CR prepress abstract  -  doi: 10.3354/cr01448

Identifying and understanding attitudinal diversity on multi-functional changes in woodlands of the Ukraine’s Carpathians

Albert Nijnik, Maria Nijnik*, Serhiy Kopiy, Lyudmyla Zahvoyska, Simo Sarkki, Leonid Kopiy, David Miller

*Email: Maria.Nijnik@hutton.ac.uk

ABSTRACT: This paper advances existing knowledge of stakeholder attitudes towards ecosystem based forest strategies and management practices in marginalised mountain areas of the Ukraine’s Carpathians. The principal research question is to analyze the state of affairs with multi-functional changes in upland woodlands, as viewed by relevant stakeholders. An ultimate goal is to assist decision-makers in evaluation (e.g. through stakeholder evaluation using the suggested method) and implementation (through stakeholder engagement) of sustainable policy and management decisions. The Q-method, with the sequential application of its correlation and factor analytical tools, was applied to elucidate a range of existing attitudes (e.g. towards woodlands expansion under climate change, and other drivers) and the spectrum of sustainability (its ecological, economic and social components) to which they relate. Dominant attitudes of representatives of relevant stakeholder groups towards multi-functional changes in forestry in the Carpathian Mountains were revealed and analysed. Key factors influencing the attitudinal diversity were explained. Results improve our understanding of stakeholder priorities and of commonalities and differences in existing attitudes/perceptions, providing some indication of how the diversity of attitudes towards forestry changes (e.g. woodland’s integration in mountain landscapes) could potentially influence sustainable forestry decisions. At times, entirely opposite attitudes (e.g. of the so-called conservationists and productivists attitudinal groups) towards forestry practices and key objectives of forestry in the Carpathian uplands, were revealed. However, people put strong emphasis on multi-functional forestry, as offering a range of benefits to people, to the environment and economy.