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CRC for Forestry > Research programs > Trees in the landscape > Communities > Community attitudes towards plantation forestry

Community attitudes towards plantation forestry

Background

Media reports and past research have made it clear that many people have strong views on plantation forestry, both for and against. With little known about the factors that shape these views on plantations, this project aimed to provide a more detailed understanding of public attitudes.  Views on plantations may be influenced by characteristics of plantations – for example, are plantations more acceptable in some locations than others? Or by characteristics of people – for example, are urban people more positive about plantations than rural people? It is also possible that views on plantations may change over time – for example, do plantations become more acceptable to neighbours over time?

Project overview 

This project undertook three major studies within this area.

  • Describing and explaining community views on plantation forestry used surveys to describe and explain community views on plantations in Tasmania and Western Australia. 
  • Making sense of plantations and communities considered how people working within the forest industry engage with social research to understand the ‘social side’ of forestry. 

  • Ideas of rurality and acceptability of plantation forestry investigated the ways people value rural landscapes and how this relates to acceptability of commercial forest plantations in rural landscapes.

Describing and explaining community views on plantation forestry

This project sought to understand and explain what makes plantations acceptable or unacceptable in rural landscapes.

Baseline research was undertaken in 2008, and the results of that study are available here.

In 2011, a follow-up study was undertaken in Tasmania and Western Australia. Read more.

Making sense of plantations and communities

PhD researcher: Caroline (Caj) Dunn

Caroline Dunn’s doctoral research considered how people working within the forest industry engage with social research to understand the ‘social side’ of forestry.  The CRC for Forestry ‘Communities’ project provided a case study for the project, allowing a unique opportunity to observe how the project researchers worked together with industry partners in developing social research goals and learning from research outcomes.

Based on two and a half years of participatory research, interviews and document analysis, the project described how industry partners and researchers make sense of the research and what it means for the forest industry. The project described action taken to help build skills and capacity within the case study research program. This included the skills of researchers to develop industry-relevant research, and the capacity of industry partners to understand and make practical use of research findings.

The research developed a framework for thinking about how social research can and might make a difference in Australian forestry, and in other areas where researchers are working with industry in areas of changing land use.

 To view Caroline's profile, click here