Social Science


Which Infrastructure for Which Forest Function? Analyzing the Multifunctionality Through the Social-Ecological System Framework

Authors: Mojtaba Houballah, Jean-Denis Mathias, Thomas Cordonnier

Landscapes are subjected to ecological and socio-economic forces of change, interacting in complex ways. To cope with these changes, landscape planning of natural resource management consists of integrating socio-cultural, ecological, and economic considerations in an analytic and systemic way. In this vein, social-ecological systems (SES) frameworks have been developed to help in analyzing key factors that derive the dynamics of such complex adaptive systems. For forests, multi-functional management, which also highlights the ecological and the socio-economic roles of forests for society, has become a central objective for several European countries (e.g. France, Italy, Germany). However, tools and conceptual approaches related to SES frameworks that enable us to understand the mechanisms behind such management approaches are still lacking. This study adopts Ostrom’s SES framework and Anderies robustness framework to highlight how forestry institutions affect forest ecosystem, forest functions, and social arrangements. As an illustration, we apply our analysis to the Quatre-Montagne forest, located in the South-East of France, where multifunctional forest management is a major objective. We first consider the SES framework to construct a diagnosis of the Quatre-Montagne forest specifying the first-tier and second-tier variables. From this analysis, we highlight the importance of physical/social infrastructures in shaping the interactions between components of the SES. We outline that the robustness framework, developed by Anderies, serves to better explain management options of an ecologically-based SES. We discuss implications, based on our infrastructure analysis, which can be used when establishing management design for efficient forest management.

Comments: 30 Pages.

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[v1] 2018-09-25 02:02:33

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