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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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Social indicators and monitoring in North European countries

Research/monitoring of Danish forest recreation started in reality in 1975 with the Forest and Folk project, which conducted extensive surveys of the forest recreation activities and preferences of the general population. – A research project aimed at producing a better basis for decisions in the field of forest recreation. The surveys are published in four parts: Parts I, II, III and IV of Forest Recreation in Denmark (Koch 1978, Koch 1980, Koch 1984, Koch and Jensen 1988).

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