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Social Indicators in the Forest Sector in Northern Europe

A Review focusing on Nature-based Recreation and Tourism

image of Social Indicators in the Forest Sector in Northern Europe

Forest related social values such as recreation values are growing in importance in North European countries. Our urbanized societies need social services from forests and other nature areas. One of the key ecosystem services is the recreation environment provided by forests. Possibilities to enhance commercial recreational use of forests has been recognized, particularly among private forest owners, who have new opportunities for new types of forest-related entrepreneurship. This report provides a review of social indicators in forestry, particularly concerning nature-based recreation and tourism in North European countries. The common interest among scientists and other experts was to discuss how to develop social indicators and to monitor changes to social benefits in forestry and forest use. In all countries, there is a challenge to develop monitoring systems to produce inventory data for statistics that are required in a way that provid es comparable social indicators. It is timely to enhance standardization and harmonization of social indicators for monitoring and management of sustainable forestry and forest use, and for sustainable nature-based recreation and tourism.

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Foreword

This report provides a review of the state of the art of social indicators in forestry, particularly concerning nature-based recreation and tourism in North European countries. The work was carried out by a project group financed by SNS and EFINORD in 2012–2013. The member countries or regions were Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Northern Germany, Lithuania, Northwest Russia, Norway, Scotland and Sweden. The North-European networking project invited scientists and other experts to exchange ideas about social indicators for forestry. The common interest was to discuss how to develop social indicators, and monitor changes to social benefits, particularly recreation and tourism, in forestry and forest use. The expert group identified a need to develop social indicators, which should be effective, focused, and useful for many purposes in the forest sector but also in other sectors of natural resources in all European countries. It is timely to enhance standardization and harmonization of social indicators for monitoring and management of sustainable forestry and forest use, and for sustainable nature-based recreation and tourism. In all countries, there is a challenge to develop monitoring systems to produce inventory data for statistics that are required in a way that provides social indicators that are comparable across Europe.

English

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