Ecosystem services and landscape management: three challenges and one plea
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionInternational Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management. 2012, 8 (4), 305-312. 10.1080/21513732.2012.722127
This article identifies three interrelated challenges concerning the ecosystem services (ES) framework and the nature of landscape dynamics within the context of landscape management. These challenges are set within a problematic externalization of nature inherent in the ES framework. The first challenge concerns the lack of compatibility between the ES framework and the logics of landscapes. The second challenge addresses the complexity of ecosystems, unsubstitutable values, and intangible dimensions in economic valuation when applied to landscapes. The third challenge points at how the ES framework has problems in accounting for how and why sociocultural processes are crucial to environmental attitudes and behavior. We argue that the idea of landscape and its inherent landscape dynamics, a crosscutting dimension of these challenges, is a missed opportunity for the ES framework in order to take immeasurable and context-specific social and cultural processes more seriously and consequently deliver sounder advice on landscape management. We thus make a plea for the importance of creating platforms for dialogue across research communities working to improve the understanding of human–nature dynamics.