Factors affecting forest-related subjective well-being: A case study in the Upper Yasu River Watershed, Shiga Prefecture, Japan

Takuya Takahashi*, Yukiko Uchida, Hiroyuki Ishibashi, Noboru Okuda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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 wellbeing 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-133
Number of pages12
JournalNihon Ringakkai Shi/Journal of the Japanese Forestry Society
Volume103
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Affect
  • Fulfillment
  • Satisfaction
  • Subjective well-being
  • Upper watershed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry

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