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Understanding the factors shaping the attitudes towards wilderness and rewilding


Bauer, Nicole; von Atzigen, Aline (2019). Understanding the factors shaping the attitudes towards wilderness and rewilding. In: Pettorelli, Nathalie; Durant, Sarah M.; Du Toit, Johan T.. Rewilding. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 142-164.

Abstract

Only few wilderness areas, representing an invaluable part of the world's natural heritage, remain in the highly developed regions of the world. Therefore, the rewilding of landscapes is increasingly being discussed as a management option to combat biodiversity loss and reshape landscapes in regions where the need for agricultural and forest land is decreasing. As many of the regions where rewilding is being discussed are densely populated, potential wilderness would be located in the vicinity of inhabited areas, leading to a high probability of conflict between people in favour of rewilding and those opposed to it.
Rewilding projects – in addition to their ecological use and value – have to be in accordance with the values and needs of the local population and should not interfere with their plans for the region. Hence, the acceptance and support by those who live around potential wilderness areas is very important and before taking a decision about rewilding an area or not, it is crucial to learn more about the attitudes of the general public towards nature and towards the expansion of wilderness. Therefore, the present chapter reviews current knowledge on public attitudes towards nature, wilderness, and rewilding. It takes a special focus on empirical studies from the field of environmental psychology and environmental sociology, assessing the attitudes of the general population by directly asking them questions on their relation to the environment, while in other chapters (in particular Chapters 2 and 3) the historical, cultural, and political origins of wilderness were discussed.

Abstract

Only few wilderness areas, representing an invaluable part of the world's natural heritage, remain in the highly developed regions of the world. Therefore, the rewilding of landscapes is increasingly being discussed as a management option to combat biodiversity loss and reshape landscapes in regions where the need for agricultural and forest land is decreasing. As many of the regions where rewilding is being discussed are densely populated, potential wilderness would be located in the vicinity of inhabited areas, leading to a high probability of conflict between people in favour of rewilding and those opposed to it.
Rewilding projects – in addition to their ecological use and value – have to be in accordance with the values and needs of the local population and should not interfere with their plans for the region. Hence, the acceptance and support by those who live around potential wilderness areas is very important and before taking a decision about rewilding an area or not, it is crucial to learn more about the attitudes of the general public towards nature and towards the expansion of wilderness. Therefore, the present chapter reviews current knowledge on public attitudes towards nature, wilderness, and rewilding. It takes a special focus on empirical studies from the field of environmental psychology and environmental sociology, assessing the attitudes of the general population by directly asking them questions on their relation to the environment, while in other chapters (in particular Chapters 2 and 3) the historical, cultural, and political origins of wilderness were discussed.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:790 Sports, games & entertainment
390 Customs, etiquette & folklore
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Human-nature relationship, value, perception, wilderness, nature
Language:English
Date:February 2019
Deposited On:17 Jan 2020 16:21
Last Modified:17 Jan 2020 16:39
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISBN:978-1-108-47267-8
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108560962
Related URLs:https://www.recherche-portal.ch/permalink/f/5u2s2l/ebi01_prod011359794 (Library Catalogue)

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