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Integrated nature conservation in forests: an international comparison of policy-making at the sub- national level

Project Leader
Weiß Gerhard, Project Leader
Type of Research
Applied Research
Schmid Blasius, Project Staff (bis 31.10.2019)
BOKU Research Units
Institute of Forest, Environmental and Natural Resource Policy
Funded by
Swiss National Science Foundation, Switzerland
Besides more and larger forest reserves, biodiversity conservation goals in European forests (BAFU, 2013b; EC, 2011) also require the integration of nature conservation into the management of forests for commodity production (Kraus and Krumm, 2013). Currently, however, such policy integration is hampered: i.e. policies are often not formulated explicitly enough (Winkel and Sotirov, 2016), they are not sufficiently based on findings of conservation science (Winter et al., 2014) and implementing agencies at lower levels are reluctant to accept objectives imposed from above (Treby et al., 2014) or lack capacity (Maier and Winkel, 2017).
The main objective of present research proposal is to assess the potential effectiveness of policies concerning integrated nature protection in managed forests and to establish how these policies are dependent on actor constellations (including the science-policy interface) as well as decentralization. To measure our dependent concept, potential regulatory effectiveness, we will assess the content of recent regulation addressing important aspects of integrated nature conservation in managed forests (o.a. dead-wood, habitat trees, old-growth islands) and judge its potential effectiveness based on criteria of policy design (e.g. promising combinations of compulsory and voluntary instruments, the degree of financial compensation etc.).
Our explanatory concepts (actor constellations, the science policy interface, decentralization) we will derive from document analysis and qualitative interviews as well as a standardized social network survey among the previously identified main actors.
As such the study will add to the growing body of evidence about the importance of actor constellations and the science policy interface on environmental and resource conservation policy outputs. This evidence is based on systematic comparative research based on sub-national units, which is almost lacking in the field of forest policy and nature conservation (Geitzenauer et al. 2016).

Maria Geitzenauer, Karl Hogl, Gerhard Weiss (2016): The Implementation of Natura 2000 in Austria – A European policy in a federal system. Land Use Policy, Volume 52, March 2016, Pages 120-135.
Forestry; Policy analysis;
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