About SSFE

Forest Policy Workshop of the Scandinavian Society of Forest Economics (SSFE)


Venue: Lapland Hotel Riekonlinna, Saariselkä, Finland, 14.8.2007



In alphabethical order, with presenters emphasized:

Bengston, David, N., ( USDA Forest Service, NRS)

Hokajärvi, Raili  [   2  ] (OAMK, Oulu)

Holmgren, Lina (SLU, Umeå)

Hujala, Teppo  [  2  ]  [  3 ] (U.Helsinki)

Hyytiäinen, Kari (Metla, Helsinki)

Ingemarson, Fredrik (SLU, Uppsala)

Kaimre, Paavo (EMÜ, Tartu)

Kainulainen, Tuomo (Metla, Joensuu)

Koskela, Terhi (Metla, Helsinki)

Kuuluvainen, Jari (U.Helsinki)

Leppänen, Jussi (Metla, Helsinki)

Leskinen, Leena, A. (U.Joensuu)

Leskinen, Pekka (Metla, Joensuu)

Lidestav, Gun (SLU, Umeå)

Nylund, Jan-Erik ( SLU, Uppsala)

Ollonqvist, Pekka (Metla, Joensuu)

Pahkasalo, Tapani (Savcor Indufor Ltd)

Palo, Matti (independent researcher)

Sipilä, Maija (Metla, Helsinki)

Teder, Meelis (EMÛ, Tartu)

Tikkanen, Jukka [  2  ]  [  3  ] (Metla, Joensuu)

Tyrväinen, Liisa (Metla, Rovaniemi)

Uustalo, Hektor (EMÜ, Tartu)

Vahter, Tarmo (EMÜ, Tartu)

Virkkula, Outi (OAMK, Oulu)


A Web-Based System for Monitoring the Public Discourse about Forest Policy

David N. Bengston

Research Forester, Ph.D. Northern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, 1992 Folwell Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108 USA Email: dbengston@fs.fed.us, phone: +1-651-649-5162, fax: +1-651-649-5027; http://ncrs.fs.fed.us/people/Bengston


Traditional social science methods for analyzing public attitudes and beliefs about forest policy issues have several inherent limitations. Traditional methods such as surveys, focus groups, etc.: (1) provide only a snapshot in time rather than trends over time, (2) cannot be quickly and easily updated, (3) often produce findings long after they were needed for planning and decision making, and (4) are unable to monitor attitudes and beliefs at multiple spatial scales simultaneously (e.g., from a specific national forest or region to the entire nation).

This poster describes a prototype web-based social monitoring system that avoids these shortcomings. The system monitors the public discussion and debate about forest policy issues using computer-coded content analysis of news media stories and other textual data sources (http://ncrs.fs.fed.us/issues). News stories about forest policy issues are automatically obtained through CyberAlert.com, which searches more than 15,000 news sources daily. The news stories are then analyzed using the InfoTrend® computer content analysis method and software, and results are posted to the website on a regular basis. Information provided by this system could help natural resource management agencies monitor public attitudes and beliefs about key issues at the national as well as regional and local levels, assess the salience and geographic coverage of policy issues, and identify the underlying dimensions of issues.

Future developments will greatly increase the flexibility of this prototype tool, allowing forest planners, managers, policy makers, public affairs officers, communications officers, and other users to: (1) specify any policy or management issue to monitor, (2) specify a location to monitor (e.g., a particular national forest or region), (3) monitor multiple databases of text (e.g., news media discussion, blog discussion of issues relevant to the Forest Service, ethnic and minority news sources, public comments received by an agency, open-ended comments from surveys or focus groups, etc.), (4) identify emerging issues in the public discourse.

(A poster presentation)

Links: http://www.cyberalert.com/

Activity Theory Approach for Studying and Developing Forest Management Planning in Finland

Raili Hokajärvi¹, Teppo Hujala², Leena A. Leskinen³ & Jukka Tikkanen4

¹ Senior lecturer, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, School of renewable natural resources, Oulu, Finland, raili.hokajarvi@oamk.fi;
² Researcher, University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Resource Management, Finland, teppo.hujala@helsinki.fi;
³ Researcher, University of Joensuu, Faculty of Biosciences, Ecological Research Institute, leena.a.leskinen@joensuu.fi and Finnish Forest Research Institute, Joensuu, Finland, leena.leskinen@metla.fi;
4 Senior researcher, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Joensuu, Finland, jukka.tikkanen@metla.fi.


The status of forestry in Finland’s national economy is significant. Changes in society over time have induced the need to modify the aims of forestry management from the traditional orientation of wood-production to one of multiple objectives. We assume that a customeroriented planning service is a fruitful solution for increasing the efficiency of planning. To support the development of forest management planning our study focuses on the intertwined practices of present forest management planning and counselling related to it. Cultural-historical activity theory builds up the framework to conceptualise forest planning activities. The data consists of nineteen semi-structured in-depth interviews from professional forest planners.

A planning activity model was constructed in the study with emphasise on the contradictions inherent in it. The main tension was the contradiction located in the object of the planning work. The forest and the forest owner are both objects in the planner’s work. The planner determines the needs of the forest but (s)he also needs to counsel and motivate the owner so that the plan is realised. The contradiction was clearly seen in competition for the planner’s time.

As a conclusion directions for development are described: (1) Forest data collection, maintenance and counselling could form an entity, which is society-driven and can be called a forest informing system; and (2) Planning could be developed towards genuinely customer-oriented, consultative planning activity.

These directions are challenging forest planning research to make deeper assessments of the properties of an informing activity to be meaningful from the perspectives of the planner, the forest owner, other forestry institutions and wider society. Similarly, an essential research question is to clarify the fundamentals of genuinely customer-oriented, consultative planning. Another challenge is to fulfill the aims of the multiple objectives of forestry instead of giving priority to wood production.

(A poster presentation)

Research on the impact of gender on forest management in contemporary Swedish family forestry

Lina Holmgren

Ph.D., The Department of Forest Resource Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Skogsmarksgränd, SE-901 83 Umeå Phone +46 90 786 8371, email lina.holmgren@resgeom.slu.se


For a sustainable development, it is important to study economic activities and institutions governing them since they affect both environmental and social states. Forest land ownership is an economic activity and one crucial concept for a better understanding of forest ownership and management, is gender. In contemporary Swedish family forest ownership gender has an impact on; whether an heir has taken over the property or not, whether the forest estate is singly or jointly owned, and on the size of the property. Gender order is also expressed in terms of the work on the property. Research shows that there are differences in male and female forest owners felling activity. This induces to ask if the differences in management behaviour also are a result of the gender order.

The overall aim with this research project is to examine why female forest owners harvest less timber compared to male forest owners, testing the following hypotheses: I) The forest yield conditions are poorer on female owned holdings. II) Female forest owners have another incentive structure when it comes to felling, as a result of their inheritance position. III) Female forest owners are to a larger extent than male owners inclined to produce other forest values than industrial roundwood.

Keywords: gender, forest management, forest ownership, Sweden

(Lina Holmgren, abstract as pdf)

Bridging the gap between hard and soft approaches for decision aiding

Teppo Hujala¹, Pekka Leskinen², Tuomo Kainulainen³ and Jukka Tikkanen4

¹ Researcher, University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Resource Management, Finland, teppo.hujala@helsinki.fi
² Senior Researcher, Finnish Forest Research Institute Metla, Joensuu Research Unit, Finland, pekka.leskinen@metla.fi
³ Researcher, Finnish Forest Research Institute Metla, Joensuu Research Unit, Finland, tuomo.kainulainen@metla.fi
4 Senior Researcher, Finnish Forest Research Institute Metla, Joensuu Research Unit, Finland, jukka.tikkanen@metla.fi


Forest planning research has traditionally been concentrating on developing methods and applications for formulating optimised harvesting schedules. While multi-objective planning has caused computational procedures to become more demanding, decision aiding has been recognised as a separate topic inside forest planning research. Simultaneously, the research focus has been widened to cover both the modelling-based development of forest information systems and in-depth qualitative or experimental investigations on decision-makers' subjective perspectives. It can easily be seen that in the course of time these approaches may lose touch, since they evolve from different world views – to contrast: technocracy and phenomenology. Nonetheless, such separation is not desirable, because information systems will still be mediating the decision-making of real people. It would be enormously beneficial if we could combine hard systems (e.g. estimation of harvested yield, statistical modelling of preferences) with soft processes (e.g. cognitive economics, mental patterns of reasoning, socially reliant behaviour) in forest planning research. That means studying the social systems of forestry decision-making along with smooth calculation procedures in order to combine hard and soft decision support methods. Internationally emerging applications of mixed methods research will fruitfully facilitate these efforts. In this presentation, we will introduce some perceived challenges and methodological suggestions for conducting mixed decision support research in the context of forest planning in Finland. The case examples are eliciting private and public preferences for multi-objective planning, and facilitating regional forest program processes, i.e. intermediate-level policy-making. The results of the discussed research will fundamentally serve forest policy enhancement worldwide.

(Teppo Hujala abstract as pdf)

Presentation by Hujala

The development of forest ownership and users rights in Sweden

Jan-Erik Nylund¹ & Fredrik Ingemarson²

¹ Professor, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Products, Forest policy research group, Uppsala, Sweden, jan-erik.nylund@sh.slu.se
² Researcher, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Products, Forest policy research group, Uppsala, Sweden, fredrik.ingemarson@spm.slu.se


The forest ownership structure in Sweden today very clearly reflects the main objective of the privatisation of forest land two hundred years ago, i.e. to provide every homestead with enough forest to cover the needs for forest products. In this article the development from forest commons in the early 16th century to private ownership in the early 21st century is analysed. In pre-modern Sweden extensively used land, i.e. forest land, had no distinct owners, but was held as commons by communities. Land tenure can be seen through two complementary perspectives; dominium directum, a formal ownership right, including rights to sell, bequeath the lands, but also dominium utile, a user right, which could be customary, or well defined and upheld in court.

Three actors played central roles in the socio-political development in Sweden; the peasants, the Crown and the companies. The peasants struggled to control the ambitions of the Crown, i.e. political stability and maximal revenue. At the early 19th century when the future value of the forest became recognize industrial companies and peasants got motives of full ownership of forest land. This turbulent period with exploitation of peasant land owners, temporarily ruined forest land and corporate law infringements, finally led to the breaking of political blocks and the creation of stable institutional frameworks. The government policy had achieved its objectives. At the early 20th century the concept of exclusive forest ownership took root rapidly, once the subsistence economy had been replaced by a market economy. But the attitudes among stakeholders towards dominium directum and dominium utile have changed swiftly following the trends in society and the two perspectives have been fused. Thus future forest policy ought to take into consideration that land ownership has widely different significance to different categories of owners and that user rights consider several recognized users.

Keywords: dominium directum, dominium utile, forestry legislation, forest ownership structure, property rights, tenure

(Fredrik Ingemarson et al. abstract, pdf)

The values and attitudes of forest owners towards forest management and the use of financial support in Estonia

Paavo Kaimre¹, Tarmo Vahter²

¹ Director, Institute of Forestry and Rural Engineering, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Tartu, Estonia, paavo.kaimre@emu.ee http://mi.emu.ee/147346
² Project leader, Institute of Forestry and Rural Engineering, Department of Forest Management, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Tartu, Estonia, tarmo.vahter@emu.ee


The core principles of the forest management in Estonia during the last 15 years have been the profitability and self-sufficiency. The results of EFFE (Evaluation of the Financing of Forestry in Europe) project indicated that in 1990s the share of public financing in Estonian forestry was the lowest compared to other countries. Since the turn of the century, the situation is changing step-by-step: the number of measures, supported by public financing, has increased. The EU membership and the budget period 2007-2013 make available the financing of private forestry in rather larger extent than earlier.

The survey of private forest owners was carried out to explain the needs and ability to apply for financial support. The plans, motivation, readiness for self-financing of forest owners were asked concerning the financial measures of forest management. The respondents were 24 forest owners associations, 47 enterprises and 472 forest owners. The answers showed that first of all, forest owners will apply for the grants for reforestation, tending, first thinning, forest melioration and buying of equipment. The awareness about grants is highest among forest owners associations. In opinion of respondents, the biggest difficulties for them, when applying for the grants are bureaucracy and changing rules. As the solutions for improvement they suggest internet-based procedures, spreading of information and quicker processing of applications.

Background information concerning the private forest ownership was gathered also within survey. The main goal of the forest management is continuously timber production. The size of forest property belonging to one owner is increasing, mainly because of the privatization and market transactions.

(Paavo Kaimre abstract, pdf)

Links: EFFE: http://ec.europa.eu/research/agriculture/projects/qlrt_1999_31228_en.htm

Voluntary conservation measures in METSO Programme

Terhi Koskela

Researcher, Finnish Forest Research Institute Metla, Unioninkatu 40A, FI-00170 HELSINKI, Finland, terhi.koskela@metla.fi - http://www.metla.fi/pp/5347/index-en.htm


Forest Biodiversity Programme for Southern Finland (METSO) proposed new policy instruments based on forest owners’ willingness to undertake conservation measures on a voluntary basis. Forest owners are compensated for any economic losses they consequently incur for conservation. The new conservation measures (nature values trading, competitive tendering, co-operation network for safeguarding forest biodiversity) were tested in pilot projects.

The presentation is based on the results of the monitoring and evaluation of Forest Biodiversity Programme for Southern Finland and the results of interviews and postal survey targeted to forest owners who had participated to the pilot projects. The voluntary measures used in the METSO Programme have gained widespread acceptance. Both temporary and permanent schemes of voluntary conservation should be further developed and targeted. To gain general acceptability of forest protection, it is important to consider local social and economic impacts of protection actions. Close collaboration between forestry and environmental organisations is necessary whenever new measures are to be widely adopted. Building up co-operation networks and new cultures of voluntary action takes up time and resources. Forest owners emphasized voluntariness, property rights and sovereignty in decision-making in regard to the acceptability of a conservation contract. Forest owners considered the process of nature values trading to be more acceptable than the traditional, land acquisition-based conservation in private forests.

(Terhi Koskela, abstract as pdf)

Links: METSO - http://wwwb.mmm.fi/metso/international/

Empirical Results on Timber Supply Based on Micro Data - What Have We Learned?

Jari Kuuluvainen

Professor, Department of Forest Economics, University of Helsinki. http://www.mm.helsinki.fi/mmekn/henkilokunta/Professorit/kuuluvainen_eng.htm

Keynote presentation


Economic analysis of field afforestation and forest clearance for cultivation in Finland

Jussi Leppänen¹, Kari Hyytiäinen¹ and Tapani Pahkasalo²

¹ Researcher, Finnish Forest Research Institute Metla, Unioninkatu 40 A, FI-00170 Helsinki, Tel. +358 10 2112240, email: jussi.leppanen@metla.fi http://www.metla.fi/pp/1482/index-en.htm
² Savcor Indufor Ltd. http://www.indufor.fi/


Public policies for field afforestation and forest clearance for cultivation are analysed in the framework of Common Agricultural Policy. Net present values of arable land and forestland are computed for three alternative land uses: traditional cultivation of oats (Avena sativa L.), cultivation of reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea L.) for energy production, and production of Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst.) timber. Net present value of land is calculated for marginal hectare of a typical Finnish farm. Financial outcomes of alternative land uses are computed using statistics on yields and economic parameters. Experimental data for 38 afforested stands and distance-independent individual-tree stand growth model are used for computing net present values of land under forestry. Cultivation of energy grass gives clearly the highest economic outcome. Maintaining arable lands under traditional food production gives also higher economic outcome than afforestation except for the most successful tree plantations. Without the analysed alternative agricultural land uses, public support makes afforestation investments profitable even for the least successfully established stands. However, possibilities to continue agriculture in a reasonable scale, or alternatively to sell or rent out agricultural fields to other farms with reasonable scale benefits retain arable lands under agricultural production, and explain poor success of the latest afforestation programme. Rationality of forest clearance depends heavily on the conditions to include new field into the agricultural policy support, age and stocking of forest stand as well as on the conversion costs.

Keywords: common agricultural policy, energy grass, forest economics, incentive, individual-tree model

(Jussi Leppänen, abstract, pdf)

(A poster presentation)

Gender and inheritance in Swedish family forestry

Gun Lidestav

Associate Professor, Dept of Forest Resource Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SE-901 83 Umeå, Sweden. E-mail: gun.lidestav@srh.slu.se http://www.resgeom.slu.se/swe/personal/personsida.cfm?PersID=154


Half of the Swedish forest land can be considered as family forestry, owned by some 345 000 individuals on 190 000 different properties. Viewed as a group of owners, it has become more and more heterogeneous. However, there are still some common features based on traditional perceptions of the farm as a project that spans over generations by shared values and a strong desire to preserve family ownership in accordance to a paternal inheritance tradition. In a study of family farming in two Swedish grain-growing districts Flygare (1999) demonstrates that women rarely can inherit a farm if there is a brother/male relative. She characterizes the role of women being a transitive element between father and son. In this paper women’s inheritance positions in contemporary family forestry in Sweden is examined by using three different sources (i) a national register of all forest owners (ii) an inquiry study and (iii) narrative accounts from female forest owners. These accounts were collected by a call in two major magazines, accompanied by a list of questions. An asymmetric ownership pattern is exposed in the analysis of all three materials. Gender certainly has an impact on who, what, and how family owned forest land is transferred from one generation to another. Furthermore, the analysis of the narrative accounts shows that a minority of the women correspond to the concept transitive element, introduced by Flygare (1999). A typology with three additional concepts namely transitive agent, transformative element and transformative agent, was therefore suggested and discussed in relation to present and future management practices.

Keywords: asymmetry, female heir, inheritance positions, management practices

(Gun Lidestav, abstract, pdf)

Links: Flygare 1999: http://www.sol.slu.se/publikationer/avhandlingar.asp?nr=001#001

Integrated Rural Development Policies and New Entrepreneurship & Innovations among Forestry and Forest Based SMEs in Finland

Pekka Ollonqvist

Professor, Finnish Forest Research Institute Metla, Joensuu Unit, P.O.Box 68, FI-80101 JOENSUU, FINLAND. Tel. +358 10 211 3050, pekka.ollonqvist@metla.fi http://www.metla.fi/pp/POll/index-en.htm


The policy agenda related to regional development in general and rural development in particular in Finland, has earlier based on national top down industrialization approach and focused on strengthening the existing industrial activities and employment. The current regional and rural policy agendas have transferred towards policy activities supporting bottom up regional initials. Policies aim at a) the creation of regional infrastructures providing knowledge & technology resources available for firms planning innovation projects and b) strengthening those embedded knowledge and other resource infrastructures aimed to supply services, eg. knowledge intensive business services, for rural enterprises and potential new entrepreneurship. The policy transfer is a part of the general policy agenda formation in EU countries trying to strengthen cross sectoral policy coordination when rural development and entrepreneurship are concerned.

The Networked Centre of Expertise for Wood Products (PuuOske) and parallel Wood Finland Developer Expertise Network (PuuSuomi) during 1999-2006 provided knowledge resources for the business development of wood product SMEs and their networking activities. The two institutions of expertise constituted a coordinated system with the regional network of Employment and Enterprise Development Centres. The latter organisations provide financial support to business development in general and new entrepreneurship in particular what concerns financial and employment resources. This system provided a) new ways to accomplish key resources for the business development based on value chain networks among SMEs in wood based value chains and b) ways to utilize rural potentials with cumulated embedded business infrastructures.

The knowledge resource supply for wood product industry SMEs and the corresponding value chains has been separated into three different Centre of Expertise Programs for 2007- 2013. The new institutional arrangement is here compared with the prior structure and the potential challenges for the future efficient supply of those knowledge resources are discussed.

(Pekka Ollonqvist abstract, pdf)

Links: PuuOske http://www.puusuomi.com/index.php?anonymous=ptaokeng
PuuSuomi: http://www.puusuomi.com/index.php?anonymous=Puusuomieng&vr=592

Coevolution of forestry and society in Finland: A transition to industrial forestry

Matti Palo

Independent Scientist, Tel. +358 40 509 4496 / +358 9 554 237


Finland is the second largest net exporter of forest products in the world, but has the highest forest cover in Europe. How is this paradox possible? The purpose of this paper is to investigate the coevolution of the Finnish forestry and society with the de jure and de facto transitions from preindustrial to industrial forestry since the 14th century until the 1950s. Finland had this change during the first half of the twentieth century based on the transitions to de facto and de jure sustained yield of timber, and on the excess of the industrial use to the non-industrial use of timber. Unexpectedly, de facto transition took place a few decades prior to de jure transition. Therefore, it was infered, that the Grand Land Reform (Isojako) and the increasing forestry incomes and the real value of forests were the major factors causing this transition and not any specific forest policy. Wars, imports of technology and know-how and various other foreign impacts and scientific paradigms have also played a role in the transition to industrial forestry in Finland. The wars have promoted privatization of forests and increased demands for forest products. Private property rights are theoretically most efficient for sustainable management. Colonization of forests by land reforms and privatization of forests have been the longest trend in the history of the Finnish forestry. Accessible low-value forests are mostly deforested and degraded but high-value forests sustained. The increasing forestry incomes and the value of forests have also decreased poverty and decreased the opportunity cost for sustainable forestry. Public policies have been a necessary but not a sufficient condition in this transition.

(Matti Palo, abstract as pdf)

Isojako - http://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isojako.
Land Reform: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_reform#Europe

Palo, M. 2006: http://www.metla.fi/pp/MPal/coevolution-finnish-forestry11052006.pdf

Do citizens have a say in urban forest policy?

Maija Sipilä¹ & Liisa Tyrväinen²

¹ Researcher, ² Professor, Finnish Forest Research Institute Metla, Unioninkatu 40A, FI-00170 Helsinki, Finland. Tel. +358 10 211 2223, maija.sipila@metla.fi, liisa.tyrvainen@metla.fi


In the Helsinki Metropolitan area, collaborative practices are commonly used in order to incorporate citizens’ needs and values into political decision making concerning urban forest and land use planning. This social information is collected on different levels of planning, including city-level strategies as well as local nature management plans, with the idea that it improves the quality of decision making on these levels. City-level policies, stated for instance in green area programs and nature management strategies, guide and restrict the policies to be implemented on more local scales such as city districts. A challenge is that citizens often become active only in very concrete questions, while the solutions to these questions can be significantly predefined by earlier decisions, such as those in green area programs. Collaboration with citizens in earlier policy processes, instead, can be hindered by the intangibility of the policy questions. There is a need to know, when and how should social information be incorporated in the policy processes. Importantly, what, in fact, is the role of social information in these processes? What are the roles of citizens, landowners, political decision makers and planners in making the collaborative processes successful?

In a sub-study of the research project 'GREENDECISION - Integrating ecological and social information in urban planning' (Academy of Finland 2006-2008), we are studying these questions in two case areas in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. By combining e.g. planning document analysis, interviews and focus groups, we aim to produce theoretical understanding and practical interpretations of the efficiency and quality of the planning and decision making system concerning urban forests. We also develop methods for evaluating the use of social information. Primary results will be presented on grounds of semistructured interviews carried out with approximately 30 planners, decision makers, citizens and landowners in spring 2007.

(Maija Sipilä, abstract as pdf)

Read more about Greendecision: at Metla and at U.Helsinki
City of Helsinki: Planning of Green areas

Entrepreneurship in Estonian forestry

Meelis Teder¹ & Hektor Uustalo

Lecturer ¹, Institute of Forestry and Rural Engineering, Department of Forest Management, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Tartu, Estonia. meelis.teder@emu.ee



EFI Research Report: http://www.efi.fi/publications/research_reports/19.html

INNOFORCE EFI Project Centre: http://www.efi-innoforce.org/

Estonian private forestry: http://www.eramets.ee/

Decision consultant and forest owner as pragmatic, adaptive planners in their everyday task environment
Theoretical consideration and examples about practical research cases

Jukka Tikkanen¹, Teppo Hujala², Raili Hokajärvi³, Outi Virkkula 4

¹ Senior researcher, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Joensuu, Finland, jukka.tikkanen@metla.fi.
² Researcher, University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Resource Management, Finland, teppo.hujala@helsinki.fi
³ Senior lecturer, University of Applied Sciences, School of renewable natural resources, Oulu, Finland, raili.hokajarvi@oamk.fi
4 Lecturer, University of Applied Sciences, School of renewable natural resources, Oulu, Finland, outi.virkkula@oamk.fi


Forest planning research is mostly prescriptive. The normative ideal which orientates research is utility maximising. The proposed presentation demonstrates an approach supplementing to that dominant one, motivated by the noticed gap between the researchgenerated FMP-innovations and everyday utilisation of FMP-methodology. Theoretical orientation of our research lies on the phronetic planning notion, recently introduced into the planning theoretical discussion. The approach switches attention, on one hand to descriptive planning research and, on the other hand, to action research strategy. Following those directions, our research project will focus on forest planning as pragmatic, everyday action.

First, we will discuss briefly about theoretical choices behind the study by comparing instrumental and phronetic rationality views. More closely we will focus on the everyday problem-solving, which is characterised, among other things, with a concept adaptive planner. This view is basing on the cognitive psychology and on its´ recent expansions towards socio-constructivism. After a theoretical review, implications to normative forest planning research will be discussed and concretised by framing our ongoing research which is now culminating in a design-based project.

One of the key concepts to be presented is the task environment, which refers to an“environment coupled with a goal, problem, or task – the one for which the motivation of the subject is assumed”. Therein, the demands of the outer environment and the psychology of the subject can be distinguished only for explanatory purposes. The goal, the objective or any other internal representation is not motivating the everyday action directly, but the guidance of behaviour originates in the task environment as a whole. The design-based research is defined as “progressive refinement”, where a well formulated intervention, the design, is iteratively tested, evaluated and revised for finding answers to questions arisen both from the real-life practice, but also from theoretical issues and knowledge in a more wider context.

(Jukka TIkkanen, abstract as pdf)


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