The context is more important than the commodity in understanding stakeholder responses to blue gum plantations

Diego Cidrás, Natasha Pauli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
56 Downloads (Pure)


Forestry plantations constitute fertile ground for critical analysis of land use conflict. Policy-makers are increasingly recognising the need to address controversial issues in the plantation forestry sector. However, these efforts are often grounded in short-term analyses, resulting in static or inappropriate responses to a dynamic commodity environment. This research article proposes that combining cognitive and social research approaches can elucidate place-based land-use conflicts that at their root, are about more than just the one particular commodity under examination. We explore stakeholders’ perceptions and attitudes around Tasmanian blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus) plantations in a region that has witnessed three radically different social-economic stages of blue gum plantation growth and management over the last 25 years. Our findings show that individual perceptions and attitudes over time are most closely related to the economic characteristics of blue gum plantations than to any other factor. By extension, market instability shapes popular narratives around blue gum plantations. We conclude that the analysis of conflicts associated with long-established forestry plantations should encompass an understanding of community members’ worldviews and emotions in addition to economic analyses in order to adequately explain conflicts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-473
Number of pages21
JournalAustralian Geographer
Issue number4
Early online date21 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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