Participatory planning and monitoring of protected landscapes: a case study of an indigenous rice paddy cultural landscape in Taiwan

Abstract

Landscapes can be regarded as ‘a culture–nature link.’ Many examples of ‘living’ landscapes in the world are rich in natural and cultural values and have proven sustainable over centuries because of their maintenance by local communities. Satoyama, a traditional socio-ecological production landscape, provides a functional linkage between paddy fields and the associated environment with many ecosystem services. The idea of landscape conservation and paddy field revitalization was introduced into Taiwan’s amended Cultural Heritage Preservation Act in 2005 as a new legal instrument entitled ‘Cultural Landscape.’ To help stakeholders from governmental authorities and local communities apply this new instrument, this action research employed a community-based landscape and participatory approach to put relevant international concepts into practice. Learning from culturally grounded indicators of resilience in social–ecological systems, the study adopted a set of indicators of resilience in socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes to successfully help residents evaluate the management of a designated Cultural Landscape through a series of local workshops. The case study shows that a landscape and participatory approach can be welcomed by rural people and can create a new style for ‘living’ protected landscapes in Taiwan’s nationally protected area system.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to express their gratitude to the Hualien County Cultural Affairs Bureau (HCCAB) and the Ministry of Science and Technology for their financial and administrative support. They would also like to extend special thankfulness, warmth, and appreciation to the local people of Fengnan village, Hualien, Taiwan, who helped to make their research successful.

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Correspondence to Kuang-Chung Lee.

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Lee, KC., Yan, SY. Participatory planning and monitoring of protected landscapes: a case study of an indigenous rice paddy cultural landscape in Taiwan. Paddy Water Environ 17, 539–548 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10333-019-00750-1

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Keywords

  • Protected landscape
  • Cultural landscape
  • Collaborative planning
  • Participatory monitoring
  • Indicators of resilience
  • Satoyama initiative