The Human Dimensions of Forest & Tree Health-Global Perspectives

Urquhart, Julie ORCID: 0000-0001-5000-4630 (2018) The Human Dimensions of Forest & Tree Health-Global Perspectives. Palgrave Macmillan, London. ISBN 9783319769554

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There is growing scientific, policymaker and public concern surrounding the threats posed by the growing incidence of invasive pests and pathogens to tree health worldwide. The upsurge in new tree pest and disease outbreaks, many of them with the potential to radically reshape our native woodlands and forests, is closely linked to the significant growth in global trade and transportation in recent decades. Alongside this, alien pests and pathogens are able to establish at latitudes and altitudes that previously would have been unsuitable for them to flourish due to climate and environmental change. Growing evidence suggests that tree pests and diseases are likely to have profound consequences for the ecosystem services provided by trees and forests with resulting substantial impacts on human wellbeing. Dealing with such outbreaks, therefore, will often involves complex interactions between a wide range of actors including government agencies, tree growers, transporters, suppliers, consumers and the wider public in what we broadly define as the ‘human dimensions of forest and tree health’. Human Dimensions of Forest & Tree Health-Global Perspectives was conceived in response to recognition of a need to better understand the diverse human dimensions of forest health. Addressing this requires approaches from a range of academic disciplines, such as economics, sociology, environmental psychology, cultural geography, environmental ethics, anthropology, health studies and history, alongside traditional technical risk assessment tools and natural science expertise. As a first step in this process, this book has been produced by researchers who are engaged with the International Union of Forest Research Organizations’ (IUFRO) newly-formed working party ‘7.03.15 - Social dimensions of forest health’. It also draws on the themes from a series of workshops hosted by the book’s editors as part of the UK’s Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Initiative (THAPBI). As such, it provides a state-of-the-art collection of contributions from diverse social scientists and economists working across the globe and represents the first book-length synthesis of an important area of applied academic research. It brings together arguments, relevant theoretical frameworks and the latest empirical research findings to consider the specifically human dimensions of tree pests and diseases. A central theme of the book is to consider the contribution of the social sciences in better understanding the social, economic and environmental drivers and impacts of tree disease and pest outbreaks. Taken together the chapters make theoretical, methodological and applied contributions to our understanding that will have relevance for a broad range of academic, policy and practitioner audiences. From the outset, the editors wanted to provide a collection of work that represented different geographical, cultural and socio-political contexts. Alongside a core of contributions from UK researchers, chapters are included from scholars in New Zealand, the United States, Sweden, Romania and Turkey. Thus, its international scope allows for a comparative assessment of tree health social science research, and hopefully highlights transferrable lessons for improving biosecurity in a range of socio-economic and spatial contexts. Given the relative infancy of social science attention to tree health issues, the number and geographical scope of researchers working in this field in currently limited. A clear gap in coverage is in developing countries in Africa, Asia and South America. We hope that this book will provide inspiration to social science scholars on these continents to engage with this important growing area of academic and applied interest. We firmly believe that the social sciences, and arts and humanities, have much to offer to improve our understanding of the complex interactions between humans and tree pests and diseases. The editors would like to thank the contributors to this volume for their hard work in response to several rounds of revisions that were requested of them and for their timely response to other more technical matters, often at very short notice. Thanks also to the contributors for their role as peer reviewers, who graciously accepted requests to review chapters and provided constructive and useful feedback. This process, we feel, has strengthened the quality of the contributions immensely. It has been a pleasure to work with this team of very impressive academics to turn our idea for this book into a reality. We also appreciate the support of Rachael Ballard, our publisher at Palgrave-Macmillan, for inviting us to work on this book project and for her assistance with the publication processes.

Item Type: Book
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human geography. Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Countryside and Community Research Institute
Research Priority Areas: Place, Environment and Community
Depositing User: Julie Urquhart
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2018 10:01
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2023 15:53

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