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Integrated nature conservation in forests: an international comparison of policy-making at the sub-national level (INCFOP-Sub)

English title Integrated nature conservation in forests: an international comparison of policy-making at the sub-national level (INCFOP-Sub)
Applicant Schulz Tobias
Number 179037
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Swiss Federal Research Inst. WSL Direktion
Institution of higher education Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research - WSL
Main discipline Political science
Start/End 01.06.2018 - 31.05.2021
Approved amount 413'440.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Political science
Agricultural and Forestry Sciences

Keywords (5)

policy integration; nature conservation; comparative policy analysis; social network analysis; forest management

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Der Schutz der Biodiversität im Wald erfordert nicht nur Waldreservate, sondern auch die Integration von Naturschutzzielen in die Bewirtschaftung der produktiven Waldfläche. In vielen Ländern ist die Waldpolitik eher dezentral organisiert und eine solche Politikintegration muss auf der sub-nationalen Ebene konkretisiert werden. Dies hängt nicht nur von der föderalen Organisation der Wald- und Naturschutzpolitik, sondern auch von den Akteurskonstellationen auf sub-nationaler Ebene, insbesondere auch der Einbindung wissenschaftlicher Evidenz ab. Ein Ländervergleich soll aufzeigen, unter welchen Bedingungen diese Politikintegration erfolgreich sein kann.
Lay summary

Der Naturschutz im Wald kann nicht ausschliesslich auf die Ausscheidung von Waldreservaten beschränkt bleiben, sondern erfordert auch die Integration von Naturschutzanliegen (wie z.B. Anteile und Verteilung von Totholz) in die Regeln zur Bewirtschaftung der produktiven Waldfläche. Gerade dort wo sie dann auch konkretisiert und umgesetzt werden sollten, nämlich auf einer sub-nationalen Ebene, stossen die entsprechenden Ziele und die sich daraus ergebenden Massnahmen oft auf den Widerstand der beteiligten und betroffenen Akteure und die entsprechenden Regeln bleiben zu vage oder sie können mangels Kapazität nicht umgesetzt werden. Das Forschungsprojekt untersucht die Faktoren, von denen die Konkretisierung politischer Programme zum Naturschutz im Wald auf der sub-nationalen Ebene abhängt. Dabei interessieren insbesondere die föderale Struktur von Wald- und Naturschutzpolitik und die damit zusammenhängenden Akteurskonstellationen (Koalitionen von Akteuren mit ähnlichen Positionen betreffend die Integration von Wald- und Naturschutzpolitik) sowie die Art und Weise, wie wissenschaftliche Akteure in diese Konstellationen eingebunden sind. Aus dem Vergleich von ausgewählten sub-nationalen Einheiten (Länder, Kantone) der Schweiz, Österreichs und Deutschlands soll geschlossen werden, welche föderale Organisation, welche Art von Akteurskonstellationen und welche Stellung der Wissenschaft erfolgversprechendere Konkretisierungen von Regeln zum Naturschutz im Wald zulässt.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 31.05.2018

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Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
172388 Analyzing TRade-offs in forests between sustainable Economy and Environmental objectives (ATREE) 01.03.2018 NRP 73 Sustainable Economy

Abstract

Besides more and larger forest reserves, biodiversity conservation goals in European forests (BAFU, 2013b; EC, 2011) also require the integration of nature conservation into the management of forests for commodity production (Kraus and Krumm, 2013). Currently, however, such policy integration is hampered: i.e. policies are often not formulated explicitly enough (Winkel and Sotirov, 2016), they are not sufficiently based on findings of conservation science (Winter et al., 2014) and implementing agencies at lower levels are reluctant to accept objectives imposed from above (Treby et al., 2014) or lack capacity (Maier and Winkel, 2017).It thus seems that it is particularly the policy-making process at the sub-national level that is the obstacle to effective integration between nature protection and forest management (Kaeser and Zimmermann, 2014). As knowledge about complex ecosystem processes is crucial (Lachat and Bütler, 2007), effective policy outputs also hinge upon the role of science. (Böcher and Krott, 2016).The main objective of present research proposal is to assess the potential effectiveness of policies concerning integrated nature protection in managed forests and to establish how these policies are dependent on actor constellations (including the science-policy interface) as well as decentralization. We aim first at measuring structures in selected sub-national jurisdictions of countries with similar forest structures and similar, but still sufficiently distinct, degrees of decentralization (Germany, Austria and Switzerland). The selection of sub-national jurisdictions must support our second aim: comparing actor-constellations within and decentralization across those three countries.To measure our dependent concept, potential regulatory effectiveness, we will assess the content of recent regulation addressing important aspects of integrated nature conservation in managed forests (o.a. dead-wood, habitat trees, old-growth islands) and judge its potential effectiveness based on criteria of policy design (e.g. promising combinations of compulsory and voluntary instruments, the degree of financial compensation etc.). Our explanatory concepts (actor constellations, the science-policy interface, multi-level governance arrangements) we will derive from document analysis and qualitative interviews as well as a standardized social network survey among the previously identified main actors. As we apply social network analysis, we will have to limit the set of sub-national jurisdictions per country to two. Thus, the sampling of cases will be crucial to allow for a qualitative comparison in order to substantiate a plausible causal effect. The final cross-country comparison will then consider decentralization.The project will provide detailed description and a quantitative classification instrument for policy integration sub-national level. Based on a qualitative comparative appraisal of how actor constellations correspond with regulatory output and how this is mediated by the decentralization, the project will establish political determinants of policy integration and relate them to or differentiate them from competing explanatory concepts (e.g. economic significance of the forest sector). As such the study will add to the growing body of evidence about the importance of actor constellations and the science policy interface on environmental and resource conservation policy outputs. This evidence is based on systematic comparative research based on sub-national units, which is still lacking in the field of forest policy and nature conservation.
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