Illegal firewood collection in Tasmania: approaching the problem with the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework
Abdu, N and Tinch, E and Levitt, C and Volker, PW and Hatton MacDonald, DA, Illegal firewood collection in Tasmania: approaching the problem with the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework, Land Use Policy, 118 Article 106130. ISSN 0264-8377 (2022) [Refereed Article]
Illegal firewood collection from public and private forests in Tasmania, Australia is widespread and is a challenging problem to control. The practice has adverse effects on habitat areas and depresses the market price of all firewood (legal and illegal). While Tasmania has developed a body of legislation, rules and policies over time, the problem has persisted. This study utilises an Institutional Analysis and Development framework to assess existing arrangements of firewood collection and identifies potential strategies that will aid in controlling the problem. We conduct a review of legislation, rules and policies and undertake in-depth, semi-structured interviews with purposively selected informants (n = 20) from eleven Tasmanian firewood industry-affiliated entities. Through this process, we identify key governance challenges associated with enforcement and information. We find a need for extending authority to enforce rules and enhancing community education to raise awareness about the social, ecological and economic effects of illegal harvesting. We recommend trialling new technologies such as small unmanned aerial vehicles to detect hotspots and developing a labelling system to support development of a legitimate firewood supply chain in the State. In combination, these measures may aid in reducing this long-standing issue.
Institutional Analysis and Development framework, firewood, illegal, market failure, enforcement costs