Social representations of an alpine grassland landscape and socio-political discourses on rural development

Date

2009

Authors

Quetier, Fabien
Rivoal, F
Marty, P
de Chazal, Jacqui
Thuiller, Wilfred
Lavorel, Sandra

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Springer

Abstract

Understanding how changes in ecosystem properties feedback into land-use decisions remains relatively uncharted territory for land science in general and for ecosystem service science in particular. In Europe, debates on rural development can be framed in terms of opposing socio-political discourses. These include formulations of desirable, acceptable and unacceptable changes that contribute to changing the planning- and policy-based drivers of land-use decisions. We explored the relationships between such discourses and local descriptions of a mountain grassland area in the central French Alps documented using semi-structured interviews. We found that descriptions focused on either the (1) productive functions of the local grasslands, (2) the aesthetic qualities of the surrounding landscape or (3) its cultural heritage value (testimony to past land-use patterns and practices). We interpreted these descriptions as social representations and found that they were unequally represented in existing socio-political discourses identified at the European level, thus illustrating some strong political barriers between local perceptions of landscape changes and the policy drivers of those changes.

Description

Keywords

Keywords: Canonical correspondence analysis; Ecosystem services; French Alps; Grasslands; Ideal type; Landscape; Rural landscape evaluation/preferences; Socio-political discourses

Citation

Source

Regional Environmental Change

Type

Journal article

Book Title

Entity type

Access Statement

License Rights

DOI

10.1007/s10113-009-0099-3

Restricted until

2037-12-31