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Resilience-Based Perspectives to Guiding High-Nature-Value Farmland through Socioeconomic Change

Tobias Plieninger, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen
Claudia Bieling, Chair for Landscape Management, University of Freiburg


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Global environmental challenges require approaches that integrate biodiversity conservation, food production, and livelihoods at landscape scales. We reviewed the approach of conserving biodiversity on “high-nature-value” (HNV) farmland, covering 75 million ha in Europe, from a resilience perspective. Despite growing recognition in natural resource policies, many HNV farmlands have vanished, and the remaining ones are vulnerable to socioeconomic changes. Using landscape-level cases across Europe, we considered the following social-ecological system properties and components and their integration into HNV farmland management: (1) coupling of social and ecological systems, (2) key variables, (3) adaptive cycles, (4) regime shifts, (5) cascading effects, (6) ecosystem stewardship and collaboration, (7) social capital, and (8) traditional ecological knowledge. We argue that previous conservation efforts for HNV farmland have focused too much on static, isolated, and monosectoral conservation strategies, and that stimulation of resilience and adaptation is essential for guiding HNV farmland through rapid change.

Key words

agricultural landscapes; agricultural management; ecosystem stewardship; Europe; farmland habitats; landscape change; resilience framework
Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087