Organizations and Networks in Europe and the USA
Edited by C. S.A. (Kris) van Koppen and William T. Markham
Chapter 7: Trees, Ecology and Biological Diversity: Norwegian Nature Protection and Environmentalism
Ørnulf Seippel INTRODUCTION As of 2005, about 12 per cent of Norway was protected under the Nature Conservation Act. Behind this accomplishment stands a long, cumbersome process in which individuals, voluntary organizations and public actors all played decisive roles. Indeed, even though the environmental protection of today’s late modern era is quite diﬀerent from early twentieth-century eﬀorts to mobilize on behalf of nature or the political ecology of the 1970s, one common theme runs through them all: nature protection. In the early years, nature protection was mainly articulated as concern for small areas, speciﬁc species, or even single trees; later it manifested itself as eﬀorts to protect ecosystems and more recently as maintaining biological diversity. There is a large body of literature about Norwegian organizations that have concerned themselves with nature protection and environmentalism, and some research about nature protection policies; however, surprisingly little research focuses speciﬁcally on the intersection of the two: that is, on the part voluntary organizations and networks have played in the development of nature protection eﬀorts. This chapter helps to ﬁll this gap by addressing the development of nature protection and environmental organizations, their role in the development of nature protection policies, and, more brieﬂy, their contribution to the general political modernization of Norwegian society. Norwegian organizations concerned with nature and environmental protection can be succinctly described as having developed from petty bourgeois and scientiﬁc concerns (1850–1962), via a period of political radicalization (1962–85), to...
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