Spiritual Values and Sustainable Forest Management
What are the nature, role and effects of spiritual values in forest management? This is the main question of this project. Indigenous forest managers worldwide are increasingly demanding explicit attention for spiritual values to make forest and nature management truly sustainable. In the Netherlands forest managers are facing growing interest from the public in spiritual values of nature, often expressed in more implicit language. This project uses a multi-dimensional ‘family resemblance’ approach to the conceptualisation of spiritual values. In Phase 1 (current), forest management plans from British Columbia and the Netherlands are analysed on how they articulate spiritual values. In phase 2, forest management practices are analysed in the Netherlands to obtain a broad overview; in phase 3, cases where spiritual values are explictly articulated in forest management (worldwide) are studied in-depth.
Are you a Masters student looking for an interesting thesis subject? Then you are invited to participate in the following topics:
1: Spiritual Values in the practice of Forest Management in the Netherlands
You will investigate to what extent spiritual values in forest managament plans are translated into forest management practices. What kinds of spiritual values are found in management practices? What spritually engaged practices take place without coverage by a plan? How do spiritual values interact with other values? And what choices do managers and stakeholders make in case of diverging values? Methods: interviews with forest managers and other key stakeholders in combination with field visits in selected Dutch forest units.
2: Spiritual Values in Forest Management – case studies
You will select an area of your choice where spiritual values are articulated as part of the forest’s management goals or strategies. This case you will study in-depth to answer the following questions: How are spiritual values articulated in the plans of this forest? How are spiritual values enacted in the management practices? What kinds of unplanned 'spiritual' practices take place? How do spiritual values interact with other forest values? What choices do managers and stakeholders make in case of diverging values? How do they perceive the effects of their choices? You will apply a mixed qualitative methodology (study of management plans, interviews, field visits, participatory observation, and triangulation of methods to validate results).