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Bioenergy crops as new components of rural and agricultural landscapes: environmental and social impact, conservation, cultural heritage and economy.

Journal article
Authors Sándor Némethy
Bartlomiej Walas
Published in Journal of Central European Green Innovation
Volume 3
Issue Thematic issue
Pages 111-124
ISSN 2064-3004
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Pages 111-124
Language en
Keywords bioenergy crops, agricultural landscapes, cultural heritage, biomass, agroforestry-systems
Subject categories Earth and Related Environmental Sciences, Economics and Business


The ecosystems and the built heritage of agricultural landscapes require holistic management structures built on self-sustaining ecological cycles and the sustainable use of ecosystem services put into the context of economical and demographical conditions of local and regional development strategies. Furthermore, the natural and cultural heritage of rural landscapes can play an important role for boosting economic growth and social cohesion if protected and used in a sustainable way with a long term sustainability approach. Latest tourism trends show an increasing interest of tourists towards the discovery of the "soul" of the destination, out of the mass standardized tourism offer, and looking for a deep experience in a "genuine environment" expression of the local people and landscape. This is particularly important for those rural landscapes, where establishing large scale traditional monoculture of bio energy crops might threaten both previously well functioning agro-ecosystems and the cultural values of the agricultural landscapes. However, sensible cultivation of energy crops, particularly energy forests, in degraded areas or on territories of low soil quality may be beneficial and serve as means for ecological reconstruction and creation of new habitats. We propose to apply renewable energy based sustainable micro-regional development in rural areas, where ecologically acceptable level of bioenergy feedstock production supports not only organic agriculture including grey water irrigation and control of invasive species, but even the protection, reconstruction and sensible use of the built and intangible cultural heritage.

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