It is a century now since Darwin gave us the first glimpse of the origin of species. We know now what was unknown to all the preceding caravan of generations: that men are only fellow-voyagers with other creatures in the odyssey of evolution. This new knowledge should have given us, by this time, a sense of kinship with fellow-creatures; a wish to live and let live; a sense of wonder over the magnitude and duration of the biotic enterprise. (p. 109)
2. Human Disconnection from Nature
The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land... In short, a land ethic changes the role of Homo sapiens from conqueror of the land-community to plain member and citizen of it. It implies respect for his fellow-members, and also respect for the community as such...We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect. (pp. 203–204)
3. Evolutionary Approaches to Environmental Connectedness
3.1. Biocultural Diversity Theory
3.2. Habitat Theory
3.3. Prospect-Refuge Theory
The sheltered sea- or lakeshore may be one of mankind’s earliest homes, dating back in Africa to Lower and Middle Paleolithic times. If the forest environment is necessary to the evolution of the perceptual and locomotive organs of man’s primate ancestors, the seashore habitat may have contributed to man’s hairlessness, a trait that distinguishes him from apes and monkeys. Theories concerning the causes of evolutionary traits in the remote past are at best uncertain. Human agility in water is, however, a fact. The talent is not widely shared among the primates...Could it be that our earliest home was a sort of Eden located near a lake or sea? Consider Carl Sauer’s sketch of the advantages of the seashore: No other setting is as attractive for the beginning of humanity. The sea, in particular the tidal shore, presented the best opportunity to eat, settle, increase, and learn. It afforded diversity and abundance of provisions, continuous and inexhaustible. It invited the development of manual skills. It gave the congenial ecologic niche in which animal ethology could become human culture. (p. 115)
It is very likely that a species-typical life course evolved in response to the demands of a hunting and gathering lifestyle that was broad and flexible enough to allow successful exploitation of the world’s environments but specialized toward the acquisition of learned skills and knowledge.... (p. 182)
These affective place bonds would have been closely linked with culture-based learning, such that the full expression of the former required nurturance through (1) abundant sensory experience in natural (nonhuman) settings and (2) active construction of place-based knowledge mediated through symbols (such as language and story).. (p. 32)
4.1. Topophilia in Action
Most foods in sustainable societies will be raised locally and change on a seasonal basis. In stark contrast to our present dependence on foreign fossils fuels, energy will be derived from predominantly local, renewable sources, including geothermal, solar, wind, rain, and tides. And since every place has its own unique characteristics—for example, topography, climate, vegetation, water supply, and culture—sustainability will, by necessity, be closely tied to local needs. Thus, any successes in achieving sustainability at higher levels (state, nation, biosphere) will be realized only through the iterative accumulation of sustainable societies in local places. (p. 45)
- Traditional ecological knowledge harnessed: The Warddeken Indigenous Protected Area is an expanse of stone and gorge country on the Western Arnhem Land Plateau in the Northern Territory of Australia. The area is noted for dozens of endemic plants, numerous threatened animal species, and a unique ecological community of the sandstone heathlands . In addition, the cultural heritage of the area is apparent in the occupation and extensive rock art sites found there . Despite depopulation, indigenous residents have maintained a relationship with this place via ongoing residency and the region is noted to have a 50,000-year history of indigenous management . The Karrkad Kanjdji Trust  notes that 3000 people live within the protected area and that the land is currently managed by indigenous residents in agreement with International Union for Conservation of Nature (ICUN) standards ). The trust notes that “The landscape is managed by the people who know it best...” . For example, in Warddeken, indigenous rangers work on a variety of management programs, such as weed control, feral animal control, and fire management . In addition, these rangers play an important role in educating the public. The rangers are charged with “Passing on traditional ecological knowledge to younger generations...” .
- Fostering communication: The core area of the The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Riding Mountain Biosphere Reserve is Riding Mountain National Park in Southwest Manitoba. The Riding Mountain Organization  notes that a bio-diverse mix of boreal forest, aspen parkland, eastern hardwood forest, and rough fescue prairie plant communities characterize the core area of the reserve; the area around the reserve is managed intensively for agriculture. According to the United Nations , approximately 28,000 people live within the biosphere reserve including indigenous people who have been a continuous part of the landscape for thousands of years. The Riding Mountain Regional Liaison Committee works to foster communication and cooperation between the core area of the reserve and adjacent agricultural transition zones . Edge and McAllister  note that the membership of this liaison group is drawn from municipalities adjacent to the biosphere reserve core areas. Similarly, another group, the Biosphere Reserve Management Committee, whose membership is also drawn from the communities adjacent to the biosphere core area, has a role emphasizing public information and education guided by broad perspectives on ecosystems and sustainability in the context of an agricultural economy .
- Valuing local experience: The Kristianstad Vattenrike Biosphere Reserve in southern Sweden is comprised of the lower Helge River watershed and coastal regions of Hanö Bay of the Baltic Sea, and is noted for extensive and ecologically sensitive wetlands (a designated Ramsar site), highly productive agricultural land, and one of the largest reserves of groundwater in Northern Europe . Approximately 75,000 residents live within the designated Vattenrike boundaries. Extensive measures have also been taken by the Kristianstad Vattenrike to both preserve the high biodiversity values of the biosphere reserve and to simultaneously promote public engagement with these values and this place. For example, the Goose Management Group, acting within the Kristianstad Vattenrike Biosphere Reserve, brings local stakeholders together with stakeholders at regional, national, and international levels to consider and problem-solve the challenges and opportunities of the dynamic geese populations in the biosphere area and throughout the southern region of Sweden known as Scania . The very people with regular and on-going experience with geese in the places they live, work, and spend time play a key role in the process of advising management by stakeholders as well as authorities.
- Local land ownership in conservation strategy: The Waterton Biosphere Reserve is located in the southwestern corner of Alberta, Canada, and is a part of an expansive regional ecosystem spanning the US and Canadian borders in Montana, Alberta, and British Columbia. The biosphere reserve is made up of the Waterton Lakes National Park and ranch lands north and east of the park . There is a rich ecological diversity, from prairie to alpine systems, with foothills, parkland, montane, subalpine, and alpine ecological communities noted in the core area of Waterton National Park . Much of the land to the north and east of the park, the biosphere reserve’s zone of cooperation, is private land used primarily for ranching, oil, and gas exploration/development, as well as recreation . It is within this zone of cooperation that the Waterton Park Front Project (WPFP) of the Nature Conservancy of Canada has undertaken a unique effort in sustainable landscape management. The WPFP has secured conservation easements or direct purchases of private land, an area 113 sq. km in size. The effort is a part of the recognition that sustainable landscapes do not end at the area border, which is in line with the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve system of core, buffer, and cooperation zonation . Furthermore, this effort recognizes that the bonds connecting private landowners to landscapes are a powerful force for the conservation of biodiversity. Concerns about road-building, development, subdivision, and loss of family identity  motivated private landowners to engage in the WPFP. The place relationships the ranching community had built over time, with families noted to have lived in the area for two or more generations , became a key mechanism in the sustainable land management strategy.
4.2. Future Research
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