Participatory Approach to Natural Resource Management – A Guide Book
The Finnish Forest and Park Service (FPS) is a State enterprise managing one quarter, approximately 10 million hectares, of Finland’s land and water area. Apart from its enterprise related tasks, the FPS also has community and official duties. These include taking care of protected areas and promoting nature conservation and recreation use on state lands and waters. The FPS also produces forest tree seeds and markets its natural expertise.
Both the land and water, including their natural resources, are managed sustainably. The values and expectations of Finnish citizens and society, nature’s potential, and the economic aspects of activities are all taken into account. The FPS pursues an open, interactive and people oriented everyday management and planning philosophy. In the FPS participatory management include informing, gathering value based and geographic input, talking with tha stakeholders and the public and giving them feedback. Negotiating or even seeking consensus might as well come into question. The aim is to improve the working relationships with all those stakeholder groups and the citizens interested in the FPS’s activities and the management of the State lands. An effort is made to determine at an early stage – when activities are being planned – the different interest groups and their expectations and knowledge related to the natural resources being planned. All public input is documented and taken into account. Through participatory management, the FPS will take care of common property in a broadly accepted way while implementing the objectives set by the parliament.
This guide is one of the many results of the participatory management development work being undertaken in the FPS. Public participation has been voluntarily initiated by the FPS; the agency is not obliged to apply it through legislation.