Abstract

This paper attempts to identify and assess the distinct stakeholders’ perspectives regarding Five Finger Mountain Forest Ecosystem Services (MFESs) at the landscape scale in Kyrenia Region of the Northern Cyprus. The objectives of the study were (1) to identify and assess the stakeholders’ perspectives of MFESs and (2) to record the non-wood forest products harvested and associated traditional ecological knowledge. The Q-methodology and focus group discussions were used to collect the qualitative and quantitative data on the objectives of the research. Before the Q-method, 13 focus groups were implemented to record the quantitative data on the ecological knowledge. Afterwards, the Q-method was conducted to identify the perspectives. The quantitative data collected were analysed by performing the Q-factor analysis. 96 Q-participants sorted 48 Q-statements with 11 categories (from + 5 to − 5). The results revealed that the stakeholders hold four distinct perspectives on the MFESs (recreation, heritage, conservation, and symbolic), which reflect the landscape social values. The results of the focus groups showed that the stakeholders collect 30 wild plant and 5 mushroom species from the forests and still hold the relevant traditional knowledge, which represents the natural resource social values. The landscape and natural resource social values are linked through the value dimension of scale; therefore, both values should be recognized as cultural heritage values and integrated into the forest conservation strategy. The values can also help policy-makers to take better decisions for the conservation and sustainable management of the mountain ecosystems and their services.