Stakeholders’ preferences and the assessment of forest ecosystem services: a comparative analysis in Italy

https://doi.org/10.17221/85/2014-JFSCitation:Paletto A., Giacovelli G., Grilli G., Balest J., De Meo I. (2014): Stakeholders’ preferences and the assessment of forest ecosystem services: a comparative analysis in Italy. J. For. Sci., 60: 472-483.
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Values are qualities and beliefs orientating human actions and they change according to socio-economic variables such as gender, culture, education and income. Incorporating stakeholders’ values and attitudes in the forest planning is essential for reducing conflicts among forest users and ensuring successful formulation and implementation of the plans. The paper focuses on the analysis of stakeholders’ attitudes and preferences to the forest ecosystem services considering three types of attitudes: biocentric attitudes, social-altruistic attitudes, and individual attitudes. The stakeholders’ preferences were analysed in four case studies in Italy, characterized by different socio-economic structures and relationship between people and territory. Socio-economic attributes were tested as predictors of stakeholder preferences. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect opinions and preferences from altogether
327 stakeholders’ involved in forest planning. Results show that different background and culture influence the priorities given to forest ecosystem services. The study suggests paying attention to the evaluation of stakeholders’ preferences to forest ecosystem services when defining forest management guidelines, which could contribute to reduce the distance between communities and decision makers.    
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