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Governance of forest recreation



Forests have always played an important role in society. In the last decade the recreation function of forests has gained importance. Fulfilling a sustainable forest management and planning not only includes managing the forest functions of conservation and wood production. Moreover, it encourages managing and planning the recreation function of forests. In order to achieve this, information and knowledge on societal requirements and necessities is needed, and the knowledge thereof how decisions on forest recreation planning and management are taken.


The research project reviews from a governance perspective, which stakeholders, institutions (formal and informal norms) and forms of coordination influence the management of forest recreation. Through this the governance of forest recreation structures and processes in the forests can be determined and the effectiveness can be assessed. The findings will be integrated in a knowledge management tool, which will increase the effectiveness of planning and will encourage a sustainable multifunctional forest management. The project will assess forest planning decision-making processes and forest recreation uses. The aims are:

  • to describe the goods and services of forest recreation and management in selected case studies;
  • to analyze the coordination mechanism (Stakeholder constellation, institutional arrangements, coordination forms) of forest recreation management at regional and operational level;
  • to analyze the effects of coordination mechanism on forest recreation management and provision;
  • to develop criteria for „Good Governance“ of forest recreation;
  • to develop a knowledge management tool.


  • Pütz, M., 2013: The rules of the forest. International Innovation 20-22.

  • Pütz, M., Schmid, S., Bernasconi, A., & Wolf, B. (2015). Urban Forestry: Definition, Trends und Folgerungen für die Waldakteure in der Schweiz. Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Forstwesen, 166(4), 230-237.
  • Wilkes-Allemann, J., Pütz, M., Hirschi, C., Fischer, C., 2015. Conflict Situations and Response Strategies In Urban Forests In Switzerland. Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research, 30 (3): 204-216. 
  • Wilkes-Allemann, J., Pütz, M., Hirschi, C. 2015: Governance of forest recreation in urban areas: analysing the role of stakeholders and institutions using the Institutional Analysis and Development Framework. Environmental Policy and Governance, 25 (2): 139-156.


WSL, Reserach Group Regional Economics and Development in the Research Unit Economics and Social Sciences.

  • Jerylee Wilkes (PhD Student)
  • Marco Pütz (Project leader)


  • Stefanie Engel, Christian Hirschi (ETHZ, Institute for Environmental Decisions)
  • Marc Hanewinkel (WSL, Forest Resources and Management)


The project is funded by the State Secretariat for Education and Research SER in the framework of COST Action FP0804 FORSYS