Experiences with participatory approaches in the forestry field in Flanders

N. Lust

Abstract


Participation  into the forestry decision making is in Flanders not to be considered as a  real new    fact. A number of important forestry topics can be mentioned; whereby  participation played a    role: (1) forest legislation and forest policy; (2) management plans; (3)  National Forest Plan; (4)    criteria for sustainable forestry; (5) the Spatial Structure Plan Flanders;  (6) establishment of    urban forests.    The Forest administration, the Flemish Supreme Forestry Council, forest  owners, forest    associations and scientific institutes are well known internal actors,  whereas the agricultural    sector and the nature conservation sector are the most salient external  actors.    However, a distinction must be made between participation and external  pressure. Real    participation supposes that it is institutionalized and that it is  considered as a normal fact. Today,    the pressure behind the screen is very great and the real decision making  obviously occurs    there. At least the impression exists that external actors such as the  economic sector, the nature    sector and the agricultural sector, which are often not directly involved  in the forest decision    making, pIesently ore determine many forest policy topics than the forestry  sector itself.    Besides, participation is not a priori a basis of success.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21825/sg.v66i0.822