How Can Local and Regional Knowledge Networks Contribute to Landscape Level Action for Tree Health?

O'Brien, Liz, Karlsdóttir, Berglind, Ambrose-Oji, Bianca, Urquhart, Julie ORCID: 0000-0001-5000-4630, Edwards, David, Amboage, Rosa and Jones, Glyn (2021) How Can Local and Regional Knowledge Networks Contribute to Landscape Level Action for Tree Health? Forests, 12 (10). pp. 1394-1412. doi:10.3390/f12101394

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Forests worldwide are facing increasing pressures, with human travel and trade assisting the spread of pests and diseases. Climate change is likely to enhance the negative impacts of pests and diseases, which cause global declines and local extinctions. In this research we focus on three local and regional knowledge networks in the UK concerned with pests and diseases to explore to what extent the networks raise awareness and encourage other actions in their members, and identify what roles social capital and social learning play in these networks. A qualitative approach was undertaken. Three networks focused on pests and diseases were studied in the research, which involved 20 interviews with network members, and in situ discussions with two of the networks involving 41 members. Interviewees in the networks self-reported increased awareness and understanding of tree health issues as an important outcome of their participation in a network. The networks engaged in a range of actions, from knowledge exchange to developing guidance and running events, workshops and field trips. The role of the networks in supporting the development of social capital and social learning made an important contribution to the knowledge exchange and other actions undertaken, and highlights how networks can contribute to landscape-level action towards tree health. Stakeholders need to be included in responses to pest and disease threats, and networks can play an important role in raising awareness, knowledge exchange and linking up diverse land managers. This research provides evidence of the importance of networks in developing a collective approach, creating a stronger voice, aiding different organisations and individuals to work together, and providing an arena for social learning and developing useful relationships. A recognition of the importance of networks and the provision of some financial support could aid their continuation.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Land managers; Networks; Pests and diseases; Tree health; Resilience; Decision making; Behaviours; Social capital; Social learning
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
S Agriculture > SD Forestry
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Countryside and Community Research Institute
Research Priority Areas: Place, Environment and Community
Depositing User: Sofia Raseta
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2021 13:30
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2022 10:37

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