Competing Place Meanings in Complex Landscapes: A Social–Ecological Approach to Unpacking Community Conservation Outcomes on the Wild Coast, South Africa

Author(s): Mastersson, V., Tengö, M., Spierenburg, M.
In: Society & Natural Resources, Published online: 04 Aug 2017. DOI: 10.1080/08941920.2017.1347975
Year: 2017
Type: Journal / article
Theme affiliation: Landscapes, Stewardship
Link to centre authors: Tengö, Maria
Full reference: Masterson, V., Tengö, M., Spierenburg, M. 2017.Competing Place Meanings in Complex Landscapes: A Social–Ecological Approach to Unpacking Community Conservation Outcomes on the Wild Coast, South Africa. Society & Natural Resources, Published online: 04 Aug 2017. DOI: 10.1080/08941920.2017.1347975

Summary

Despite a general awareness of the social–ecological complexities within which conservation interventions are embedded, approaches to understanding a diversity of local perspectives of heterogeneous landscapes and how they matter for the outcomes of these interventions are seldom demonstrated. We apply a social–ecological approach to exploring the multiple place meanings related to key landscape elements around a proposed community conservation intervention on the Wild Coast, South Africa, by identifying and analyzing three narratives about this impending change. These narratives mobilize competing meanings of the landscape to argue for or against the conservation project. By linking place meanings to locally defined landscape units (ecotopes), we engage multiple interpretations of the heterogeneous and changing landscape to gain a holistic and more inclusive picture of social–ecological landscape processes such as increasing woodlands and field abandonment. The obstruction of this particular intervention indicates the importance of engaging with multiple cultural values of nature.

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