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New approaches to support implementation of nature conservation, landscape management and cultural landscape development: experiences from Germany’s southwest

  • Special Feature: Case Report
  • Pathways towards sustainable landscapes
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Abstract

Worldwide natural landscapes are being replaced by human-dominated landscapes. A main feature is the human imprint that shapes and re-shapes these landscapes and reflects the socio-economic, political and cultural conditions as well as needs and values of a particular society at a given time. Some of these landscapes are considered cultural landscapes, in particular those that evolved over long periods of time and created biologically and culturally diverse landscapes with characteristic landscape elements. These cultural landscapes are considered worthy of protection. However, protecting or ‘freezing’ cultural landscapes at a particular point in time seems to be a contradictive goal since they have been continuously evolving based on their use and management. Therefore, maintaining and developing cultural landscapes or landscape elements in a way that they can contribute to their unique character whilst protecting internationally and nationally listed habitats and species appears to be a more sensible goal. We present Germany’s southwest, the state of Baden-Württemberg as a case study. We discuss the wide range of instruments that have been put in place to maintain and develop Baden-Württemberg’s cultural landscapes. We speculate about their future and argue that to maintain and develop these and other cultural landscapes around the globe require creative strategies that complement the conventional nature conservation and landscape management approaches. Although no panacea, regional development strategies that are developed from the bottom-up and are embedded in legal planning frameworks are likely to support management and development of cultural landscapes more effectively than any individual applications of the existing conventional approaches.

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Acknowledgments

We would like to thank the two reviewers of this article who contributed very valuable arguments and questions. A special thank you goes to Ruth Beilin for scientific discussions and her comments and guidance which improved this paper.

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Correspondence to Iris C. Bohnet.

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Handled by Ruth Beilin, The University of Melbourne, Australia.

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Bohnet, I.C., Konold, W. New approaches to support implementation of nature conservation, landscape management and cultural landscape development: experiences from Germany’s southwest. Sustain Sci 10, 245–255 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11625-015-0290-z

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