Protected areas in the Norwegian mountains: Cultural landscape conservation - whose landscape?

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This article aims to explore the application of a practice-based understanding of landscape in conservation and management. The point of departure is the understanding of landscape in landscape conservation and different understandings in the discipline of geography. Practice-based landowners' and tourists' landscapes in a 'protected landscape' in the western Norwegian mountains are explored according to underlying principles in the sense of the dispositions of Bourdieu's habitus. Customary and statutory regulations are crucial concepts for characterizing the differences between landscapes of practice in terms of residential and social background, organization, land units, and communication and orientation. Recent landscape conservation practice has very little in common with the landowners' land-use practice that is governed by customary principles. Much stronger parallels are found between conservation and tourists' practice. The lack of correspondence between the practices of landowners and conservation may be a reason for negative attitudes among landowners towards landscape conservation. The article advocates valuing different people's practices as contributing to cultural landscape diversity and thus encourages the application of a practice-based understanding of landscape in conservation and management.

Keywords: cultural diversity; customary law; landscape protection; practice; statutory law

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2004

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