Article
Summary

Within Norwegian agriculture, combined dairy and beef production has been identified as a major source of greenhouse gas emissions and thus targeted for significant reductions. The article examines the path dependency of the dairy and beef production system in Norway and focuses on identifying lock-ins. The authors used qualitative methods to gather information from stakeholder meetings in Trøndelag and Rogaland counties. They explored the stakeholders’ responses to two different visions of agriculture in the future: the improved utilisation of outfields using Norwegian Red cattle and increasing production per animal by using feed concentrates. Six key areas of lock-in were identified: technology investment, culture, feeding strategy, policy, access to new farmland through moorland conversion, and ownership of the climate issue. The findings suggest that the current pathway in agriculture is strongly locked into production orientation through these lock-ins, making a production reduction option difficult to implement. There was also widespread belief among the stakeholders that the system of combined dairy and beef production was a climate-friendly option, suggesting that farmers are not convinced that a change in this direction is required. The authors conclude that the option of reducing production would be difficult to implement without addressing the multiple lock-in effects.


Article
Summary

The reappearance of large carnivores in Europe can be viewed as a conservation success, however, the increase in carnivore numbers has also resulted in an increase in livestock predation. While multiple studies have been conducted into farmers’ attitudes to large carnivores, the consequence of predation on farmers’ mental health and wellbeing is under-researched. Using a mixed-method approach, this study examines the potential regional impact of the presence of wolves on farmers’ psychological distress in Norway. Data from the nationally representative Trends in Norwegian Agriculture Survey was analysed using a multiple regression analysis. Psychological distress was measured using a 5 item Hopkins Symptom Checklist. Comparison with register data of livestock losses showed that sheep farmers living in regions where sheep have been killed by wolves within the last 5 years have higher psychological distress scores than (a) sheep farmers elsewhere in Norway, and (b) farmers in the same region without sheep. What makes our study different from others is that the Trends survey was not targeted at the wolf issue directly, meaning that accusations of farmer bias against wolves when responding to surveys cannot explain our results. We support this conclusion by exploring (and, ultimately, dismissing) alternative explanations and through 20 qualitative interviews with sheep farmers in a predation region (regional county of Hedmark) to investigate how carnivore presence is experienced. Stress, anxiety, sleep deprivation, and reduced quality of life were reported as key consequences of the carnivore pressure. The findings suggest that farmers do not need to experience animal deaths and injuries personally to experience the distress of predation. Living nearby and assisting farmer colleagues make this a shared condition. Journal of Rural Studies 78:1-11


  • Katrina Rønningen
  • Auvikki de Boon
  • Camilla Sandström
  • Ugo Arbieu
  • Inger Hansen
  • Lisa Lehnen
  • Agnese Marino
  • Mari Pohja-Mykrä
  • Camilla Risvoll
  • Geir-Harald Strand
Article
Summary

Policy mixes (i.e. the total structure of policy processes, strategies, and instruments) are complex constructs that can quickly become incoherent, inconsistent, and incomprehensive. This is amplified when the policy mix strives to meet multiple objectives simultaneously, such as in the case of large carnivore policy mixes. Building on Rogge and Reichardt's analytical framework for the analysis of policy mixes, we compare the policy mixes of Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Germany (specifically Saxony and Bavaria), and Spain (specifically Castilla y León). The study shows that the large carnivore policy mixes in the case countries show signs of lacking vertical and horizontal coherence in the design of policy processes, weak consistency between objectives and designated policy instruments, and, as a consequence, lacking comprehensiveness. We conclude that creating consistent, coherent, and comprehensive policy mixes that build on multiple objectives requires stepping away from sectorized policy development, toward a holistic, systemic approach, strong collaborative structures across policy boundaries and regions, the inclusion of diverse stakeholders, and constant care and attention to address all objectives simultaneously rather than in isolation.


Article
Summary

This article discusses how studying rhythms can help us better understand and manage spatiotemporal tensions in social-ecological landscapes, highlighting the potential of rhythmanalysis as a tool for crossing scientific and methodological borders. The empirical material is from a study of human and non-human users and uses of the highly valued Dovrefjell mountain area in Norway, with particular attention to the much-debated Snøheim Road. We take an in-depth view of Three different, but interrelated, rhythms at Dovrefjell and discuss how intervening through rhythms can be a fruitful way to approach landscape management. By simultaneously ‘listening’ to different rhythms, this approach helps us to understand and reduce spatiotemporal tensions between social, cultural and ecological uses of a landscape. Landscape Research. https://doi.org/10.1080/01426397.2018.1535652


Article
Summary

Worldwide semi-natural habitats of high biological value are in decline. Consequently, numerous AgriEnvironment Schemes (AESs) intended to halt biodiversity loss within these habitats have been implemented. One approach has been the application of “adaptive management”, where scientific knowledge is applied alongside the traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) of stakeholders in order to establish an integrated approach that is adjusted as outcomes are assessed. In this paper we examine the effectiveness of the adaptive management approach of Norway’s Action Plan for Hay Meadows (APHM). Twenty-nine hay meadows from fourteen farms in the county of Møre og Romsdal were ecologically surveyed over a 2 year period. Interviews were also conducted with owners and land managers to explore TEK and management issues. The interdisciplinary study found that the disembedding of hay meadow management from its initial commercial purpose (in particular the loss of much of the livestock from the region) has contributed to a significant loss of TEK – which is now largely limited to knowledge of how the fields were managed recently. While, the APHM is limiting biodiversity decline by promoting traditional practices there were indications that the standardisation of management actions might negatively affect species composition in the long term. More critically, continued farm abandonment within the region means that without alternatives to management by farmers many of these meadows are likely to disappear in the next couple of decades. We conclude that adaptive management provides an effective short-term means of preserving hay meadows, but long term conservation will require a means of addressing the continued decline of local farming communities. Land Use Policy. Volum 72, s. 259-269


Article
Summary

The conservation of nature in Norway has mainly been grounded on the idea of preservation of wilderness areas, while the cultural influence within many of these areas often has been overlooked. The present study shows that many of these conservation areas hardly can be defined as undisturbed nature. GIS methods have been used to evaluate an important aspect of the cultural impact in conservation areas, namely deforestation. By combining a new high-resolution deforestation model with the nature conservation areas in Norway, we found that many of the nature conservation areas are highly influenced by previous land use. Around 11.7 % (3,629 km2) of the national parks, 18.4 % (3,183 km2) of the landscape conservation areas and 13.7 % (774 km2) of the nature reserves have been deforested. Given the present trend in land use abandonment and in a historical perspective the extremely low outfield resource utilization, these landscapes will be ecologically and aesthetically changed by future reforestation. Given the presented results, we recommend an in-depth study of the cultural impact within nature conservation areas in Norway. Kart og Plan, Vol. 74, pp. 210–222


Article
Summary

Does it make sense to talk about a crisis in agriculture in one of the world’s wealthiest economies when significant quantities of public money are invested in the agricultural sector? Moreover, should one worry about the robustness of food production if it takes place at the margins of economic efficiency and where, consequently, importing food seems the simpler and cheaper option? Should agriculture in marginal areas have any role whatsoever in food production? Against the backdrop of national and international discourses on the need for increasing food production, this article analyses developments in Northern Norway in the aftermath of a year of major production crisis. The analysis uses large statistical data sets combined with qualitative information to draw a picture of agriculture in this region. We contend that marginal areas are important for maintaining agricultural production capacity but are unlikely to play a significant role in any potential increase in productivity unless new pathways are chosen for agricultural policies and production. However, the ability to maintain agricultural production systems and levels is being threatened by both economic and structural changes in agriculture and decreasing skills and knowledge of how to maintain and develop robust farming systems in these regions. International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food 21 (1):51-69