Towards more sustainable bioenergy production - forest owners' readiness forchange
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CitationTakala, Tuomo. Kähkönen, Tanja. Laakkonen, Anu. Tikkanen, Jukka. (2020). Towards more sustainable bioenergy production - forest owners' readiness forchange. Scandinavian journal of forest research, 35 (1-2) , 108-116. 10.1080/02827581.2020.1733072.
Community-based energy initiatives have been regarded as a promising way to guide people toward a more sustainable future. We analysed whether the members of Finnish forest bioenergy co-operatives (FOCOs) are readier for the sustainability transition than other forest owners (n = 10 for both groups). The data were gathered using an interview about forest-related change and a survey about climate change attitudes. Qualitative content analysis, network analysis and Mann-Whitney’s U-test were applied. The FOCO members were readier for change regarding different new ways to gain profit from one’s own forest, and they also recognised significantly more positive forest-related changes than the non-members. However, changes that reflected environmental concern or the idea of sustainability transition were rarely recognised within both forest owner groups. Further research and education interventions are thus needed to increase the awareness of sustainable development within both groups. Furthermore, the FOCO members’ readiness for applying economically attractive businesses could be used in piloting projects that aim to include payments for ecosystem services, such as subsidies for carbon storage, into the FOCO model. Instead, the emergence of more radical community-based forest initiatives that start from an environmental concern are probably not appealing for most of the present forest owners.