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Social perspectives on forest risks – Managing old and new risks in a changing societal context

Research project

The forest is an important natural resource in Sweden. However, different hazards, such as wind and insects, and in the future also climate change have the potential to severely damage the economic, recreational, and ecological values of the forest. Notably, forest risk management is a social endeavour involving a range of different actors. The aim of this research project is to examine the social dimensions of managing old and new forest risks in a changing societal context. In the project, private forest owners managing forest risks, the Swedish Forest Agency responsible for risk communication, and the general public, important from a legitimacy perspective, will be explored. By considering the management of old risks it is possible to provide insights on how new risks (e.g., climate change) can be dealt with. It is also important to consider how shifts in public opinions, forest policy and regulations, as well as for example structural changes within groups of key actors (e.g., forest owners) influence risk management. Results will provide theoretical input on how risk perception and responses are related and practical insights on how risk management can be improved. Overall, the project will enhance the social scientific understanding of risk management in relation to an important natural resource.

Head of project

Louise Eriksson
Research fellow
E-mail
Email

Project overview

Project period:

2014-06-17 2017-12-31

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Faculty of Social Sciences, Transportation Research Unit