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Paradoxes of landscape construction. Swedish land care arrangements in a wider context

Conference contribution
Authors Katarina Saltzman
Anders Wästfelt
Published in Konferens: Land(scape), Territories and Networks of Eco-frontiers, 27-30 maj 2009, Limoges, Frankrike
Publication year 2009
Published at Department of Cultural Sciences
Language en
Subject categories Nature conservation and landscape management, Human Geography, Cultural Studies, Ethnology

Abstract

Great efforts are today made in Europe, both at official and local levels, for maintaining and restoring the values of vanishing landscapes. While the general changes within agriculture are still directed towards efficiency and enlargement, certain areas and features in the landscape are now set aside, protected and recreated through ‘historical’ maintenance measures. Today, Swedish landscape experts find their ideal landscapes in parts of Eastern Europe, for example in mountainous areas of Romania, where biologists and cultural heritage officials from Sweden have been astounded by vast meadows and small-scale agriculture ‘still alive’ in environments that resemble the long-gone rural landscapes of Scandinavia. This paper sheds light on some paradoxes within the handling of rural landscapes in Sweden and the EU. We will discuss the concept of sustainable landscape management in relation to constructions of landscape values and valuable landscapes. When Swedish authorities engage in landscape management issues they tend to work with slices of land and deal with individual farmers, rather than treating the landscape as a socio-ecologically complex entity. This paper presents a conceptual discussion about how future landscape management would be built on recognition of the social in the first room and the nature values.

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