General Public Acceptance of Forest Risk Management Strategies in Sweden: Comparing Three Approaches to Acceptability

Environ Behav. 2018 Feb;50(2):159-186. doi: 10.1177/0013916517691325. Epub 2017 Feb 10.


Global change calls for more active approaches to forest risk management. To avoid unforeseen backlashes, it is necessary to examine the general public's acceptance of the risk management strategies. By drawing on different theoretical approaches (threat and prevention, performance evaluations, and forest cognitions), the present study examines predictors of acceptability in the general public in three counties in Sweden (N = 1,026). As expected, appraisals of threat mediated the effect of threat awareness on belief in risk prevention, and when examining performance evaluations, trust in responsible actors influenced acceptability via procedural satisfaction. However, the threat and prevention approach and the performance evaluation approach only explained low levels of the variance in acceptability of the examined strategies. Nevertheless, stronger ecological forest values, and favoring broadleaved forests, were found to be important to the acceptability of proactively implementing a more diverse forest to meet the expected challenges associated with global climate change.

Keywords: acceptability; forest cognitions; forest risk management; performance evaluations; threat and prevention.