National Forest Programmes in a European Context : Findings from COST Action E19
Peter Elsasser ,
Institute for Economics, Federal Research Centre for Forestry and Forest Products (BFH), Leuschnerstrasse 91, D-21031 Hamburg, Germany
Received 31 December 2001. Revised 7 August 2002. Accepted 10 August 2002. Available online 30 October 2002.
The participation of stakeholders in National Forest Programmes (NFPs) was internationally recommended by the IPF and IFF Proposals for Action. However, where rules for participation and negotiation are absent, unclear or unsuitable, substantive stakeholder involvement may be impeded. Starting from a survey of some relevant elements of rational choice, game, and negotiation theory, the paper outlines some of the problems associated with the concept of participation. Specifically, it discusses how NFP results may be influenced by the selection of participants, their self-organisation, their possible involvement in hierarchies, by co-ordination and decision rules within NFP discussion groups, and by the interrelation of these issues with participants’ bargaining power. The paper discusses how negotiations can be organised in order to surmount the obstacles to achieving a substantive participatory NFP.