Governing biocultural diversity in mosaic landscapes

  • Cora J. van Oosten
  • Wouter Leen Hijweege


Biocultural diversity is reflected in the existence of mosaic landscapes in which multifunctional land use offers scope for ecologically balanced and economically productive land-use patterns. Bioculturally diverse mosaic landscapes are historically shaped by people who have developed a strong sense of belonging and a deep attachment to their living environment, or place. Mosaic landscapes are therefore characterised by strong regional identities and a sense of ownership by the actors involved. However, landscapes are often cut across by administrative boundaries as they do not have a formal position in the political-administrative scaling of governance. This hampers the upscaling of current biocultural diversity management practices to higher levels of landscape governance. We therefore argue for a ‘spatialisation’ of governance as a means to reconnect governance to landscape and to build upon inhabitants’ identities and sense of ownership to manage their biocultural diversity and govern their place. Spatial thinking and policy learning are crucial elements of landscape governance, embedded in local practice and politics of scale. Biocultural diversity can then be conserved and restored as a product of landscape governance.


forest landscape place governance social learning 


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Copyright information

© Wageningen Academic Publishers 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation and Wageningen Forest and Nature Conservation Policy GroupWageningen UniversityWageningenthe Netherlands

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