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From Wicked Problem to Governable Entity?: The Effects of Forestry on Mercury in Aquatic Ecosystems
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (Miljösociologiska sektionen)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6735-0011
Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
The Forestry Research Institute of Sweden (Skogforsk), Uppsala Science Park, Uppsala, Sweden.
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2018 (English)In: Forest Policy and Economics, ISSN 1389-9341, E-ISSN 1872-7050, Vol. 90, p. 90-96Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In all Swedish lakes, the concentration of mercury (Hg) in fish exceeds the European Union threshold limit. While the ultimate source of Hg is primarily airborne emissions from fossil energy, forestry plays a small but important role because some forestry operations help mobilize and transform Hg, increasing Hg loads in downstream aquatic ecosystems. Simultaneously, climate change is placing additional demands on forests to provide biomass as a substitute for fossil fuel. Thus, decision-makers are facing a complex situation, a “wicked problem,” when it comes to how to handle the problem of forestry’s effects on Hg in aquatic ecosystems while at the same time securing other ecosystem services. In order to explore forestry’s degree of responsibility as well as possible solutions to this problem in Sweden, a transdisciplinary method has been used consisting of a structured dialogue with actors from relevant governmental agencies, forest companies, and forest associations. The analysis shows that while the issue can be addressed constructively, the complex character of the problem requires consideration of not only management practices for forestry but also current regulatory goals and environmental objectives. The Hg problem represents a class of difficult issues for forestry where stand- or property-based production has an impact on a greater spatial scale. This means that regulating the more direct impacts of forestry needs to be weighed against the implications this regulation may have on the overall issue of ecosystem services.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018. Vol. 90, p. 90-96
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology) Forest Science Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-64901DOI: 10.1016/j.forpol.2018.02.001ISI: 000430766300011Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85041415685OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-64901DiVA, id: diva2:1181191
Funder
Mistra - The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research
Note

Funding Agencies:

Forestry Research Institute of Sweden (Skogforsk)  

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)  

Umeå University 

Available from: 2018-02-08 Created: 2018-02-08 Last updated: 2018-05-14Bibliographically approved

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Lidskog, Rolf

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