Social impacts of forest policy changes in Western Australia on members of the natural forest industry: Implications for policy goals and decision-making processes

Edwina Loxton, Jacki SCHIRMER, Peter Kanowski

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    5 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    In many countries, timber harvesting from natural forests is accompanied by social conflict that governments seek to mitigate, often through the introduction of policy changes that reduce the forest industry's access to natural forest wood. Forest policy changes often have important implications for businesses and workers dependent on forest resources; however, the social impacts of such changes remain relatively unexplored. We conducted an ex post facto assessment of social impacts experienced by members of the forest industry in the Australian state of Western Australia following the introduction of three forest policy changes between 1999 and 2004. Results indicate that the process by which forest policy decisions were made, the nature of the resulting policy changes, and the actions people took in response, together contributed to three key negative social impacts: uncertainty, a perception of injustice, and financial stress. These impacts in turn led to diminished perceptions of industry security, thus discouraging business owners from investing in the industry, rather than encouraging investment, which was a key goal of the forest policy changes. The results highlight the importance of recognizing, avoiding and mitigating negative social impacts associated with policy changes, as these impacts can hinder the realization of policy goals.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)363-376
    Number of pages14
    JournalForestry
    Volume87
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Fingerprint

    social impact
    forest policy
    forest industries
    Western Australia
    decision making
    industry
    social conflict
    timber harvesting
    forest resources
    forest resource
    logging
    uncertainty
    policy
    natural forest
    forest industry

    Cite this

    @article{1d586fcd822f4b7689b60321c84c5c0d,
    title = "Social impacts of forest policy changes in Western Australia on members of the natural forest industry: Implications for policy goals and decision-making processes",
    abstract = "In many countries, timber harvesting from natural forests is accompanied by social conflict that governments seek to mitigate, often through the introduction of policy changes that reduce the forest industry's access to natural forest wood. Forest policy changes often have important implications for businesses and workers dependent on forest resources; however, the social impacts of such changes remain relatively unexplored. We conducted an ex post facto assessment of social impacts experienced by members of the forest industry in the Australian state of Western Australia following the introduction of three forest policy changes between 1999 and 2004. Results indicate that the process by which forest policy decisions were made, the nature of the resulting policy changes, and the actions people took in response, together contributed to three key negative social impacts: uncertainty, a perception of injustice, and financial stress. These impacts in turn led to diminished perceptions of industry security, thus discouraging business owners from investing in the industry, rather than encouraging investment, which was a key goal of the forest policy changes. The results highlight the importance of recognizing, avoiding and mitigating negative social impacts associated with policy changes, as these impacts can hinder the realization of policy goals.",
    keywords = "Forestry, policy, industry",
    author = "Edwina Loxton and Jacki SCHIRMER and Peter Kanowski",
    year = "2014",
    doi = "10.1093/forestry/cpu011",
    language = "English",
    volume = "87",
    pages = "363--376",
    journal = "Forestry",
    issn = "0015-752X",
    publisher = "Oxford University Press",
    number = "3",

    }

    Social impacts of forest policy changes in Western Australia on members of the natural forest industry: Implications for policy goals and decision-making processes. / Loxton, Edwina; SCHIRMER, Jacki; Kanowski, Peter.

    In: Forestry, Vol. 87, No. 3, 2014, p. 363-376.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Social impacts of forest policy changes in Western Australia on members of the natural forest industry: Implications for policy goals and decision-making processes

    AU - Loxton, Edwina

    AU - SCHIRMER, Jacki

    AU - Kanowski, Peter

    PY - 2014

    Y1 - 2014

    N2 - In many countries, timber harvesting from natural forests is accompanied by social conflict that governments seek to mitigate, often through the introduction of policy changes that reduce the forest industry's access to natural forest wood. Forest policy changes often have important implications for businesses and workers dependent on forest resources; however, the social impacts of such changes remain relatively unexplored. We conducted an ex post facto assessment of social impacts experienced by members of the forest industry in the Australian state of Western Australia following the introduction of three forest policy changes between 1999 and 2004. Results indicate that the process by which forest policy decisions were made, the nature of the resulting policy changes, and the actions people took in response, together contributed to three key negative social impacts: uncertainty, a perception of injustice, and financial stress. These impacts in turn led to diminished perceptions of industry security, thus discouraging business owners from investing in the industry, rather than encouraging investment, which was a key goal of the forest policy changes. The results highlight the importance of recognizing, avoiding and mitigating negative social impacts associated with policy changes, as these impacts can hinder the realization of policy goals.

    AB - In many countries, timber harvesting from natural forests is accompanied by social conflict that governments seek to mitigate, often through the introduction of policy changes that reduce the forest industry's access to natural forest wood. Forest policy changes often have important implications for businesses and workers dependent on forest resources; however, the social impacts of such changes remain relatively unexplored. We conducted an ex post facto assessment of social impacts experienced by members of the forest industry in the Australian state of Western Australia following the introduction of three forest policy changes between 1999 and 2004. Results indicate that the process by which forest policy decisions were made, the nature of the resulting policy changes, and the actions people took in response, together contributed to three key negative social impacts: uncertainty, a perception of injustice, and financial stress. These impacts in turn led to diminished perceptions of industry security, thus discouraging business owners from investing in the industry, rather than encouraging investment, which was a key goal of the forest policy changes. The results highlight the importance of recognizing, avoiding and mitigating negative social impacts associated with policy changes, as these impacts can hinder the realization of policy goals.

    KW - Forestry

    KW - policy

    KW - industry

    U2 - 10.1093/forestry/cpu011

    DO - 10.1093/forestry/cpu011

    M3 - Article

    VL - 87

    SP - 363

    EP - 376

    JO - Forestry

    JF - Forestry

    SN - 0015-752X

    IS - 3

    ER -