Update of the Wolf Population Management Plan
The plan for managing Finland’s wolf population is a tool aimed at reconciling the needs of wolves and wolf conservation with those of the people living and working in wolf territories. The plan update started in fall 2018, with Akordi facilitating discussions in seven regional stakeholder events involving the regional game councils in spring 2019.
The most recent wolf population management plan was approved in 2015, but changes in the wolf population have prompted the need for an update. Led by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the update aims to build trust and develop new methods to address and prevent issues caused by wolves. Achieving these goals relies on effective communication between authorities, researchers, hunters, residents in wolf territories, and conservationists. To approach the emotionally laden topic, key interest groups were involved from the outset of preparations.
Regional and local perspectives, along with proposed actions, were collected in stakeholder events organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and regional game councils. Akordi played a role in planning and executing events across Finland. Additionally, Akordi coached the working group responsible for drafting the management plan to facilitate the events themselves.
The events received positive feedback, with stakeholders finding the discussions constructive and respectful. Key factors behind the success included active listening and a collaborative working method. The working group had identified key issues and challenges to address, although goals and actions had not yet been defined. The issues raised during the regional rounds are now reflected in the content of the wolf population management plan, and the proposed actions received support in the consultation round ending in August 2019. Encouraged by positive experiences with the new working method, the management plan sets a goal to continue using a dialogical approach in the future.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry confirmed the update of the wolf population management plan in November 2019. Discussions will persist, and Akordi is involved in shaping the format of the national wolf forum. Akordi is also engaged in handling regional unforeseen conflict situations.
More about the update work on the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry’s website
Hunter Magazine 4/2019, the story starts from page 24. A new approach to wolf discussions
Finnish Nature, October 2, 2019. The wolf has a new window of opportunity
Video Blog: Rewarding wolf dialogue during the regional tour