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Actors’ Potential for Change in Slovenian Forest Owner Associations

Aurenhammer, P.K., Ščap, Š., Triplat, M., Krajnc, N., Breznikar, A.
Small-scale forestry 2018 v.17 no.2 pp. 165-189
advocacy, education, forest ownership, forests, guidelines, issues and policy, marketing, national forests, private forestry, wood, Slovenia
Additional wood production and marketing from private forests is gaining importance in Slovenia. Local initiatives can support this, but actors hold varying potential for change towards more wood mobilization through such initiatives. This paper identifies the actors, their role, preferences and perceptions, analyzing 25 private forest initiative networks (Forest Owner Associations, FOAs). Results found that the Slovenian Forest Service, the Agricultural and Forestry Chamber and the National Forest Owner Association tend to hold the most influential positions in these networks. The main priorities of FOAs are policy advocacy and education rather than wood mobilization. Perceptions of ideal facilitators and instruments to promote wood mobilization through FOAs vary across actors. This paper also investigates, if and to what extent these networks and their actors could contribute to wood mobilization. The paper identifies that FOA networks generally lack the capacity to transfer information and resources, due to a lack of institutionalized structures. Although some actors hold strong capacities, the FOAs lack support from the network and are currently unlikely to improve wood mobilizations alone. We suggest some strategies for improvements for the development of FOA/cooperative guidelines in Slovenia, such as on how organizational and network factors could be improved to meet wood mobilization needs.