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Rural Sanctuary: an Ecosemiotic Agency to Preserve Human Cultural Heritage and Biodiversity

Abstract

A Rural Sanctuary is defined as an area where farming activity creates habitats for a diverse assemblage of species that find a broad spectrum of resources along the season. A Rural Sanctuary is proposed as a new model of land management to protect nature inside a framework of cultural identity and agro-forestry sustainability. A Rural Sanctuary has a dual mission: to provide immaterial (amenity, sense of place, conservation of cultural heritage) and material (agricultural products) resources for people, and to guarantee living spaces to a large assemblage of species. A Rural Sanctuary represents an ecosemiotic agency in which human eco-fields and animal eco-fields interact. This reflects a model that is rooted in the Mediterranean region, where for long time people and nature have harmoniously lived in strict contact and inter-dependence. An example of a Rural Sanctuary from this region is proposed to demonstrate the amazing diversity of living beings observed on only few hectares of farmland. A Rural Sanctuary offers possibilities to educate people about a more sustainable approach to nature, and it represents a unique place to investigate animal perception. Finally, between the different approach to certify the validity of a Rural Sanctuary, sound recording is suggested as one of the less invasive methods for ecological investigation and long-term monitoring.

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Correspondence to Almo Farina.

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Farina, A. Rural Sanctuary: an Ecosemiotic Agency to Preserve Human Cultural Heritage and Biodiversity. Biosemiotics 11, 139–158 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12304-018-9319-x

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Keywords

  • Rural sanctuary
  • Ecosemiotics
  • Full world
  • Eco-field
  • Nature conservation
  • Mediterranean landscape