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Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3165; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093165

Frame Analysis of ENGO Conceptualization of Sustainable Forest Management: Environmental Justice and Neoliberalism at the Core of Sustainability

1
Wood K Plus (Kompetenzzentrum Holz GmbH), Market Analysis and Innovation Research Team, Feistmantelstraße 4, 1180 Vienna, Austria
2
Institute of Systems Sciences, Innovation and Sustainability Research, University of Graz, Merangasse 18/1, A-8010 Graz, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 June 2018 / Revised: 13 August 2018 / Accepted: 22 August 2018 / Published: 4 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Timber Consumption)
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Abstract

Normative judgments on sustainability underpin concepts that shape the supply scenarios of timber consumption. The modern understanding of sustainable forest management is shaped by a diverse spectrum of social demands, going beyond the principle of sustainable yield management. Rival stakeholders compete to incorporate their ideas and interpretations of sustainable forest management into policy institutions. Environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) have emerged as one of the dominant stakeholders in the forest-based sector. We set out to explore ENGO-specific conceptualizations of sustainable forest management and investigate differences in understanding among various ENGOs. By conducting a frame analysis of ENGO press releases, we identified two master frames: environmental justice and environmentalist frames. A difference in the emphasis placed on procedural and distributive justice as well as a different standpoint in the commons versus commodity debate emerged as the main divergences between the master frames. The results of our study demonstrate how the differences between the master frames underpin different conceptualizations of sustainable forest management. On the one hand, the ENGOs associated with the environmental justice master frame advocate for the broader implementation of community forest management based on power-sharing. On the other hand, the ENGOs associated with the environmentalist master frame promote a wide range of approaches associated with ecosystem management and social forestry paradigms. Moreover, the ENGOs associated with the environmentalist master frame challenge the concept of sustainable forest management as defined by the Helsinki and Montreal process by advocating for ecosystem management. The ENGOs associated with the environmental justice master frame reject the mainstream concept of sustainable forest management in any guise. Future research on ethical issues underlying forestry concepts may provide more conceptual and operational clarity for both forest managers and policy-makers. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable forest management; environmental justice; NGO; forestry; sustainability science; frame analysis; master frame sustainable forest management; environmental justice; NGO; forestry; sustainability science; frame analysis; master frame
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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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Šimunović, N.; Hesser, F.; Stern, T. Frame Analysis of ENGO Conceptualization of Sustainable Forest Management: Environmental Justice and Neoliberalism at the Core of Sustainability. Sustainability 2018, 10, 3165.

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