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Identifying Legal Priorities for Policy Making: A Forest-society-economy Context Analysed by 3-D Sustainability

Mauerhofer, Volker
Ecological economics 2018 v.152 pp. 183-190
forest policy, forests, prioritization, Japan
Forest-related legal questions appear often interwoven with complicated networks of numerous other themes at several geographical levels. This paper introduces a new analytic tool based on 3-D Sustainability to restructure complex question bundles from policy practice to ease and support practical legal solution prioritization. This approach is applied to the enviro-socio-economic context of forests and their multifunctional use in Japan. First it is shown how the initial problem formulations from practice listed in a table are addressed by the different categories of 3-D Sustainability. Then it is presented how the order of the initial problem formulation was in the table reshaped based on this approach and also which problems were combined for a common search of solutions. In conclusion, the new analytic tool proofed to be applicable also in practice and provided already appropriate support to gain first ideas of solutions including legal ones and their preliminary prioritization, although the work is further in progress. The tool represents a rather simple but effective methodological option to structure complex question bundles and prioritizing solutions also for further legal measures, not only limited to issues of forests or geographically restricted to Japan, and appears to be widely applicable and definitely replicable.