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Unraveling the Relationship between Collective Action and Social Learning: Evidence from Community Forest Management in Canada

Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2, Canada
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Forests 2019, 10(6), 494; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10060494
Received: 30 March 2019 / Revised: 3 May 2019 / Accepted: 4 June 2019 / Published: 9 June 2019
An important outcome of social learning in the context of natural resource management is the potential for collective action—actions taken by a group of people that are the result of finding shared or common interest. Evidence of the relationship between collective action and social learning is beginning to emerge in the natural resource management literature in areas such as community forestry and participatory irrigation, but empirical evidence is sparse. Using a qualitative inquiry and research design involving a case study of the Wet’zinkw’a Community Forest Corporation, this paper presents research that examined the relationships between collective action and social learning through community forest management. Our findings show strong evidence of collective action outcomes on the part of board members responsible for the community forest, such as establishing a legacy fund, adding value to logs, protecting First Nations cultural values, and hiring locally. Our data also reveal that the actions taken by board members were encouraged through social learning that was related to acquiring (new) knowledge, developing an improved/deeper understanding, and building relationships. However, we found limited opportunities for community forest partners and the general public to learn and contribute to collective action outcomes since the actions taken and associated learning occurred mainly among board members. View Full-Text
Keywords: collective action; social learning; community forest management; Canada collective action; social learning; community forest management; Canada
MDPI and ACS Style

Assuah, A.; Sinclair, A.J. Unraveling the Relationship between Collective Action and Social Learning: Evidence from Community Forest Management in Canada. Forests 2019, 10, 494.

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