eCite Digital Repository

Public participation in commercial environments: critical reflections on community engagement methods used in the Australian plantation forestry industry

Citation

Dare, MA and Vanclay, F and Schirmer, J, Public participation in commercial environments: critical reflections on community engagement methods used in the Australian plantation forestry industry, Australian Forestry, 75, (3) pp. 180-191. ISSN 0004-9158 (2012) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 Institute of Foresters of Australia

DOI: doi:10.1080/00049158.2012.10676400

Abstract

Social concerns surrounding commercial plantation forest management practices in Australia have resulted in calls for more participatory forms of forest management decision-making. Public participation (or community engagement, CE) processes provide opportunities for affected and interested community members to voice their concerns over proposed plantation management activities, share relevant information and influence decision-making processes. A large body of literature provides ample support for the adoption of more participatory forms of resource management. The literature, however, provides little guidance on implementing such processes within the commercial domain of plantation forest management. Based on a review of the public participation literature and key informant interviews, we highlight the gaps between CE in practice in Australian commercial plantation management, and the theoretical objectives of CE: trust, process flexibility, inclusivity and representation. These gaps stem from the need to implement CE techniques in a way that recognises the commercial and regulatory realities of plantation forest management. While participatory techniques currently used by plantation managers meet some of the ideal objectives of 'good' participation and there is room for improvement, this improvement can take place only if CE practitioners recognise and address the commercial realities of CE implementation within plantation management, and acknowledge the limited practical applicability of some theoretical objectives.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:forestry, plantations, management, sustainability, decision making, community involvement, participation, social values, research, reviews
Research Division:Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
Research Group:Agriculture, Land and Farm Management
Research Field:Agriculture, Land and Farm Management not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Forestry
Objective Field:Forestry not elsewhere classified
Author:Dare, MA (Dr Melanie Dare)
Author:Vanclay, F (Professor Francis Vanclay)
ID Code:82436
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:9
Deposited By:Agricultural Science
Deposited On:2013-02-01
Last Modified:2013-06-04
Downloads:0

Repository Staff Only: item control page