A toolbox for co-production of knowledge and improved land use dialogues

by Per Sandström

Institution: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Year: 2015
Keywords: knowledge management; indigenous knowledge; indigenous peoples; participatory communication; decision making; geographical information systems; reindeer husbandry; lichenes; sustainable forest management; sweden; Co-production of knowledge; cumulative impacts; dialogue; indigenous people; land use; pGIS; reindeer husbandry planning; sustainable landscapes
Record ID: 1346236
Full text PDF: http://pub.epsilon.slu.se/11881/


In northern Sweden, forestry, wind and hydropower, mining, infrastructure development and associated influence zones together constitute a complicated, land use situation that strongly impacts reindeer husbandry, a unique and extensive land use system. This situation has led to challenges for land managers and decision makers. Because of limited use of existing knowledge and lack of specific data on key resources, the land use dialogue among the reindeer herding communities, other land users and agencies has been inadequate. To overcome this problem, reindeer herding communities initiated a process to improve this situation together with researchers and with state and regional agencies. Key findings from the collaborative, process-focused papers in this thesis showed that the diverse groups that worked together could co-produce methods and tools that increased the engagement and the ability to negotiate and find solutions. Furthermore, the co-production of knowledge served as a heuristic, increasing the use and understanding of compiled information. The co-production further created an exigency for conventional research that then informed the tools, thereby increasing the potential contribution towards improved dialogue. Findings also indicated that significant declines have occurred in the amount and distribution of forest floor lichen, – a key reindeer winter grazing resource – since the introduction of modern forestry practices in the mid-20th century. Furthermore, forecasting alternative forest practices indicated that current forest practices would further diminish the forest floor lichen resource. Promising results demonstrated that satellite-based mapping of forest floor lichen can be carried out successfully and can identify crucial areas for directed forest management, which can improve conditions for forest floor lichen. In combination, the co-produced toolbox and the findings about the status, trend and distribution of the lichen resource can potentially improve future dialogue. The work represented in this thesis can potentially serve as a stronger foundation to safeguard the continuation of the complex land use system of reindeer husbandry, which constitutes both a fundamental component in the indigenous Sami culture, as well as a key to successful sustainable landscape management.