The project examined communication in two types of joint communication forums in Sweden: consultations between forestry companies and Sami villages on forestry; and consultations between County Boards and Sami villages on predator management. The aim of the study was to describe the communication in the forums, and the wider implications these forums have for the overall management of reindeer, forests and predators.
Natural resource management is based on the assumption that collaboration and dialogue will contribute to sustainability, while simultaneously preventing conflicts. Recently, forums for joint consultation (JC) have been established in Sweden to enable such dialogue.
The research questions were:
- What is characterising the communication practice in new deliberative meetings between mountain actors with different interest and values (e.g. between reindeer managers and forest managers, and how does this communication practice relate to the expressed goals with the meetings (e.g. to communicate constructively)?
- What institutional structures facilitate, support and inhibit different kinds of communication?
- What opportunities are available for changes in organisational structure and communicative practices in order to create the kind of communication that initially motivated the creation of the deliberative arena?
The empirical material consisted of interviews and recordings from 18 JC-meetings.