Deliberative communication for recreation-based conflicts of use in the forest

Field of action: Natur & water protection

Project goals: The project analyzes conflict areas of different groups of actors in the forest such as recreationists, mountain bikers, hikers, foresters, forest workers, etc., promotes mutual understanding and actively contributes to the reduction of various conflicts of use in the forest (in number and scope) and to nature conservation in the forest.

Project area: Germany

Duration: September 2022 – August 2025


Recreation in forests can be understood as a Common Pool Resource (CPR) or Allmende, i.e. it is freely available to all in Germany. A rivalry of recreational use of forests results from the fact that the forest as a resource for recreation is limited in time and area. This means that above a certain intensity of use (people seeking recreation on an area, density of the path network, etc.), the recreational use of forests contributes to a decline in the quality of recreation. At the same time, forests fulfil functions for nature conservation, timber and wildlife use. Any “use” of forests for recreation, nature conservation, hunting or timber production or harvesting can be mutually restrictive or even mutually exclusive, which develops a great potential for conflict between the respective users.


In order to preserve the forest in its diverse functions, mutual understanding and respect should lead to a reflection of one’s own role and reduce conflicts between different groups of actors. To this end, the frequency and relevance of existing conflicts in the forest will be investigated throughout Germany. Four different conflicts will be intensively investigated and accompanied in four different regions. With the help of deliberative communication, different views, value attributions or constructions of meaning are revealed and led to a balance through argumentative discussions. The core element of deliberative communication is that all groups of actors are involved and adequately considered in the communication processes, so that compromises can be supported by all groups. The results from the four sample regions will be summarised in an action guideline and will serve as a blueprint to support other regions in managing their conflicts.


Contact person: Andreas Ziermann


Phone: +49(0)7732/9995-46


Project Funding

Further Information


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