Environmental Engineering Reference
In-Depth Information
different forms of exploitation of the land and natural resources, including
developments in tourism and energy production, which were intended and
are intended to be pursued.
The difficulties are also aggravated by the spectacular growth in the
number and extent of parks and other “protected areas,” mostly registered
in the second half of the last century, which has led to protected surfaces
now covering an important fraction of the land (19% in Europe). It is a
growth that has crossed ever more often (above all in less developed coun-
tries) instances of conservation with economic, social, and equity prob-
lems, and with the developmental rights and needs of vast populations. For
territorial governing institutions, this carries with it the need for very dif-
ferent responses to emerging questions, whether within or outside the pro-
tected areas. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
has moved in this direction with a proposal for the classification of protect-
ed areas within six categories, each of which contains specific planning and
management strategies, above all regarding public enjoyment. Other indi-
cations have been offered by the IUCN's “new paradigms,” launched at the
2003 World Park Congress held in Durban, with the goals of profound inno-
vation in the objectives and forms of management, and the increased
involvement of local populations in regulating the use and fruition of the
protected resources.
The most significant aspect of the emerging orientation in park policies
deals with the landscape, both within parks and protected areas—in particu-
lar, those that can be assigned to the “ protected landscape ” category, which
in Europe covers more than half of the protected surface—and outside, in
territories connected by important ecological, cultural, economic, and social
relationships. The adoption of “landscape scale” plans in the framework of
approaches to ecosystems extending largely outside their perimeters, is one
of the ways through which we can try to confront the “ insularization ” of the
protected areas, the fragmentation of territories, and the loss of “ ecosystem
services ” that are useful, and in some way indispensable, for the sustainabil-
ity of human settlements. In this direction, the landscape paradigm proposed
by the Council of Europe through the ELC in 2000 has found growing con-
firmation in theoretical reflections and applied experiences. This highlights
some key aspects, such as the recognition that the entire territory, and not
just landscapes of exceptional worth, merits appropriate treatment, that the
landscape value also concerns the identity of the places , and that landscape
policies cannot in any way disregard the perceptions, expectations, and proj-
ects of local communities. Building a bridge between nature and culture
requires the identifying grounding of environmental values and the overall
reconsideration of the quality of living contexts, heavy with ecological, his-
torical, economic, and cultural awareness.
The new paradigms induce to cultivate a perspective vision that faces,
on the one hand, the confusing and imposing emergence of new innovative
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