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Landscape experiences as a cultural ecosystem service in a Nordic context

Concepts, values and decision-making

image of Landscape experiences as a cultural ecosystem service in a Nordic context

Cultural ecosystem services in the form of experiences derived from landscapes are potentially important, but often overlooked. Given the large and unprecedented landscape changes many of the Nordic countries are undergoing, there is a need to find ways of including people’s preferences and the value of landscape impacts in policy assessments and decision-making processes. The project aim has been to synthesize knowledge about the magnitude and value of landscape experiences, and investigate current practices and examples of how landscape impacts are incorporated (or not) in policy assessments and decision-making contexts in the Nordics. The literature demonstrates potentially high unaccounted welfare loss from landscape change. We find clear weaknesses in current practices, that a second phase will try to address. The project was carried out by Vista Analysis in Oslo and Department of Environmental Science at Aarhus University from 2014–15.

English

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Executive Summary

Cultural ecosystem services (ES), one of the four main ES categories, is consistently recognized as highly important, but is often not considered further in scientific ES research or thoroughly in policy assessments. The varied experiences people derive from landscapes constitute a substantial part of such cultural services. Reviewing results from studies investigating people’s preferences for landscapes in the Nordic countries and internationally may be useful for understanding how and how much people value different types of landscape experiences. This is necessary in order to improve the inclusion of such values in decision-making. Given the large unprecedented landscape changes many of the Nordic countries are undergoing, there is a growing need to find ways to better include the value of (often cumulative) landscape impacts into relevant policy assessments that affect landscapes.

English

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