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Small-scale Forestry

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 301–319 | Cite as

Sustaining Multifunctional Forestry Through the Developing of Social Capital and Promoting Participation: A Case of Multiethnic Mountain Communities

  • Livia Bizikova
  • Maria Nijnik
  • Tatiana Kluvanková-Oravská
Research Paper

Abstract

Communities with multicultural, ethnically diverse populations located in forest areas of the Carpathian Mountains often face serious social and economic problems, including high unemployment rates, weak social support and institutions with little stakeholder participation in decision-making. In this paper, we apply participatory scenario processes to address the development of multifunctional forestry in these mountains by taking as an example the case study of Slovensky Raj National Park and specifically focusing on the involvement of local communities, particularly the Roma minority, in sustainable forest management (SFM). The paper argues that development of local institutions and promotion of horizontal and vertical participation to increase social capital is necessary for addressing social and economic problems, managing potential conflicts and sustaining multifunctional forestry development. The results suggest that the way forward is the integration of multi-purpose forest management with community development, and that learning, repeated stakeholder interaction, trust-building and cooperation between and within multiethnic local communities are important preconditions for success. The scenario process applied turned out to be beneficial for both the majority and the minority populations, particularly allowing for discussions about future development of mountain regions, their local economies and communities, and for providing some guidance about what are the preferred actions for participation in multifunctional SFM.

Keywords

Participatory governance Stakeholder engagement Forest management Ecosystem services Social learning Trust Central and Eastern Europe Roma minorities 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The research in this paper was supported by the SPECTRA + Centre of Excellence for the Settlement Infrastructure Development of the Knowledge Based Society (no. 26240120002) from the Research and Development Operational Program funded by the ERDF.

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Copyright information

© Steve Harrison, John Herbohn 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Livia Bizikova
    • 1
  • Maria Nijnik
    • 2
  • Tatiana Kluvanková-Oravská
    • 3
  1. 1.International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)OttawaCanada
  2. 2.The James Hutton InstituteAberdeenUK
  3. 3.Centre for Transdisciplinary Studies of Institutions, Evolution and Policies CETIP, Institute for ForecastingSlovak Academy of SciencesBratislavaSlovakia

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