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ŠUMARSKI LIST 3-4/2021 str. 62     <-- 62 -->        PDF

This study, based on modified Schusser´s sequential method, was conducted from August 2017 to August 2018 with the aim of using accessible and familiar case example from Serbia to verify the claim of forest policy science - that users, their interests and potential conflicts of interest can be comprehensively identified and analysed while applying empirically analytical approach. On the example of special nature reserve Koviljsko-Petrovaradinski Rit the intensity of user´s interest is assessed based on qualitative content analysis and critical reasoning in combination with the techniques of triangulation, induction and deduction. By entering the estimated intensity of user interests into the analytical sheme (users categorized as forest owners- state/province and private, forestry employees, enterprises/institutions and citizens), the first conflicting zone was identified between the very strong interests in forest utilization (priority of profitable timber harvesting) and the interest field comprising the very strong and strong user interests for nature conservation. In addition, the state/province (public enterprise Vojvodinašume) is in an internal conflict, having (also) a very strong interest in wood production (creating revenues) on the one hand and in nature conservation on another. In order to balance them (towards the general social interest), the state/province has an advantage of being in the position to look internally for a solution, but the analytical scheme also shows how potential changes could trigger conflicts with other users (wood industry if protection is increased or nature protection actors if logging intensifies). The current solution of protection zones, divided into strict protection 6%, active protection 29% and profitable use of wood 65%, reflects the actual compromise package between the state/province andinterests of remaining users, which will last as long as the state/province is in the position to support it with available political means.
Whereas individual discourses take into account only partial aspects, the current approach has provided a comprehensive insight into Rit´s actors and interests. Methodological set-up of existing theoretically-based analytical categories has offered conclusions relevant for further research, forming at the same time a strong basis for more active communication of results with practice: users can more clearly perceive each other’s positions and evaluate own abilities to act, while searching for the implementation concepts that work in practice.
Key words: interests, conflicts, protected areas, forest policy, Serbia