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Analysis of conflicted processes

Published: 11 July 2016

Marine national parks is our strongest tool for protecting the ocean and establishing a sustainable use of marine resources. However, to establish marine national parks has proved to be difficult and to create conflicts. Now will research at Luleå University of Technology examine why.

– There are always conflicts when it comes to conservation and utilization of land and who should be allowed to use natural resources, and when and how. This project can give us knowledge of policy processes in conflict-ridden processes concerning the environment in general, not only for the establishment of marine national parks, says Annica Sandström, Associate Professor of Political Science at Luleå University of Technology.

Kosterhavet on the West Coast is our first, and currently only, marine national park in Sweden. In 1989 was Kosterhavet pointed out in the first National Plan, together with St. Anna archipelago in Östergötland and Nämndöskärgården in Södermanland. 20 years later, in 2009, became Kosterhavet a marine national park. In Nämndöskärgården is the process ongoing, and in St. Anna archipelago has everything stalled.

Annica Sandström and Andrea Morf, Human Ecologist at the University of Gothenburg will implement the Formas-funded project of three million SEK.

– We will identify the processes since 1989 to find explanations for why it looks as it does today. What happened, what turning points can be seen and when did they occur? Which actors have been involved, what were their opinions? Which coalitions have emerged, for and against? Why did some areas managed to bridge the conflicts and create synergy of coalitions? says Annica Sandström.

– A success factor in the Koster process was that it managed to get a good solution for fishing. In the case of St. Anna made the landowners in the archipelago the process to a halt, and in Nämdö archipelago has questions arisen about who will manage the park, concludes Annica Sandström.