Research article

Improving the ecologically sustainable forest management behaviour - qualitative frame analysis for argumentation

Kati Vierikko , Johanna Kohl

Kati Vierikko
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, P.O., Box 65, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland. Email: kati.vierikko@helsinki.fi
Johanna Kohl
Faculty of Social Sciences, P.O. Box 35, FI-40014 University of Jyväskylä, Finland

Online First: June 14, 2009
Vierikko, K., Kohl, J. 2009. Improving the ecologically sustainable forest management behaviour - qualitative frame analysis for argumentation. Annals of Forest Research 52(1): 169-182.


Finnish forests are nowadays managed along principles of ecologically sustainable management. However, Finnish forests should be managed in both economic and ecologically sustainable ways. Policy tools are needed to guide the management behaviour of forest actors. Empirical studies on management behaviour have mostly concentrated on the objectives and values of private forest owners and forest workers separately. In this context, we were interested in studying forest actors' argumentation to identify which elements have a central impact on the interpretation of ecologically sustainable forest management. The study aimed at identifying the elements shared among different forest actor groups. Frame analyses were made to identify different argumentation groups. The primary data were semi-structured interviews with 20 forest actors. Four different argumentation frame types were constructed: information, work, experience and own position based. These were different in whether external experts or their own experiences were more trusted. Also, society and the individual role in maintaining the ecological sustainability of boreal forests were different among the groups. Based on the results, the most suitable policy instruments adapted to the frame types were suggested. The closer ecologically sustainable forest management is to the forest actor's daily life, the more profiled policy tools are needed to guide management behaviour to become more ecologically sound. 

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  • Kati Vierikko
  • Johanna Kohl
  • Kati Vierikko
  • Johanna Kohl