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Free Content Gesellschaftliche Wahrnehmung, Bewertung und Umsetzung von Biodiversität

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The representations and values guiding people's perception of nature and possibly motivating action to preserve biological diversity are subject to historical change under specific social conditions. A historical case study of the process that led to the enactment of bird protection measures in Central Europe reveals that substantial value shifts occurred in the period of approximately 1850–1930, which can be observed within various discourses. Whereas before that time birds had been mostly valued as game and knowledge of avian diversity was restricted to bird hunters, birds became increasingly popular. New social stereotypes such as the bird-watcher emerged, and the knowledge and appreciation of natural diversity became not only socially acceptable, but were seen as virtues.

Such value shifts were necessary for the establishment of bird protection measures in legislation and elsewhere.

Various public controversies driven by conflicting social interests accompanied this process.

Social representations guiding people's actions in designing their environment can be studied in different social groups, for instance, people keeping gardens in small allotments in peri-urban areas.

A study of the plant species and varieties and their use in designing gardens revealed distinct preferences.

These preferences seem to be the results of various esthetical norms, partly expressing people's discontent with urban development and their own position within society, partly representing utopian images of a pre-industrial agricultural community. Value shifts and their effects can also be observed within the international scientific community.

A study of the “biodiversity movement” originating in the 1980s reveals that global concerns about human persistence put biological diversity back on scientists' research agenda.

Finally, the legal status of international conventions and the effect of the Earth Summit 1992 on national conservation strategies are discussed.
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Language: German

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 1995

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  • GAIA is a peer-reviewed inter- and transdisciplinary journal for scientists and other interested parties concerned with the causes and analyses of environmental and sustainability problems and their solutions.

    Environmental problems cannot be solved by one academic discipline. The complex natures of these problems require cooperation across disciplinary boundaries. Since 1991, GAIA has offered a well-balanced and practice-oriented forum for transdisciplinary research. GAIA offers first-hand information on state of the art environmental research and on current solutions to environmental problems. Well-known editors, advisors, and authors work to ensure the high quality of the contributions found in GAIA and a unique transdisciplinary dialogue – in a comprehensible style.

    GAIA is an ISI-journal, listed in the Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Science Citation Index and in Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences.

    All contributions undergo a double-blind peer review.

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