Journal of the Japanese Forest Society
Online ISSN : 1882-398X
Print ISSN : 1349-8509
ISSN-L : 1349-8509
Articles
Factors Affecting Forest-related Subjective Well-being:
A Case Study in the Upper Yasu River Watershed, Shiga Prefecture, Japan
Takuya TakahashiYukiko UchidaHiroyuki IshibashiNoboru Okuda
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2021 Volume 103 Issue 2 Pages 122-133

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Abstract

We measured subjective well-being related to forests and examined the results as well as the factors influencing these. We conducted a questionnaire survey in 2018 targeting households in the upper Yasu River watershed, Shiga Prefecture, Japan. Using factor analysis, we divided subjective well-being related to forests into four categories: satisfaction, fulfillment, positive affect, and negative affect. We conducted regression analyses using these categories as explained variables and forest-related activities and other variables as explanatory variables. Working in agriculture or forestry has a positive correlation with satisfaction and fulfillment. Forest management activities conducted for respondents' household forests or those done as a volunteer activity have a positive influence on satisfaction and fulfillment, whereas such activities conducted for their community forests have a negative correlation with positive affect. The proportions of forest in residential areas are not related to subjective well-being. Forest ownership lowers all four categories of subjective well-being. This may indicate that the low asset value of forests increases the psychological burden of forest management activities. Currently, forest restoration in Japan has been conducted in terms of quantity; the qualitative improvement of forests now requires deeper involvement from people. Given these conditions, forest-related subjective well-being should be studied in a structured manner, such as by measuring various types of subjective well-being separately, to consider how people should engage with forests and simultaneously improve their subjective well-being.

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