011

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