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Photo: Staffan Westerlund
One year old moose, Älvsby municipality Photo: Staffan Westerlund View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Swedish wildlife administration is analyzed

Published: 19 February 2021

In the last decade, Swedish wildlife administration has undergone institutional reforms through increased inclusion of non governmental stakeholders in the decision-making process. In a new project, an overall picture of the social science research that has been carried out in the field will be produced. The results will form the basis for practical recommendations to decision-makers in wildlife management.

At the same time as parts of the administration systems for predators and moose have been delegated to the regional and local level, various interests have been invited to participate in the decision-making process, including nature conservation organizations, hunters, the forest and fishing industry and the reindeer industry.

– By including different interests, the government aim has been to increase the legitimacy of the administration, att the same time knowledge and opinions are gathered from parties affected by the decisions, says Annica Sandström, professor of political science and project manager.

Seminars and workshops

Together with Camilla Sandström, professor of political science at Umeå University, and a postdoc, she will map and analyze the research studies that have been done in the field and interview some of the researchers behind the studies. Seminars and workshops will be organized within the framework of the project with researchers and decision-makers as well as managers and stakeholders among the participants.

– We will publish reports continuously during the project. These must be kept at a popular science level so that everyone involved can absorb the results. The idea is that our conclusions can be translated into practical recommendations for how we create effective and legitimate decision-making processes.

A general environmental policy trend

It is a general trend in environmental policy to encourage stakeholders to participate in the decision-making process, both in Sweden and globally, especially within the EU. Annica Sandström therefore believes that the results of the research project can also be generalized to other environmental policy areas.

– We know very little about what these management systems deliver and how it works. By creating a synthesis of the last ten years' research, we hope to be able to contribute to a clearer picture of how modern environmental management is actually conducted and how it can and should be conducted, says Annica Sandström.

The research project runs for two years and has been granted funding of approximately SEK 1 million from the Viltvårdsfonden (Wildlife Conservation Fund), which is managed by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.