LNAK10098U Forest and Nature Management Planning

Volume 2014/2015
MSc Programme in Forest Ecosystems, Nature and Society (SUFONAMA)
MSc Programme in Forest and Nature Management
MSc Programme in Agriculture



Students of forest and nature management planning need to understand the complexity of planning and the challenges of managing forest and nature areas in a sustainable way. For forest and nature managers, sustainability managing a particular forest or nature area means determining, in a tangible way, how to use it today to ensure similar benefits, health and productivity in the future. Forest and nature managers must assess and integrate a wide array of sometimes conflicting factors - commercial and non-commercial values, environmental issues and community needs to produce sound and useful forest and nature plans. Modern forest and nature planning requires a new framework for understanding planning and policy. Trends of expert driven and rationality based decision processes are being replaced by nonlinear socially constructed processes engaging both experts and stakeholders. Trends in appropriate knowledge, where practice expert knowledge is dominant is replaced by an understanding that knowledge is a social construction and not only experts but lay people, and people with unique knowledge possess valid inputs to the basis for planning. Therefore, forest and nature managers develop their forest plans in consultation with citizens, businesses, organisations and other interested parties in and around the areas being managed. Additionally, plans must be feasible and economically viable.

Acknowledging the trends of planning in a complex world the course is interdisciplinary, but rests in particular on economic thinking. The topics taught in the course rest mostly on the rational planning paradigm. We see planning as a fundamentally rational element of in intelligent behaviour. Making rational decisions can be described using a step by step model: identifying issues and objectives, clarifying objectives, obtaining information on preferences and priorities, analysing options and possible policy tools, implementing the plan, controlling and monitoring the results and achievement of goals, evaluating the plan, and determining whether the management actions should terminate, proceed or be adjusted.

The course works its way through what we know about the prerequisites of informed decision-making, following the logical steps in identifying aims and objectives, investigating the state of forest / nature goods and services, and transforming objectives into management actions with due consideration of for who, when and how to implement management actions. Students will also acquire knowledge about reality planning and the relation between means (e.g. budgets) and ends (objectives).



Learning Outcome


  • Describe the structure, development and variation of ecosystems as well as understand the causes and effects in a scientific perspective
  • Identify possibilities/​limitations and the ecological tolerance in relation to people’s utilisation of forests and nature
  • Understand interactions between physical and biological environments of forests and nature areas
  • Understand the implications of climate change on social and environmental systems related to forest and nature areas
  • Explain the principles of sustainable utilisation, protection and stewardship of forests and other semi-natural areas
  • Summarise economic and policy theory and demonstrate general knowledge of the planning tools utilised in the economic management of forests and nature
  • Reflect on the concept of sustainable forest and nature management
  • Reflect on the societal and commercial consequences of legislation, regulations and principles of operation in national and international contexts
  • Explain key theories and methodologies for management, planning, negotiation and conflict management on the basis of the opinions, interests and values of people
  • Reformulate theories, principles and research findings to independently form hypotheses and theories


  • Develop, quantify and apply theoretical and practical models for the productive functions of forests and natural resources – material as well as immaterial
  • Apply economic theory and utilise planning tools to analyse and model the welfare and business economic value production of forests and natural resources
  • Assess the possibilities and limitations of theories and methodologies
  • Tackle problems by collecting, analysing and evaluating appropriate qualitative and quantitative information and using it creatively
  • Develop long-term strategies, operational targets and concrete plans for sustainable utilisation and protection of forests and other green resources while bearing in mind social, ecological and economic objectives and limitations
  • Practise economic, dynamic and holistic management planning
  • Formulate, plan and implement projects
  • Incorporate negotiation and conflict resolution strategies and models in the role as manager, consultant or facilitator
  • Communicate professional problems and solutions – both orally and in writing – to different target groups


  • Turn demands on our natural surroundings into concrete actions and projects based on a natural science foundation
  • Transfer theories and principles to new situations and assume independent and professional responsibility
  • Manage operations and development tasks in the framework set out by society (legislation, regulations, realities)
  • Display the competence, key skills, behaviour and attitudes required in a professional working life
  • Design decision-making processes that bear in mind the power and interests of the players.
  • Transfer problem analysis, theories, empirical data collection and analysis into field based reports to meet the objectives of multitudinous stakeholders
  • Collaborate constructively with others in interdisciplinary and intercultural contexts
  • Independently evaluate and structure own learning processes and assume responsibility for own professional development with a view to life-long learning
Plenary lectures on topics will be given. On average one excursion is organised every week to visit a forest and nature area to actively link theory with practice and to discuss opportunities and constraints with stakeholders/owners. This will facilitate understanding theory in the context of real world planning. Theoretical exercises will support the lectures. Students will present results and round-up discussions will summarise. Groups of approximately 3 students will prepare a forest and nature management plan for a real world case. Groups will formulate and present milestones of their project during the course. Seminars on selected topics will be arranged including the best national and international scholars in the field. Teaching activities take place out of course structure, whole Monday, Tuesday and Friday. One or two excursions may take place outside these days. Exact dates and times will be available at the beginning of the course. The overall requirements of the course correspond to full time studies. Therefore, it is recommended to use the full block for studies in this course without parallel study activities.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 30
  • Excursions
  • 55
  • Guidance
  • 4
  • Lectures
  • 80
  • Preparation
  • 73
  • Project work
  • 140
  • Theory exercises
  • 30
  • Total
  • 412
Type of assessment
Oral examination, One day
Written assignment
Description of Examination: The oral exam includes two parts. In the first part each student presents and discusses the forest and nature management report/plan on location. The second part is an examination based on compulsory material. The exam takes place in the case area.

Weight: Oral examination 100% (defence of plan 50%, examination based on compulsory material 50%). Individual oral examination of the management plan and questions based on subjects within the compulsory material.
Exam registration requirements
Delivery of forest and nature management project report
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
If 10 or fewer register for the reexamination the examination form will be oral.
Criteria for exam assesment

See learning outcome