Much ado about doing nothing : the conflicts about the Black Forest National Park as a call for integrating forgotten understandings of nature

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Lunds universitet/LUCSUS

Sammanfattning: The Black Forest National Park (NP), Germany, opened in 2014 after intense societal disputes, complicated by changing political factors, scientific conservation debates, and multi-level decision-making structures. I argue that value conflicts over fundamentally opposed views on nature underlie these disputes, and that integrating these views in future NP planning may improve the sustainability of conservation efforts. Through addressing cultural, social and emotional dimensions of nature, in addition to scientific and economic concerns, conservation can gain wider public support. By analyzing qualitative semi-structured stakeholder interviews with both supporters and opponents,alongside newspaper articles, findings show that understandings of nature differ between interest groups. Proponents emphasized ecological benefits and contributions to protecting biodiversity and habitats; meanwhile, opponents feared consequences for daily life, the economy, aesthetics, livelihood and homeland identity, revealing that forests of cultural landscapes can represent more than a natural resource. The thesis situates the Black Forest debates in a broader context, incorporating historical forest use, the forest myth, morality, wilderness ideas, previous conflicts and current political charging, complementing previous natural scientific studies of the NP and quantitative analysis of its public support. The thesis contributes to sustainability science by recommending how to improve participation in and acceptance of NP planning.

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