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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.

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Landscape experiences as a cultural ecosystem service – How to make sense of it?

The term “landscape” has a variety of meanings and connotations. In Finland there are reportedly more than 40 different definitions of the word “landscape” (NCM 2003). The strength of the concept lies in the fact that it is easy to understand and most people will associate it with their own aesthetic experiences of certain characteristic features of an area of land, such as the majestic fjord landscapes on the Norwegian west coast or the rolling and bountiful agricultural landscapes of the Danish island of Funen.

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