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Diversity 2010, 2(9), 1130-1145; doi:10.3390/d2091130

Cultural Diversity Issues in Biodiversity Monitoring—Cases of Lithuania, Poland and Denmark

1
Department of Philosophy and Anthropology, Siauliai University, P. Visinskio 38, 76325 Siauliai, Lithuania
2
Institute of Environmental Science, Jagiellonian University, Gronostajowa 7, 30-387 Kraków, Poland
3
Station d'Ecologie Expérimentale du CNRS à Moulis, USR 2936, 09200 Saint-Girons, France
4
Helmholtz Center of Environmental Research - UFZ, Department of Nature Conservation, Permoserstrasse 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 July 2010 / Accepted: 1 September 2010 / Published: 3 September 2010
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Abstract

Public participation is a key element in nature conservation in Europe and a necessity for collecting broad scale data on biodiversity and its dynamics. However, vast societal differences exist between eastern and western European countries, resulting in problems for public participation in post-communist states as compared to western countries. Here, we compare diversity in monitoring practices and public participation in countries with different political histories. Drawing on in-depth ethnographic studies conducted in Lithuania and Poland, as well as a rapid assessment in Denmark, we have focused on the historical, cultural and social determinants of the volunteers’ participation in biodiversity monitoring. Our results indicate the reasons why volunteer involvement—as an expression of a participatory approach—has a lower incidence in the post-communist countries, compared to voluntarism common in occidental democracies. We discuss our results in the context of the main social factors considered to be a legacy of the Soviet regime.
Keywords: amateurs; biodiversity monitoring; communist legacy; human dimension; cultural diversity; public participatory; volunteers amateurs; biodiversity monitoring; communist legacy; human dimension; cultural diversity; public participatory; volunteers
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Vandzinskaite, D.; Kobierska, H.; Schmeller, D.S.; Grodzińska-Jurczak, M. Cultural Diversity Issues in Biodiversity Monitoring—Cases of Lithuania, Poland and Denmark. Diversity 2010, 2, 1130-1145.

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