Environmental governance

In the field of environmental governance, we work with issues such as natural resource management, land-use planning, environmental impact assessments, changes in land-use, and conflicts of interest between conservation and land-owners. As an example, we inquire into the values that have been emphasized in the process leading up to large-scale encroachments on natural assets. Our research has touches on ways of achieving a solid scientific basis for sustainable land-use management. As a means of achieving sustainable land-use and resource management, we have in several instances employed a method for co-production of knowledge. In practice, this has entailed direct involvement of practitioners such as farmers or municipal planners in the research process.

In the realm of natural resource use and management, we study the interaction between traditional and new forms of resource utilization and outdoor recreation (‘friluftsliv’), examples of the latter being mountain biking and alpine ski touring. We have also compared how the local population and visitors use outfields, and examined ways in which communities can facilitate different usage whilst building attractive and sustainable communities. In these research projects, we also study the interplay between traditional outdoor activities, commercial tourism activities, and governmental facilitation and regulation. Our research is cross-disciplinary, and involves disciplines such as Sociology, Geography, Economics, and Environmental Sciences.

Key academic partners include Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL), Nordlandsforskning, Norsk institutt for naturforskning, and the University of the Highlands and Islands (UK).