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Engaging with Climate Change Policy: Sustainable Forest Management in Argentina

Environmental Policy
Governance
Latin America
Policy Analysis
Climate Change
Mixed Methods
Narratives
Survey Research
Carla Inguaggiato
Universität Bern
Carla Inguaggiato
Universität Bern
Maurice Tschopp
Universität Bern
Walter Mioni Amiri
Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Agropecuaria / Universidad Nacional de Salta (ARGENTINA)
Michele Graziano Ceddia
Centre for Development and Environment, University of Bern
Dimitris Christopoulos
Modul University – Vienna

Abstract

Argentina has a strong international commitment towards climate change mitigation. Almost half of greenhouse gas emissions come from land use change and cattle ranching. While Argentina has one of the highest deforestation rates in the world. Forests and climate change plan, which will become a national REDD+ strategy, is currently under discussion. This strategy will be strongly influenced by implementation of related policies (i.e. Forest Law; land tenure regularization laws; and sustainable forest management plans). REDD+ calls for collaborative governance among all stakeholders including state agencies, agro-industry, academia, civil society organizations and forests’ inhabitants’ organizations. Salta province political economy has a strong dependency on the forest, as the province has high forest coverage, a high deforestation rate and many areas of high risk in terms of climate change and social vulnerability. This paper aims at understanding whether sharing core beliefs on mitigating climate change and on sustainable forest management, promotes counterintuitive alliances among policy actors active in the Salta forest policy networks. To do that, we combine the study of a policy networks topology, with the analysis of stakeholders’ discourse and core beliefs on the topic. We adopt a mixed methods research design integrating social network analysis with discourse analysis combining quantitative and qualitative analytic techniques. The analysis draws on a unique dataset based on policy network survey addressing stakeholders participating to key committees for the implementation and discussion of forest management policy and on extensive fieldwork. We analyse the co-participation in different policy fields by mapping direct ties among such stakeholders that record their exchange of scientific/technical information, mutual support, and meetings. The data collection instrument captures the perception of stakeholders on influence of others on forest management governance. It incorporates visions on socio-ecological risks and policy, tenure regularization and forest management policy, to identify discourse coalitions among stakeholders.