Value creation on Norway’s green gold : an analysis of policy formulation and implementation in the field of nature conservation.
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Original versionFedreheim, G. E. (2013). Value creation on Norway’s green gold: an analysis of policy formulation and implementation in the field of nature conservation (Doctoral thesis). University of Nordland, Bodø
This dissertation’s puzzle is to ascertain why a policy from 2003 aimed at increasing nature-based tourism in Norway has not yet lead to changes for tourism operators. The underlying expectations were that such a policy decision, which marked a shift in Norwegian environmental politics from a conservation path to a conservation-and-use path, would lead to institutional changes or the crafting of new institutions. Hence, this dissertation aims at answering the question "What facilitates or hinders whether a policy decision in the end leads to institutional change?" The purpose of investigating this question was to understand why this policy did not lead to changes for tourism operators, as well as to describe how a policy decision relates to an institutional change and vice versa. The policy studied here is called the Mountain Text (Fjellteksten) and aims to increase nature-based tourism in protected areas in Norway. Internationally a recent acknowledgment of conservation’s shortcomings resulted in a "new conservation paradigm" which Norway responded to with the Mountain Text. One of the goals of the Mountain Text was to increase the legitimacy of protected areas, because prior to 2003 Norwegians had a negative attitude toward them. In this dissertation, policies are understood as series of dynamic decisions that are formulated and influenced by other policies. Policy making is described as a cycle in which three overlapping and interdependent activities take place: policy formulation, policy decision, and policy implementation. Policy making does, in many cases, lead to institutional changes, or may come as a result of institutional changes. Institutions are here understood as Elinor Ostrom defined them: "the prescriptions that humans use to organize all forms of repetitive and structured interactions including those within families, neighborhoods, markets, firms, sports leagues, churches, private associations, and governments at all scales." Institutions and policies share many characteristics, they are both dependent on previous policies and institutions, and thus are influenced by them. Further, they are nested in many layers, and interconnected both horizontally (with other policies and institutions) and vertically (varying meaning of the same policy or institution). The Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework is capable of dealing with complex situations, and is valuable in gaining more insights into the policy-making cycle at various administrative levels, as well as the interconnections between the different levels. The data for this dissertation were gathered via document analysis, interviews, observations, and surveys. Studies of eight protected areas in Northern Norway provided a good overview and insights into the situation there. To further develop this knowledge, one particular area was chosen as a case area: Junkerdal National Park. The aim was to gain a comprehensive understanding of the case itself as well as to provide an insight into local responses to the Mountain Text policy change and its implementation. The Mountain Text and relevant public documents leading up to and following the policy decision have been studied. All together, the dissertation is based on 95 interviews, including 27 in Junkerdal. I also had access to data from six other interviews undertaken as part of a research project and observed at various meetings, conferences, and seminars that dealt with issues related to the research. Last, I had access to data from two surveys that I carried out as part of the PROBUS (Protected areas as resources for coastal and rural business development) research project. Further, the dissertation contains three empirical chapters corresponding to the three analytical levels in the IAD framework. Chapter 4 provides a constitutional analysis presenting how the Right of Access and conservation of private property are considered lock-in events that contributed to an undesirable situation for the government when the policy decision was made. This and international pressure to implement the New Conservation Paradigm jointly forced Norway to react. The policy for increasing nature-based tourism coincided with other policies in overlapping fields, and the dissertation shows how policy formulation of the Mountain Text has been affected by developments in these other policy fields. The chapter ends with a discussion of how the Mountain Text by itself did not lead to any changes in constitutional rules, but rather contributed to changes in the governance model of protected areas. Thus, so far, it appears that the Mountain Text was only a tool to legitimize Norway's conservation policies. Chapter 5 provides a collective-choice analysis and focuses mainly on a new management model introduced in 2010. The main finding here is that the various collective-choice arenas making decisions that affect protected areas are poorly organized and coordinated, and have different stakeholder representation and responsibilities. This situation was worsened with the introduction of the new management model. Unintended consequences might be an outcome of this, leading, in the worst-case scenario, to ecological degradation of the conservation values. The last empirical chapter, Chapter 6, turns to an operational analysis and an evaluation of how the Mountain Text relates to other operational rules such as the Right of Access, conservation of private property, conservation regulations, and the management plan. Following this presentation of actors' scope of action, the chapter presents people's interpretation of it, and concludes that generally people's perceived scope of action is stricter than the actual scope of action. The lack of motivating measures encouraging individuals to change their actions has in this case led to poorer implementation of the policy. The chapter ends with an open question on why the implemented measures were mainly organizational and structural even though the policy appeared to be commonly accepted and supported. Chapter 7 aims at summarizing and answering the research question, and concludes that the policy has had little impact. This is explained by both the fact that it lacked institutional changes in the operational rules and the paradoxical nature of the policy itself – the idea of utilizing something that has been protected against specific types of uses. The dissertation shows, through its application of the IAD framework, that the policy was formulated simultaneously with its implementation. Hence ideas, measures, and incentives were defined after the policy decision, and thus became part of the implementation phase.
Doctoral thesis (Ph.D.) – University of Nordland, 2013