What forest is in the light of people's perceptions and values: socio-cultural forest monitoring in Switzerland

Jacqueline Frick, Nicole Bauer, Eike von Lindern, Marcel Hunziker
2018 Geographica Helvetica  
<p><strong>Abstract.</strong> Forest is an important element of Swiss landscape, with about 30<span class="thinspace"></span>% of the country covered by it, forming a finely structured patchwork together with water bodies, agricultural land and settlements. It is highly valued by residents as part of their everyday living and recreational environment. The aim of this paper is to provide knowledge about how residents perceive and value forests and what their dominant preferences are. The data
more » ... e collected through the Socio-cultural Forest Monitoring (WaMos). In this survey, 3022 persons responded by telephone interview or online survey. Respondents were well informed about forest issues, especially about recreation, animals and protection from natural hazards. Nevertheless, functions such as wood production, air quality and biodiversity were rated as even more important than recreational functions. Mixed forests and multisensory experiences were preferred, whereas wilderness was only moderately approved of. Respondents did not much appreciate sports and fun infrastructure, but valued infrastructure for contemplative and social activities and for education about forest issues.</p>
doi:10.5194/gh-73-335-2018 fatcat:cclmcqompfan5ay5awxqyjvscy