Social networks of private forest owners and the implementation of alternative forest management methods, MultiForSe

Last changed: 27 November 2023
A group of people look into a mixed forest. Photo.

The research project will investigate how private forest owners' social networks supporting multi-use forestry can accelerate the implementation of alternative forest management. The aims are also on understanding which methods multi-users apply today and which could be relevant in the future, as well as providing suggestions for policy measures that support the use of alternative forest management methodst.

Sweden's forestry is strongly influenced by the forest industry and characterized by slow change. Meanwhile, a new movement is emerging where Swedish private forest owners apply alternative forest use and forest management methods that are outside common practice. The MultiForSe project aims to analyze how social learning networks of Swedish private forest owners can be used to accelerate the implementation of alternative forest management methods already present and applied within the multi-use movement. Fundamental to this project is that multi-use goes hand in hand with alternative forest management, and changes in one have the potential to induce changes in the other. By focusing on multi-use of the forest, this project investigates the perceived effects and benefits of alternative forest management methods and forest use, examining how they interact to sustain rural livelihoods. The objective is to explore innovative and versatile forest management methods currently implemented, as well as methods that might be used in the future as a result of changing existing practices. The project also examines the motivation of forest owners who have already introduced and applied alternative forest management methods based on several identified values in the forest.

MultiForSe consists of four work packages (AP) where researchers from various disciplines employ different methods. AP1 uses qualitative methods such as interviews to map current forest practices and the networks working to promote various values and multi-use in the forest. AP2 is quantitative and analyzes forest owners' behaviors and attitudes through a national survey. AP3 models forestry based on the results from the first two packages to predict future responses to various policies. In AP4, researchers collaborate with key stakeholders in the forestry sector to validate results and create policy recommendations. The project contributes to theories about social networks by explaining how knowledge sharing influences decision-making among forest owners. By combining qualitative and quantitative research as well as modeling, the project enables proposals for policy measures that can increase the use of sustainable forest methods while considering more societal benefits and goals.


Brian Danley, Associate senior lecturer/Assistant Professor
Department of Earth Sciences, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development, Uppsala University, 018-471 8452


Project title: MultiForSe - Multi-use forestry, private forest ownerships, and social learning networks. Approaching family forest owners as grassroots agents for alternative forest management.

Collaborative partners: Uppsala University, Umeå University, Lund University and Wageningen University & Research.

The project is expected to be completed: 2026

Financier: FORMAS