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Russian model forest in local forest politics : case study of the creation of a national park within the Gassinski Model Forest Matsuo, Ichiro


This thesis examines local people's perception of the Gassinski Model Forest's (GMF) projects and activities in relation to local involvement and public communication. The GMF is the first model forest in the Russian Federation. A case study describing the creation of a national park (NP) within the GMF territory has been adopted for designing this research. The term "local involvement" for the purpose of this research, describes the inclusion of local people in the decision-making process and the term "public communication" refers to communication between the GMF and local people, including mass communication, a word-of-mouth communication and education. Public communication often accompanies local involvement. This research consists of six main chapters: introduction, background, conceptual framework, research methods, results and discussion and conclusion. In the background, firstly the organizational structure and characteristics of Canadian-style model forest programs and the GMF program are described, and then the continuity between the GMF program and the NP is explained. The conceptual framework of natural resources management is created to explain the focus of the questionnaire survey for this research. In the chapters concerned with the questionnaire survey, the methodology of the questionnaire survey was initially explained and then the results and the analyses are presented. According to the survey, more than 71% of the respondents are aware of the GMF. On the other hand, 71.8% of the respondents regard themselves as not being involved in the GMF. There are some statistical differences ( a =0.05) between groups (categorized by demographic information and responses to questions such as "Do you know anything about the GMF?" and "Do you consider yourself to be involved in any of the GMF?"). Many people do not have clear idea of the GMFs boundary. The results of the survey infer the GMFs projects and activities concerned with local involvement and public communication are perceived as insufficient by locals. The future National Park, which will be created within the GMF territory and the logical successor of the GMF, should learn from the GMFs experience in order to achieve the task of facilitating "ecological [environmental] education for locals."

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