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Evaluating Ecosystem Services in Transhumance Cultural Landscapes

An Interdisciplinary and Participatory Framework

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Following the concept of ecosystem services, we propose in this article an interdisciplinary and participatory methodological framework for ecosystem services assessment and participatory decision-making in Mediterranean cultural landscapes linked with transhumant pastoralism. It is based on four sequential phases: 1. characterisation of the social-ecological network associated with transhumance, 2. preliminary identification and characteri sation of ecosystem services, 3. evaluation of ecosystem services (in biophysical, socio-cultural, and economic terms), and 4. future scenario planning for the analysis of social conflicts related to ecosystem services use and trade-offs as well as the proposal of management strategies. Applying the framework to a case study on one of the major transhumance landscapes in Spain, we could identify and evaluate more than 30 ecosystem services. The framework facilitated the design of robust policy measures that aim to maintain this livestock raising model and its associated flow of ecosystem services. It also contributes to provide the basis for the implementation of adaptive co-management strategies.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2012

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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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