Mosaic governance in Denmark: a systematic investigation of green volunteers in nature management in Denmark

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This paper explores green volunteering in Denmark from the perspective of nature managers in municipalities and state nature agencies. The aim is to explore and establish, for the first time, an understanding of the nature and extent of volunteering in Danish nature management from a mosaic governance perspective.
The objective was to understand how patterns of volunteerism in Denmark align with the theoretical planning of mosaic governance.
The study employed a questionnaire survey, conducted in 2018, covering all Danish municipalities and Nature Agency units designed to investigate topics such as: the extent of volunteering, the types of volunteers, the areas and tasks the volunteers engage in, and the benefits and challenges of the collaboration.
Our results show that nature managers collaborate with a variety of volunteers, involved in maintenance, construction and operation activities in both urban and rural areas. Most projects are bottom-up initiatives started by volunteers. The main reason for engaging volunteers is to acknowledge volunteers’ enthusiasm and heighten their interest in nature, although the engagement of volunteers can be time-consuming. In most municipalities, engaging volunteers is not formalized through strategies. It is handled as an “add-on” to an already demanding work burden.
There is considerable variation in the way municipalities and the Nature Agency units engage volunteers. Some embrace volunteering, while others are skeptical about it. The engagement of volunteers supports nature that is both more accessible and better managed. Further, volunteerism increases the number of outdoor recreation facilities by supplementing the capacity of baseline nature management.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLandscape Ecology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2023

ID: 298380380