Institutions are “the conventions, norms and legal rules of a society” that constrain and enable human interactions, “provide expectations, stability and meaning essential to human existence and cooperation” (Hodgson, 2006; North, 1990; Vatn, 2005, 2006)
D4.3 Informal institutions and stakeholder perceptions

Policy Portal

Logo of the StarTree Non-Wood Forest Products Portal

Use the StarTree European Non-Wood Forest Products Policy Portal to find out about the policies throughout the StarTree partner regions on:

  • Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Biodiversity and endangered species
  • Food safety
  • Forestry
  • Fruit and vegetable regime
  • Green public procurement
  • Intellectual property
  • Plant health and biosecurity
  • Product labelling
  • and Research programmes.

You can search by area, country or category.

Policy briefing

Photo of StarTree non-wood forest products Policy BriefPolicy Briefing: Wild forest products (WFPs) are vitally important for Europe’s people and its economy. Used wisely they can help to bring about the necessary shift to a sustainable, smart and inclusive bio-based economy, a bioeconomy.

The evolution of institutions

Logo of ESEE2015: TransformationsThe evolution of institutions for non‐wood forest products: an empirical study of harvesting practices across Europe
These findings from StarTree’s work on institutions were published as a paper during the  11th International Conference of the European Society for Ecological Economics

and also as a presentation by Irina Prokofieva during the StarTree Final Conference. They provide a fascinating snapshot of the similarities and differences around Europe, with a range of formal and informal rules and values.

Informal institutions

Blaeberries - photo by Fiona Sinclair

Reforesting Scotland conducted a series of interviews with commercial wild berry pickers. Berries were chosen as an uncontroversial product group around which to start an exploration of the attitudes to wild harvesting law and custom among both gatherers and landowners.

This was one of several in-depth case studies in different StarTree partner regions, aiming to explore:

  1. Existing informal institutions (e.g. agreements and customary rights);
  2. Factors that led to the emergence of these informal institutions;
  3. Possible positive or negative interactions of these informal institutions with the value chain of
    the specific NWFP.

Poster on 'Informal institutions governing access and harvesting of NWFPs'The findings were collated and analysed in StarTree Deliverable 4.3: ‘Informal institutions and stakeholder perceptions of institutional role in selected regions‘, and summarised in a poster, ‘Informal institutions governing access and harvesting of NWFP: findings from ten in-depth case studies.’

More on institutions