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Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14501-14520; doi:10.3390/su71114501

Sustainability Frames in the Context of the Energy Wood Conflict in Germany

1
Chair of Forest and Environmental Policy, Institute of Environmental Social Sciences and Geography, University of Freiburg, Tennenbacher Str. 4, 79106 Freiburg, Germany
2
Department of Forest and Society, Forest Research Institute Baden-Wuerttemberg, Wonnhaldestrasse 4, 79100 Freiburg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Susan Krumdieck
Received: 14 July 2015 / Revised: 21 October 2015 / Accepted: 22 October 2015 / Published: 29 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Use of Biomass Energy)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [723 KB, uploaded 29 October 2015]

Abstract

Interpretations of the concept of sustainability vary substantially in relation to forests and their management, and they are usually present in conflicts about forest use. In this article, we consider underlying interests relating to conflicts of forest use as a given. Our aim is therefore not to reveal those interests, but rather to explore understandings of sustainability hiding behind them—sustainability frames. To this end, we use frame theory to investigate the following research question: How are different sustainability frames of interest groups reflected in a forest use conflict situation in Germany? The energy wood conflict serves as the example for our research, as it is currently the most prominent forest management conflict in Germany. Using 12 stakeholder interviews within three interest groups as the empirical data basis, it becomes clear that sustainability understandings reflect particular positionings in conflicts, or vice versa. In the energy wood conflict, the classic dichotomy between forestry and conservation groups becomes a trichotomy in which the forestry group splits into an interest group that profits from energy wood production and one that competes with it. We suggest that sustainability understandings do not represent worldviews that guide how actors understand conflicts, but rather that they are shaped according to actors’ particular interests in conflicts. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable forest management; frame theory; framing; forest biomass; bioenergy; nature conservation; wood production; stakeholder group sustainable forest management; frame theory; framing; forest biomass; bioenergy; nature conservation; wood production; stakeholder group
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Peters, D.M.; Schraml, U. Sustainability Frames in the Context of the Energy Wood Conflict in Germany. Sustainability 2015, 7, 14501-14520.

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