Implementation failure of the forest expansion policy in Flanders (Northern Belgium) and the policy learning potential

P. Van Gossum, L. Ledene, B. Arts, R. De Vreese, K. Verheyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The current study is an illustrative example of intersectoral land conflicts in a highly populated region that resulted in the non-implementation of an already agreed-upon policy. More specifically, it evaluates the implementation of the forest expansion policy in Flanders (Northern Belgium) and assesses the potential to adjust current policy. The policy implementation analysis based on the variables checklist of the new top down models points out that the forest expansion program is not successful. This is mainly due to inconsistencies within the objectives and grant schemes used in agriculture and nature conservation policy and local resistance of the agricultural sector. The Advocacy Coalition Framework was used to examine the potential to adjust current policy. For the legislative changes, no adjustments were possible because two persistent coalitions, `continuity-oriented¿ and `change-oriented¿, with polarized core beliefs exist. The existence of these coalitions also emerged from a Detrended Correspondence Analysis of the binary table of all questioned topics. In contrast with the legislative changes, adjustment of forest grants would be possible. Hence, only less complicated policy adjustments seem possible for the Flemish forest expansion policy, and the outlook of this policy appears bleak.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-522
JournalForest Policy and Economics
Volume10
Issue number7-8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Keywords

  • land-use
  • framework
  • communities
  • conflicts
  • europe

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