Between Forests and Climate Change: A Study of Climate Change Relations amongst small-scale Private Forest Owners in southern Sweden

University essay from Lunds universitet/Socialantropologi; Lunds universitet/Sociologiska institutionen

Abstract: The aim with this thesis is to broaden the understanding of relations surrounding climate change in small-scale private forestry in Sweden by present results from an fieldwork study of a small sample of private forest owners in the south of Sweden. The thesis shows how forest owners are situated within socio-ecological, and political contexts that affect their possibilities to cope with, and shapes their understanding of, future climate change. The results are based upon empirical material collected from a fieldwork conducted in the densely forested border-zone between the three counties Halland, Scania, and Kronoberg, in the south of Sweden in late 2016. The thesis builds upon critical theories from anthropology, and social science, concerned with the contemporary world of climate change. The results show that there exist social, and political conflicts and contempt to forestry authorities and experts that affect the forest owners’ views on climate change and future forest management. It is also shown that forest owners tends to separate their own personal experiences of, and responses to climatic variations from general global climate change, as well as not necessarily connect their own contemporary coping strategies with climate change adaptation. In addition, the thesis also shows how forest owners can be seen as entangled and active participants in their forests and discusses how climate should be seen as relationally connected with local forests, producing what Marcus Taylor conceptualize as ‘material climates’.

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