Online streaming public participation in forest management planning

Henn Korjus 1 , Priit Põllumäe 1 , Andres Kiviste 1 , Ahto Kangur 1 , Diana Laarmann 1 , Risto Sirgmets 1  and Mait Lang 1 , 2
  • 1 Institute of Forestry and Rural Engineering, Estonian University of Life Sciences, 51014, Tartu, Estonia
  • 2 , 61602, Estonia

Abstract

A new paradigm in forest management using a streaming input of public participation needs effective online solutions. The process should be real-time, secure, effective and efficient. People are expected to share their data and thoughts on forest management with forest owners for improving forest management and planning. The participatory approach supports communication within society and can be designed as an interactive web-based solution. Many pre-requisites have already been met and society is ready for a successful start of an interactive participatory forest planning system in Estonia. People use digital identification for various purposes and the state already maintains an online public forest register. Motivating people to participate in the planning process is always challenging yet important for the successful implementation of the system. The system should allow simulating the development and management of forest stands following the participatory input and using ecosystem models and economic calculations. The outputs from the system include management alternatives, risk assessments and financial reports. The system requires a reliable financial compensation scheme to ensure overall long-term stability of the system and agreements between interested persons or groups and forest owners.

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