This study sets out to examine the characteristics of forest owners’ in Sweden, the information and knowledge-sharing networks they draw upon for decision-making, and their perceptions of climate risks, their forests’ resilience, the need for adaptation, and perceived adaptive capacity.

The empirical data was generated by a quantitative survey distributed to 3000 private forest owners’ in Sweden in 2014. The article contributes to the Mistra-SWECIA project 2008-2015.

To further the understanding of climate change adaptation processes, more attention needs to be paid to the various contextual factors that shape whether and how climate-related knowledge and information is received and acted upon by actors involved. This study sets out to examine the characteristics of forest owners’ in Sweden, the information and knowledge-sharing networks they draw upon for decision-making, and their perceptions of climate risks, their forests’ resilience, the need for adaptation, and perceived adaptive capacity.

By applying the concept of ego-network analysis, the empirical data was generated by a quantitative survey distributed to 3000 private forest owners’ in Sweden in 2014 with a response rate of 31%. The results show that there is a positive correlation, even though it is generally weak, between forest owner climate perceptions and (i) network features, i.e. network size and heterogeneity, and (ii) presence of certain alter groups (i.e. network members or actors).

Results indicate that forest owners’ social networks currently serve only a minimal function of sharing knowledge of climate change and adaptation. Moreover, considering the fairly infrequent contact between respondents and alter groups, the timing of knowledge sharing is important. In conclusion we suggest those actors that forest owners’ most frequently communicate with; especially forestry experts providing advisory services (e.g. forest owner associations, companies, and authorities) have a clear role to communicate both the risks of climate change and opportunities for adaptation. Peers are valuable in connecting information about climate risks and adaptation to the actual forest property.

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