Where Management Practices and Experiential Practices Meet: Public Support and Conflict in Ecosystem Management

  • Arjen Buijs
  • Birgit Elands
  • Ramona van Marwijk
Part of the World Forests book series (WFSE, volume 14)


In recent years, ecosystem management and recreation have become closely intertwined. Ecosystem management (ESM) influences recreational opportunities and the attractiveness of natural areas, so nowadays local communities are often invited to participate in decision-making about it. And in some cases, local communities object to ecosystem management measures. We will argue that analysing these phenomena as practices can reveal how they mutually influence each other. We will show that recreational practices (which we propose to call experiential practices) are based on the attribution of positive meanings to nature. We also show that if such practices are threatened by new or changing ecosystem management measures, social protest may emerge. We also argue that both recreational behaviour and the appreciation of nature are highly routinised. However, the implementation of contested ESM measures may disrupt such routines and trigger local communities to protest against these measures and, under certain conditions, the protest can even influence management policy. We end the chapter with a short reflection on the role of qualitative and quantitative methodologies in a practice based approach.


Experiential practice Ecosystem management Attractiveness of nature Protest Local communities 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arjen Buijs
    • 1
  • Birgit Elands
    • 1
  • Ramona van Marwijk
    • 2
  1. 1.Forest and Nature Conservation Policy GroupWageningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Kadaster Spatial Planning and ConsultingApeldoornThe Netherlands

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