There are two classic approaches to nature conservation: the dualistic approach, which strictly separates culture from nature, and the integrative approach, which unites them. Does this classic separation really exist in European conservation practice? Using examples from landscape, - species,- and protected area management the authors of a recent article in the journal Conservation Biology show that conservation in Europe tends to be much more pragmatic. There is no clear definition of a strictly defined separation of nature and culture. The boundaries between "wild" and "domesticated", between protected areas and surrounding landscapes, are blurred and change over time as a result of shifts in societal preferences. At a landscape level the practical and legal specifications in Europe unify people and nature, e.g. by regarding both cultural landscapes and use of natural areas as worth protecting, or by applying species protection measures beyond protected area boundaries. Nevertheless, increasingly there appears to be value placed on wilderness - areas where natural processes can take place without direct human influence -, but these only make up a small proportion of European land surface. For the future of nature conservation in Europe it is important to recognize the complexity of the value of "nature" and to consider it in planning and implementation.
The article "Framing the relationship between people and nature in the context of European conservation" by John D. C. Linnell, Petra Kaczensky (FIWI), Ulrich Wotschikowsky, Nicolas Lescureuxund Luigi Boitaniwas published in the journal Conservation Biology erschienen.
(Web editor, 2 June 2015)