Special Issue "Parks and Protected Areas: Mobilizing Knowledge for Effective Decision-Making"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2020).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Glen Hvenegaard
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of Alberta, Augustana Campus, 4901-46 Avenue, Camrose, Alberta, T4V 2R3, Canada
Interests: protected areas; ecotourism; environmental interpretation; bird conservation; rural sustainability planning
Dr. Elizabeth Halpenny
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation, 2-130G University Hall, Van Vliet Complex, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2H9, Canada
Interests: tourism; recreation; park management and planning; place attachment; environmental stewardship; visitor experiences
Dr. Jill Bueddefeld
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta, 130G University Hall, Van Vliet Complex, Alberta, Canada
Interests: nature-based tourism; geography; free-choice learning; environmental education; visitor studies

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Parks and protected areas provide essential services and resources, including nature conservation, visitor recreation, local economic opportunities, Indigenous cultures, and human wellbeing. Park managers make difficult decisions to achieve their diverse mandates, and need up-to-date, relevant, and rigorous information. Evidence-based management is in vogue with politicians and practitioners; however, access to, and effective use of, current research (Fazey et al., 2013; Segan et al., 2011; Sutherland et al., 2012) provided by social scientists, natural scientists, local people, or Indigenous peoples, is an ongoing challenge (Bennett & Roth, 2015; Cvitanovic et al., 2015, 2016, 2017; Nguyen et al., 2017).

Parks and protected areas, whether governed publicly, privately, or through other forms, are chronically underfunded, and thus lack sufficient resources to mobilize knowledge. Globally, most park agencies have little capacity to produce in-house social science or natural science research, or to conduct meaningful knowledge exchange with Indigenous and local communities (Fisher et al., 2018; Lemieux et al., 2018).

This Special Issue seeks to assemble papers that broadly explore knowledge mobilization in parks and protected areas, including research that addresses successes and failures, barriers and enablers, diverse theoretical frameworks, structural innovations, and more that support effective knowledge mobilization. In many parks, efforts to mobilize knowledge, or move knowledge into active service, have largely focused on (1) the use of natural science research, and (2) achieving nature conservation rather than other park mandates. Park agencies and other conservation organizations now realize that understanding how social forces affect, and are affected by, park management is as important as knowledge of natural systems. Realizing that park-related knowledge mobilization is needed for effective park management, and that human factors have been neglected, the goal of this Special Issue is to enhance the generation and use of knowledge, especially social science (Bennett et al., 2016; Gruby et al., 2015), local (Charnley et al., 2007; Failing et al., 2007; Raymond et al., 2010), and indigenous knowledge (Berkes et al., 2000; Ens et al., 2015; Houde, 2007), for parks and protected areas policy, planning, and management.

Prof. Dr. Glen Hvenegaard
Dr. Elizabeth Halpenny
Dr. Jill Bueddefeld
Guest Editors

References

  1. Bennett, N.J.; Roth, R. The conservation social sciences: What, how and why. Wildlife Federation and Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, University of British Columbia: Vancouver, Canada, 2015.
  2. Bennett, N.J.; Roth, R.; Klain, S.C.; Chan, K.; Clark, D.A.; Cullman, G.; Epstein, G; Nelson, M.P.;Stedman, R.; Teel, T.L.; et al. Mainstreaming the social sciences in conservation. Conserv. Biol. 2016, 31, 56–66.
  3. Berkes, F.; Colding, J.; Folke, C. Rediscovery of traditional ecological knowledge as adaptive management. Ecol. Appl. 2000, 10, 1251–1262.
  4. Charnley, S.; Fischer, A.P.; Jones, E.T. Integrating traditional and local ecological knowledge into forest biodiversity conservation in the Pacific Northwest. For. Ecol. Manag. 2007, 246, 14–28.
  5. Cvitanovic, C.; Hobday, A.J.; van Kerkhoff, L.; Wilson, S.K.; Dobbs, K.; Marshall, N.A. Improving knowledge exchange among scientists and decision-makers to facilitate the adaptive governance of marine resources: a review of knowledge and research needs. Ocean Coast. Manag. 2015, 112, 25–35.
  6. Cvitanovic, C.; McDonald, J.; Hobday, A.J. From science to action: principles for undertaking environmental research that enables knowledge exchange and evidence-based decision-making. J. Environ. Manag. 2016, 183, 864–874.
  7. Cvitanovic, C.; Cunningham, R.; Dowd, A.M.; Howden, S.M.; Putten, E.I. Using social network analysis to monitor and assess the effectiveness of knowledge brokers at connecting scientists and decision‐makers: An Australian case study. Environ. Policy Gov. 2017, 27, 256–269.
  8. Ens, E.J.; Pert, P.; Clarke, P.A.; Budden, M.; Clubb, L.; Doran, B.; Douras, C.; Gaikwad, J.; Gott, B.; Leonard, S.; et al. Indigenous biocultural knowledge in ecosystem science and management: Review and insight from Australia. Biol. Conserv. 2015, 181, 133–149.
  9. Fazey, I.; Evely, A.C.; Reed, M.S.; Stringer, L.C.; Kruijsen, J.; White, P.C.; Newsham,. A.; Jin, L.; Cortazzi, M; Phillipson, J.; et al. Knowledge exchange: A review and research agenda for environmental management. Environ. Conserv. 2013, 40, 19–36.
  10. Failing, L.; Gregory, R.; Harstone, M. Integrating science and local knowledge in environmental risk management: A decision-focused approach. Ecol. Econ. 2007, 64, 47–60.
  11. Fisher, J.R.; Montambault, J.; Burford, K.P.; Gopalakrishna, T.; Masuda, Y.J.; Reddy, S.M.; Torphy, K; Salcedo, A.I. Knowledge diffusion within a large conservation organization and beyond. PloS one 2018, 13, e0193716.
  12. Gruby, R.L.; Gray, N.J.; Campbell, L.M.; Acton, L. Toward a social science research agenda for large marine protected areas. Conserv. Lett. 2015, 9, 153–163.
  13. Houde, N. The six faces of traditional ecological knowledge: Challenges and opportunities for Canadian co-management arrangements. Ecol. Soc. 2007, 12, 34.
  14. Lemieux, C.J.; Groulx, M.W.; Bocking, S.; Beechey, T.J. Evidence-based decision-making in Canada’s protected areas organizations: Implications for management effectiveness. FACETS, 3, 392–414.
  15. Nguyen, V.M.; Young, N.; Cooke, S.J. A roadmap for knowledge exchange and mobilization research in conservation and natural resource management. Conserv. Biol. 2017, 31, 789-798.
  16. Raymond, C.M.; Fazey, I.; Reed, M.S.; Stringer, L.C.; Robinson, G.M.; Evely, A.C. Integrating local and scientific knowledge for environmental management. J. Environ. Manag. 2010, 91, 1766–1777.
  17. Segan, D.B.; Bottrill, M.C.; Baxter, P.W.; Possingham, H.P. Using conservation evidence to guide management. Conserv. Biol. 2011, 25, 200–202.
  18. Sutherland W.J.; Bellingan, L.; Bellingham, J.R.; Blackstock, J.J.; Bloomfield, R.M.; Bravo, M., Cadman, V.M.; Cleevely, D.D.; Clements, A.; Cohen, A.S. A collaboratively-derived science-policy research agenda. PLoS ONE 2012, 7, e31824. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031824.

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Keywords

  • knowledge mobilization
  • protected areas
  • management
  • planning
  • evidence-based decision-making
  • case studies.

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Towards Mobilizing Knowledge for Effective Decision-Making in Parks and Protected Areas
Land 2021, 10(3), 254; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10030254 - 03 Mar 2021
Viewed by 403
Abstract
In November 2017, over 15,000 scientists issued a second letter to humanity that outlines how we are “jeopardizing our future” by failing to protect key ecological systems [...] Full article

Research

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Article
Grizzly Bear Management in the Kananaskis Valley: Forty Years of Figuring It Out
Land 2020, 9(12), 501; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9120501 - 08 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 619
Abstract
Case studies offer rich insight into the way knowledge is gathered, understood, and applied (or not) in parks and conservation contexts. This study aims to understand how knowledge and information have been used to inform decision-making about human-wildlife co-existence—specifically what knowledge has informed [...] Read more.
Case studies offer rich insight into the way knowledge is gathered, understood, and applied (or not) in parks and conservation contexts. This study aims to understand how knowledge and information have been used to inform decision-making about human-wildlife co-existence—specifically what knowledge has informed decisions related to grizzly bear management in the Kananaskis Valley. Focus groups of decision-makers involved in the valley’s bear program painted a rich account of decision-making since the late 1970s that was coded thematically. Our findings suggest there are typical impacts on knowledge mobilization, such as management support (or lack thereof), other agencies, capacity, and social and political pressures. In addition, the special context of the Kananaskis Valley and the forty-year timespan explored in focus group conversations provide unique lenses through which to understand knowledge mobilization. This case study reflects the barriers identified in the literature. However, the findings also include unique aspects of decision-making, such as the evolution of decision-making over a period of time in a multi-use landscape, the successful creation of networks to mediate knowledge and practice, and the creation of knowledge by practitioners. Full article
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Article
Park, Fish, Salt and Marshes: Participatory Mapping and Design in a Watery Uncommons
Land 2020, 9(11), 454; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110454 - 17 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 697
Abstract
The Franks Tract State Recreation Area (Franks Tract) is an example of a complex contemporary park mired in ecological and socio-political contestation of what it is and should be. Located in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, it is a central hub in California’s immense [...] Read more.
The Franks Tract State Recreation Area (Franks Tract) is an example of a complex contemporary park mired in ecological and socio-political contestation of what it is and should be. Located in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, it is a central hub in California’s immense and contentious water infrastructure; an accidental shallow lake on subsided land due to unrepaired levee breaks; a novel ecosystem full of ‘invasive’ species; a world-class bass fishing area; and a water transportation corridor. Franks Tract is an example of an uncommons: a place where multiple realities (or ontologies) exist, negotiate and co-create one another. As a case study, this article focuses on a planning effort to simultaneously improve water quality, recreation and ecology in Franks Tract through a state-led project. The article examines the iterative application of participatory mapping and web-based public surveys within a broader, mixed method co-design process involving state agencies, local residents, regional stakeholders, consultant experts and publics. We focus on what was learned in this process by all involved, and what might be transferable in the methods. We conclude that reciprocal iterative change among stakeholders and designers was demonstrated across the surveys, based on shifts in stakeholder preferences as achieved through iterative revision of design concepts that better addressed a broad range of stakeholder values and concerns. Within this reconciliation, the uncommons was retained, rather than suppressed. Full article
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Article
Knowledge Mobilization in the Beaver Hills Biosphere, Alberta, Canada
Land 2020, 9(11), 424; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110424 - 31 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 721
Abstract
This study explores how knowledge was and is mobilized to advance the objectives of the Beaver Hills Biosphere Reserve, located in Alberta, Canada. Established in 2016, a 12-year collaborative effort worked to establish the biosphere reserve and achieve formal UNESCO designation. Subsequent efforts [...] Read more.
This study explores how knowledge was and is mobilized to advance the objectives of the Beaver Hills Biosphere Reserve, located in Alberta, Canada. Established in 2016, a 12-year collaborative effort worked to establish the biosphere reserve and achieve formal UNESCO designation. Subsequent efforts to grow the newly established biosphere reserve have accelerated in recent years. Our study documented how different types of knowledge were accessed, created, curated, and shared between partners during these two time periods. Focus group interviews were conducted with 14 participants, who are affiliated with Beaver Hills Biosphere Reserve partner organizations, and revealed the following findings: (1) not all knowledge is equally valued or understood; (2) partnerships are highly valued, and were essential to successful knowledge mobilization, but were stronger among individuals rather than organizations; (3) fear of the loss of autonomy and potential complications due to the establishment of a biosphere reserve slowed the exchange of information and engagement by some regional actors; and (4) knowledge mobilization is and was impeded by staff and agency capacity, finances, and time scarcity. This was further complicated by entrenched norms of practice, existing successful working relationships impeding the development of new partnerships, and embracing alternative forms of knowledge. Full article
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Article
Mobilizing Indigenous Knowledge through the Caribou Hunter Success Working Group
Land 2020, 9(11), 423; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110423 - 31 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 883
Abstract
The caribou stewardship practices of the Iñupiat have persisted through cycles of abundance and decline for the Western Arctic Caribou Herd (WACH). This research seeks to address the challenges and opportunities faced when mobilizing Indigenous Knowledge in the National Park Service (NPS) management [...] Read more.
The caribou stewardship practices of the Iñupiat have persisted through cycles of abundance and decline for the Western Arctic Caribou Herd (WACH). This research seeks to address the challenges and opportunities faced when mobilizing Indigenous Knowledge in the National Park Service (NPS) management of the herd. Motivated by Indigenous stewardship concerns, NPS staff facilitate and participate in an informal working group focused on caribou hunter success. Using Indigenous Knowledge methods, this study examined the outcomes of the working group and the use of “rules of thumb” to identify and share stewardship practices. In the two cases, the Caribou Hunter Success Working Group created space for subsistence hunters to develop educational materials based on Indigenous Knowledge to address specific hunter success issues. Subsistence users participate in the federal subsistence programs and related subsistence forums, and it is the work of the NPS to mobilize the knowledge they contribute to improve subsistence management for both the users and the resource. There are two additional benefits for the NPS: (1) a better understanding of the use of the resource, and (2) when regulations are informed by Indigenous Knowledge, there is a greater likelihood of adherence. The mobilization of Indigenous Knowledge leads to more effective management. Full article
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Article
Informing Protected Area Decision Making through Academic-Practitioner Collaborations
Land 2020, 9(10), 375; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9100375 - 07 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 590
Abstract
This study examined knowledge mobilization and collaboration practices of practitioners in a Canadian provincial park agency, BC Parks. Data was collected through four focus groups, an on line survey (N = 125), and a follow up workshop. Results showed that the most important [...] Read more.
This study examined knowledge mobilization and collaboration practices of practitioners in a Canadian provincial park agency, BC Parks. Data was collected through four focus groups, an on line survey (N = 125), and a follow up workshop. Results showed that the most important information sources used by the agency were “internal” (e.g., policy and management guidelines), while “external sources” such as academic researchers or journals were rated lower. However, those who collaborated with outside groups, including academics, and those working in a science capacity within the agency, rated external information sources more positively. Barriers and enabling conditions for effective knowledge mobilization were identified. Full article
Article
Accessing and Mobilizing “New” Data to Evaluate Emerging Environmental Impacts on Semi-Aquatic Mammals
Land 2020, 9(10), 345; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9100345 - 23 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 586
Abstract
This paper describes how knowledge mobilization evolved during a study that assessed a proposed increase in industrial water withdrawals from the Athabasca River in northern Alberta, Canada, and potential impacts on a suite of freshwater semi-aquatic mammals in the broader ecosystem. The oil [...] Read more.
This paper describes how knowledge mobilization evolved during a study that assessed a proposed increase in industrial water withdrawals from the Athabasca River in northern Alberta, Canada, and potential impacts on a suite of freshwater semi-aquatic mammals in the broader ecosystem. The oil sands region in northeastern Alberta faces various pressures that require rapid knowledge mobilization and decision making, while still acknowledging ecological sensitivities immediately downstream in the Peace-Athabasca Delta (PAD) in the Wood Buffalo National Park. Data were acquired using a multi-faceted approach, including literature reviews, acquisition and synthesis of raw data, and interviews with local knowledge holders. The final outcome of the study was then contextualized relative to elements of knowledge mobilization: (1) research, (2) dissemination, (3) uptake, (4) implementation, and (5) impact. Knowledge mobilization was easiest to quantify for the first two elements, yet was still present in varying forms in the latter stages. The cultural importance of beavers, muskrats, river otters, and mink for communities associated with the Athabasca River and the PAD allowed for increased engagement during all stages of the research process, which then facilitated the co-production of potential solutions among different organization and perspectives. Full article
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Article
Reframing Native Knowledge, Co-Managing Native Landscapes: Ethnographic Data and Tribal Engagement at Yosemite National Park
Land 2020, 9(9), 335; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9090335 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1409
Abstract
Several Native American communities assert traditional ties to Yosemite Valley, and special connections to the exceptional landmarks and natural resources of Yosemite National Park. However, tribal claims relating to this highly visible park with its many competing constituencies—such as tribal assertions of traditional [...] Read more.
Several Native American communities assert traditional ties to Yosemite Valley, and special connections to the exceptional landmarks and natural resources of Yosemite National Park. However, tribal claims relating to this highly visible park with its many competing constituencies—such as tribal assertions of traditional ties to particular landscapes or requests for access to certain plant gathering areas—often require supporting documentation from the written record. Addressing this need, academic researchers, the National Park Service and park-associated tribes collaborated in a multi-year effort to assemble a comprehensive ethnographic database containing most available written accounts of Native American land and resource use in Yosemite National Park. To date, the database includes over 13,000 searchable and georeferenced entries from historical accounts, archived ethnographic notebooks, tribal oral history transcripts and more. The Yosemite National Park Ethnographic Database represents a progressive tool for identifying culturally significant places and resources in Yosemite—a tool already being used by both cultural and natural resource managers within the National Park Service as well as tribal communities considering opportunities for future collaborative management of their traditional homelands within Yosemite National Park. We conclude that the organization of such data, including inherent ambiguities and contradictions, periodically updated with data provided by contemporary Tribal members, offers a rich, multivocal and dynamic representation of cultural traditions linked to specific park lands and resources. Indeed, some Yosemite tribal members celebrate the outcomes as revelatory, and as a partial antidote to their textual erasure from dispossessed lands. In practice however, as with any database, we find that this approach still risks ossifying data and reinforcing hegemonic discourses relating to cultural stasis, ethnographic objectivity and administrative power. By critically engaging these contradictions, we argue that one can still navigate pathways forward—bringing Native voices more meaningfully into the management of parks and other protected spaces, and providing a template useful at other parks for collaboration toward shared conservation goals. Full article
Article
Accessing Local Tacit Knowledge as a Means of Knowledge Co-Production for Effective Wildlife Corridor Planning in the Chignecto Isthmus, Canada
Land 2020, 9(9), 332; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9090332 - 20 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1097
Abstract
Inclusive knowledge systems that engage local perspectives and social and natural sciences are difficult to generate and infuse into decision-making processes but are critical for conservation planning. This paper explores local tacit knowledge application to identify wildlife locations, movement patterns and heightened opportunities [...] Read more.
Inclusive knowledge systems that engage local perspectives and social and natural sciences are difficult to generate and infuse into decision-making processes but are critical for conservation planning. This paper explores local tacit knowledge application to identify wildlife locations, movement patterns and heightened opportunities and barriers for connectivity conservation planning in a critical linkage area known as the Chignecto Isthmus in the eastern Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Thirty-four local hunters, loggers, farmers and others with strong tacit knowledge of wildlife and the land participated in individual interviews and group workshops, both of which engaged participatory mapping. Individuals’ data were digitised, analysed and compiled into thematic series of maps, which were refined through participatory, consensus-based workshops. Locations of key populations and movement patterns for several species were delineated, predominantly for terrestrial mammals and migratory birds. When comparing local tacit-knowledge-based maps with those derived from formal-natural-science models, key differences and strong overlap were apparent. Local participants provided rich explanatory and complementary data. Their engagement in the process fostered knowledge transfer within the group and increased confidence in their experiential knowledge and its value for decision making. Benefits derived from our study for conservation planning in the region include enhanced spatial data on key locations of wildlife populations and movement pathways and local insights into wildlife changes over time. Identified contributing factors primarily relate to habitat degradation and fragmentation from human activities (i.e., land use and cover changes caused by roads and forestry practices), thereby supporting the need for conservation measures. The generated knowledge is important for consideration in local planning initiatives; it addresses gaps in existing formal-science data and validates or ground truths the outputs of existing computer-based models of wildlife habitat and movement pathways within the context of the complex social-ecological systems of the place and local people. Critically, awareness of the need for conservation and the value of the participants’ shared knowledge has been enhanced, with potential influence in fostering local engagement in wildlife conservation and other planning initiatives. Consistent with other studies, engagement of local people and their tacit knowledge was found to (i) provide important insights, knowledge translation, and dissemination to complement formal, natural science, (ii) help build a more inclusive knowledge system grounded in the people and place, and (iii) lend support to conservation action for connectivity planning and human-wildlife co-existence. More broadly, our methods demonstrate an effective approach for representing differences and consensus among participants’ spatial indications of wildlife and habitat as a means of co-producing knowledge in participatory mapping for conservation planning. Full article
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Article
Beyond Calendars and Maps: Rethinking Time and Space for Effective Knowledge Governance in Protected Areas
Land 2020, 9(9), 293; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9090293 - 25 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1255
Abstract
Protected area managers rely on relevant, credible, and legitimate knowledge. However, an increase in the rate, extent, severity, and magnitude of the impacts of drivers of change (e.g., climate change, altered land use, and demand for natural resources) is affecting the response capacity [...] Read more.
Protected area managers rely on relevant, credible, and legitimate knowledge. However, an increase in the rate, extent, severity, and magnitude of the impacts of drivers of change (e.g., climate change, altered land use, and demand for natural resources) is affecting the response capacity of managers and their agencies. We address temporal aspects of knowledge governance by exploring time-related characteristics of information and decision-making processes in protected areas. These areas represent artefacts where the past (e.g., geological periods and evolutionary processes), the present (e.g., biodiversity richness), and the future (e.g., protection of ecosystem services for future generations) are intimately connected and integrated. However, temporal horizons linked with spatial scales are often neglected or misinterpreted in environmental management plans and monitoring programs. In this paper, we present a framework to address multi-dimensional understandings of knowledge-based processes for managing protected areas to guide researchers, managers, and practitioners to consider temporal horizons, spatial scales, different knowledge systems, and future decisions. We propose that dealing with uncertain futures starts with understanding the knowledge governance context that shapes decision-making processes, explicitly embracing temporal dimensions of information in decision-making at different scales. We present examples from South Africa and Colombia to illustrate the concepts. This framework can help to enable a reflexive practice, identify pathways or transitions to enable actions and connect knowledge for effective conservation of protected areas. Full article
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Article
Pastoral Stone Enclosures as Biological Cultural Heritage: Galician and Cornish Examples of Community Conservation
Land 2020, 9(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010009 - 02 Jan 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1618
Abstract
The role and importance of a built structure are closely related to the surrounding area, with interest in a given area having a concomitant effect on the relevance given to the constructions it may hold. Heritage interest in landscape areas has grown in [...] Read more.
The role and importance of a built structure are closely related to the surrounding area, with interest in a given area having a concomitant effect on the relevance given to the constructions it may hold. Heritage interest in landscape areas has grown in recent times leading to a sound valorisation process. This connects with the recent concept of biological cultural heritage (BCH), or biocultural heritage (definition still in process), that can be understood as domesticated landscapes resulting from long-term biological and social relationships. Although pastoral enclosures (in large part dry-stone walling, whose construction has been recognised by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity since 2018) arise as traditional rural constructions linked with a way of life already disappearing, engaged local communities are recovering their biocultural value in terms of identity and positive conservation outcomes. In this sense, this article focuses on valuing traditional stone-built pastoral enclosures in two locations on the Atlantic coast of western Europe: Frojám (NW Iberian Peninsula) and Ladydown Moor (SW England). Findings concerning plant communities related to current or ancient pastoralism, and artefacts of built heritage are described, and an emphasis is placed on community engagement as a mechanism for conservation. The resilience of species-rich grassland communities is identified as a manifestation of biocultural heritage and an opportunity for habitat restoration. Finally, current trends and improvements in understanding of biological heritage and community conservation are addressed. Full article
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Review

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Review
Fostering Evidence-Informed Decision-Making for Protected Areas through the Alberta Parks Social Science Working Group
Land 2021, 10(2), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020224 - 23 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 696
Abstract
Since 2012, the Alberta Parks division in the Province of Alberta, Canada has been engaged in a process of building scientific, research, and evidence-informed capacity and practices across the parks system. Following a series of priority-setting workshops and agreements with the research, Parks [...] Read more.
Since 2012, the Alberta Parks division in the Province of Alberta, Canada has been engaged in a process of building scientific, research, and evidence-informed capacity and practices across the parks system. Following a series of priority-setting workshops and agreements with the research, Parks management, and local communities, Alberta Parks has adopted a working group approach and subsequent framework, to support the research and decision-making goals of parks and protected areas management, and the research communities. This Social Science Framework is an innovative way to support evidence-informed decision-making in the public sphere by explicitly linking data-specific needs (benchmark data in social, natural, and applied sciences) with both established and emerging policy and research priorities. It is also a way to situate those needs within a broader goal of inter-organizational collaboration. This paper presents the background and developmental context to the framework, and its structure and desired functionality. The paper concludes with an assessment of the anticipated benefits and potential liabilities of this direction for linking academic and policy agents and organizations in a more formalized structure for environmental policy. Full article
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