Canadian Forest Service Publications

Perceptions of climate change risk to forest ecosystems and forest-based communities. 2005. Williamson, T.B.; Parkins, J.R.; McFarlane, B.L. Forestry Chronicle 81(5): 710-716.

Year: 2005

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 25747

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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Perception of risk or subjective risk is playing an increasingly important role in risk assessment. This paper describes a study that investigated perceptions of climate change risk to forest ecosystems and forest-based communities among a sample of Canadian forestry experts. Data were collected by questionnaire from participants at a climate change and forestry workshop, sponsored by the Canadian Climate Impacts and Adaptation Research Network Forest Sector and the McGregor Model Forest held in Prince George, British Columbia in February 2003. These forestry experts were somewhat concerned about the impacts of climate change, and they appeared unlikely to oppose strategies for preparing for and adapting to climate change. The respondents felt that the effects of climate change on forests and forest-based communities are not well understood by the general public or forest managers. They also felt that there is a relatively high level of uncertainty about the effects of climate change, especially with respect to forest-based communities. These results have important implications, including reinforcement of the need for greater awareness of climate change risks and for increased research and monitoring effort targeted at reducing levels of uncertainty about future impacts at local scales.