Guess who’s (not) coming for dinner: expanding the terms of public involvement in sustainable forest management

Reed, M.G. (2010) Guess who’s (not) coming for dinner: expanding the terms of public involvement in sustainable forest management. Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research, 25 (Supp 9). pp. 45-54.

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How do processes for community engagement in forestry decision making in Canada serve the aims of sustainable forest management? This paper reports on several studies of forest land-use and management planning processes in four provinces and a national survey of forest-sector advisory committees to determine who is selected to participate, what values participants bring to the table, and how participants are expected to behave in committee processes. The analysis suggests that participatory mechanisms are both shaped by and reinforce local norms, values and expectations of forestry communities. Thus, the focus is on understanding the social context within which communities become engaged rather than providing a technical assessment of specific initiatives. In particular, the study examines assumptions related to gender, class and racialized identities that operate in rural communities and shape the participation and influence of participants. These studies all suggest that forestry advisory committees remain e´lite organizations, dominated by individuals with economic stakes, constrained by priorities set by government and/or industry, and focused on technical issues. Women, Aboriginal people and those of lower socioeconomic status are less likely to participate and less likely to make substantive contributions when they do participate. Differences by gender are significant, but gender is not the only factor that explains the marginalization of some groups within these processes. The results suggest a need to examine how gender intersects with other sets of social relations such as class and racialized identity in order to better understand the social factors that will influence the achievement of sustainable forest management

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Class, elitism, forestry, forestry communities, gender, public advisory committees, racialized identities, social sustainability
Author Affiliation: School of Environment and Sustainability, and Department of Geography and Planning, University of Saskatchewan, 117 Science Place, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5C8, Canada
Subjects: Social Sciences
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Mr B Krishnamurthy
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2012 11:24
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2012 11:24
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