Research project Various collaborative arrangements have been initiated in the Swedish mountain region, but how common are they, why and when does the need for increased local collaboration arise, how do such arrangements interact with formal management structures, and what are their potential impacts on sustainable practices?
There are high environmental values in the Swedish mountain region, but also frequent conflicts related to the use and preservation of its natural resources. The National Environmental Quality Objective of A magnificent mountain environment is currently far from reached. Evaluations show that considerable added efforts from a variety of social, political and economic actors are needed. Increasingly, international environmental agreements and Swedish national authorities lean on various forms of collaborative governance and the use of deliberative management practices at local level to deal with such policy failure. As a result, various collaborative arrangements have been initiated in the Swedish mountain region to bridge conflicts and mobilise local communities. Some ‘hot spots’ have received considerable attention, such as Fulufjället National Park or Tåssåsen’s hunting administration. But how common are they, why and when does the need for increased local collaboration arise, how do such arrangements interact with formal management structures, and what are their potential impacts on sustainable practices? The knowledge is limited, with no systematic studies even if there appears to be great faith in collaborative solutions. The project will map the occurrence of collaborative arrangements throughout the mountain region and create a data base. Surveys will be made with CAB officers and key informants of participatory processes and projects in environment and natural management, and this information added to the data base. This enables us to analyze through quantitative and qualitative methods how both context and organization matters for their performance based on theoretical frameworks by Emerson et al. (2011) and Sabatier et al. (2005). Particular focus will be on the role of the county administrative boards (CAB) and European Union in spurring collaboration. A reference group with stakeholders will ensure relevance and appropriate use of the research results.