Energy wood from forests—stakeholder perceptions in five European countries
Peters, Dörte Marie
Górriz Mifsud, Elena
Lindstad, Berit H.
Malovrh, Špela Pezdevšek
Stirn, Lidija Zadnik
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Background. In the last decade, the demand for and supply of energy wood from forests has increased, and experts expect a further increase in the future due to political and societal changes. The objective of this paper was to provide a qualitative analysis of stakeholders’ perceptions of current and future trade-offs as well as of synergies between energy wood production and use and other forest ecosystem services (ES). Methods. We developed an explorative research approach and conducted semi-structured interviews with a total of 103 interviewees of six selected stakeholder groups in five European countries: Finland, Germany, Norway, Slovenia and Spain. For the analysis, we adopted a qualitative content analysis approach. Results. The results of this empirical study indicate that, across the five countries, stakeholders perceive similar trade-offs and synergies. Stakeholders perceive a strong synergy with employment whereas trade-offs regarding conservation of biodiversity are the most critical issue related to energy wood production in forests. Furthermore, stakeholders continue the classic debate about forest protection versus forest use in the energy wood context. Conclusions. Effects of energy wood production and use need to be taken into account in policy development and forest management in order to address current and future trade-offs and to tap the full potential of synergies related to other forest ES. Different characteristics of countries and regions need to be considered, and decisions need to be fostered by long-term and far-reaching political frameworks.
Is part ofEnergy, Sustainability and Society, 2015, vol. 5, p. 17
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