My place in the Biosphere is a transdisciplinary communication project carried by researchers and practitioners. The goal is to communicate results from a research project which aimed to investigate the role of cultural heritage and historic environment in sustainable landscape management, with focus on the relation between cultural ecosystem services, such as cultural heritage and place identity, and human well-being. The case study area, Lake Vänern Archipelago Biosphere Reserve, includes areas with high ecological and cultural landscape values. Three communication channels will be used, a popular science publication, a travelling outdoor exhibition and films, in order to address target groups beyond academia.
My Place in the Biosphere - Results from research done in a Swedish Bioshere Reserve
About the project
The goal with the communication project My place in the Biosphere is to communicate results from a research project which aims to investigate the role of cultural heritage and historic environment in sustainable landscape management.
Culture’s role as being both an enabler and a driver of sustainable development is confirmed but putting theoretical insights into practical action are more difficult and the cultural dimension of sustainable development in practice needs to be stronger. Landscape management requires a multi-dimensional framework in which nature and culture are regarded as integrated but the fact is that a clear nature/culture divide exists in both research and practice.
Biosphere Reserves offers model areas for exploring innovative methods to achieve sustainable development. Lake Vänern Archipelago Biosphere Reserve, including three municipalities with high ecological and cultural landscape values, is described as an incubator for sustainable development focusing on people and communities. A number of different projects and activities share the same goal: to strengthen the pride and commitment, and encourage residents to further engage with their environment.
The interdisciplinary research project uses surveys and interviews in order to examine key issues such as: what kind of cultural values and meanings do landscapes convey and share; are these values part of an integrative landscape management; what kind of personal and cultural (collective) identifiers do we bond to landscapes and how is this related to well-being and willingness to sacrifice. We also investigate the relationship between history and biodiversity with focus on the respondents knowledge about botany and history. Interviews with public officials will explore how the historic environment and the cultural ecosystem services cultural heritage and place identity are assessed in planning practice.
With the communication project we want to raise awareness about how resident experience the landscape and highlight the cultural values in the landscape that promote human wellbeing and convey pride. The
transdisciplinary project team includes researchers from the University of Gothenburg and University of Gävle and staff from Lake Vänern Archipelago Biosphere Reserve and Lake Vänern museum. Together the project team will develop three communication channels: a popular science publication, a travelling outdoor exhibition and films. The popular science publication, based on research results, will be written to address professionals beyond academia, specifically public officials, politicians and NGOs. A workshop was arranged to present the popular science publication for target groups in 2019. During 2020 a travelling outdoor exhibition which will be presented within the municipalities of Lidköping, Mariestad and Götene which are part of the Biosphere Reserve. The locations for the exhibition will be selected based on results that identify residents’ favourite places and will reflect the diversity of community and individual attachments within the Biosphere Reserve. The project team will also produce two films, one will be a three to five minute descriptive film that will be used to support public presentations. A shorter film will also be available for support social media marketing efforts.
The communication project will provide both greater knowledge about and better arguments for integrating cultural heritage values and cultural ecosystem services into landscape management, ultimately supporting more sustainable land-use practices and promoting future cooperation between nature and culture conservation.