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


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.


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



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.


  1. Berkes F, Colding J, Folke C (2003) Navigating social-ecological systems: building resilience for complexity and change. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  2. Bizikova L, Dickinson T, Pinter L (2009) Opportunities for participation and learning when translating impacts of climate change into adaptations. Particip Learn Action 60:167–173Google Scholar
  3. Brearley M (1996) The Roma/Gypsies of Europe: a persecuted people. Research report no. 3, Institute for Jewish Policy Research, LondonGoogle Scholar
  4. Brehm J, Rahn W (1997) Individual-level evidence for the causes and consequences of Social Capital. Am J Polit Sci 41:999–1023CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brown S, Hall M, Andrasko K, Ruiz F, Marzoli W, Guerrero G, Masera O, Dushku A, de Jong B, Cornell J (2007) Baselines for land-use change in the tropics: application to avoided deforestation projects. Mitig Adapt Strat Glob Change 12:1001–1026CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Buchy M, Race D (2001) The twists and turns of community participation in Natural Resource Management in Australia: what is missing? J Environ Plan Manag 44:293–308CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Carroll TF (2001) Social capital, local capacity building, and poverty reduction. Social development papers No. 3. Office of Environment and Social Development, Asian Development Bank, ManilaGoogle Scholar
  8. Census (2010) Population and housing. Statistical office of Slovak Republic, Bratislava, p 45Google Scholar
  9. Coleman JS (1988) Social capital in the creation of human capital. Am J Sociol 94:S95–S120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Edmunds D, Wollenberg E (2000) A strategic approach to multi-stakeholder negotiations. Dev Change 32:231–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. ETP (2009) Community development projects in Central and Eastern Slovakia. ETP, Bratislava, p 25Google Scholar
  12. Evans K, De Jong E, Cronkleton P (2008) Future scenarios as a tool for collaboration in forest communities. Surv Perspect Integr Environ Soc 1:97–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fien J, Skoien P (2002) I’m learning … how you go about stirring things up—in a consultative manner: social capital and action competence in two community catchment groups. Local Environ 7:269–282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fund RomaEducation (2007) Advancing education of Roma in Slovakia. Country assessment and the Roma education fund’s strategic directions. Roma Education Fund, Bratislava, p 66Google Scholar
  15. Gatzweiler F, Hagedorn K (2002) The evolution of institutions of sustainability in transition, sustainable agriculture in Central and Eastern European Countries. Inst Change Agric Nat Res 10:3–17Google Scholar
  16. Hirsch F, Korotkov A, Wilnhammer M (2007) Private forest ownership in Europe. Small-scale For 228(58):23–26Google Scholar
  17. Jaeger CC, Kasemir B, Stoll-Kleemann S, Schibli D, Dahinden U (2000) Climate change and the voice of the public. Integr Assess 1:339–349CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kilpatrick S (2002) Learning and building social capital in a community of family farm businesses. Int J Lifelong Educ 21:446–464CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kluvankova-Oravska T, Chobotová V (2006) Shifting governance. Managing the commons: the case of Slovenský Raj National Park. Sociol Rev 101:993–1027Google Scholar
  20. Kok K, Patel M, Rothman DS, Greeuw SCH (2003) First series of target area workshops, October–November 2002. Methodology. MedAction Deliverable 6. ICIS, Maastricht, Report number I03-E002Google Scholar
  21. Kok K, Patel M, Rothman DS, Quaranta G (2006) Multi-scale narratives from an IA perspective: Part II. Participatory local scenario development. Futures 38:285–311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kouplevatskaya-Yunusova I, Buttoud G (2007) Assessment of an iterative process: the double spiral of re-designing participation. For Policy Econ 8(5):529–541CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Larson KL (2009) Social acceptability of water resource management: A conceptual approach and empirical findings. J Am Water Resour Assoc 45:879–893CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lessard G (1998) An adaptive approach to planning and decision-making. Landsc Urban Plan 40(1–3):81–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lin N (2000a) Social capital: A theory of structure and actions. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  26. Lin N (2000b) Inequality in social capital. Contemp Sociol 29:785–795CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. MCPFE (2007) State of Europe’s forests, 2007. The MCPFE report on sustainable forest management in Europe, WarsawGoogle Scholar
  28. Murray C (2005) Social capital and cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe. A theoretical perspective. ICAR Discussion Paper 9/2005. University Berlin, HumboldtGoogle Scholar
  29. Nijnik M (2004) To an economist’s perception on sustainability in forestry-in-transition. For Policy Econ 6(3–4):403–413CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Nijnik M, Oskam A (2004) Governance in Ukrainian forestry: trends, impacts and remedies. Int J Agric Res Govern Ecol 3:116–133Google Scholar
  31. Nijnik M, van Kooten GC (2006) Forestry in the Ukraine: the road ahead. For Policy Econ 8:6–9. A follow-up of Nijnik M, van Kooten GC (2000) Forestry in the Ukraine: the road ahead? For Policy Econ 1:139–153Google Scholar
  32. Nijnik M, Nijnik A, Bizikova L (2009) Small-scale forestry in transition countries of Europe. Small-scale For 8:159–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Ostrom E, Ahn TK (eds) (2003) Foundation of Social Capital. Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, CheltenhamGoogle Scholar
  34. Paldam M, Svendsen GT (2000) Missing social capital and the transition in Eastern Europe. J Inst Innov Dev Trans Issue. Available at
  35. Portes A, Landolt P (2000) Social capital: Promise and pitfalls of its role in development. J Lat Am Stud 32:529–547CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Putnam RD (1995) Tuning in, tuning out: The strange disappearance of social capital in America. Political Sci Politics 28(4):664–683Google Scholar
  37. Serageldin I, Grootaert C (2000) Defining social capital: an integrating view. In: Dasgupta P, Serageldin I (eds) Social capital: a multifaceted perspective. World Bank, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  38. Soloviy IP, Cubbage FW (2007) Forest policy in aroused society: Ukrainian post-orange revolution challenges. For Policy Econ 10:60–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Tikkanen J, Isokaanta T, Pykalainen J, Leskinen P (2006) Applying cognitive mapping approach to explore the objective–structure of forest owners in a Northern Finnish case area. For Policy Econ 9:139–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Tomićević J, Shannon MA, Milovanović M (2010) Socio-economic impacts on the attitudes towards conservation of natural resources: case study from Serbia. For Policy Econ 12:57–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. UNEP (2002) Global environment outlook-3: past, present and future perspectives. Earthscan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  42. Vašečka M, Jurásková M, Nicholson T (eds) (2003) Čapičen pal o Roma. A global report on the Roma in Slovakia. Institute for Public Affairs, BratislavaGoogle Scholar
  43. Volkery A, Ribeiro T, Henrichs T, Hoogeveen Y (2008) Scenario development on a European scale. Syst Pract Act Res 21:459–477CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Wollenberg E, Edmunds D, Buck L (2000) Using scenarios to make decisions about the future: participatory learning for the adaptive co-management of community forest. Landsc Urban Plan 47:65–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Yin RK (2003) Case study research: design and methods, 3rd edn. Sage, Thousand OaksGoogle Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations