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Role of non-wood forest products for local livelihoods in countries with transition and market economies: case studies in Ukraine and Sweden

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The role of non-wood forest products (NWFPs) in local economies differ in time and space. We analysed Ukrainian and Swedish national policies and management rules related to the use of NWFPs, and described how different forest stakeholders utilised NWFPs in rural areas in Ukraine and Sweden. In total we interviewed 114 local forest stakeholders in one rural region's settlements in both countries. The topics for the field study were (1) the reasons and amounts of NWFPs harvested by different forest user categories; (2) traditional practices of NWFP use, including harvesting methods and (3) how these practices have changed over the past decades. At the national level, both countries allowed the utilisation of most NWFPs, did not regulate the use, and did not include NWFPs into forest management plans. In both case studies, historical use of NWFPs was intensive. This use remained important in Ukraine, but not in Sweden. Due to difficult economic transition in Ukraine, use of NWFPs by locals has increased. While hunting as a tradition was more popular in the Swedish case study, recreational use of forest was popular in both case studies. Finally, we discuss the role of NWFPs in countries with transition and market economies, and the extent to which the countries support sustainable use of NWFPs.
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Keywords: Roztochya; Småland; rural development; sustainable forest management; sustainable use

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Forestry Faculty,Ukrainian National Forestry University, Lviv, Ukraine 2: Faculty of Forest Sciences, School for Forest Management,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Skinnskatteberg, Sweden

Publication date: 2012-01-01

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