Public Participation for Planning the Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Landscape Change: Methodology Development

By Maria Nijnik, David Miller, Albert Nijnik, Stefano Fiorini, Nathan Vogt, Eduardo Brondizio and Jane Morrice.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper discusses the integration of analytical approaches and participatory techniques for planning the sustainable use of land resources and landscapes changes using two examples, from South America and from Europe. The first example considers land use in the Amazon region, and the second, the socio-economic, ecological and visual aspects of land-use changes in a European landscape. Each example involves active participation of stakeholders and the public in the process of decision-making.

The developed methodologies applied under the very different conditions of the Amazon and Europe, with the outcomes from the experiences of these two projects, are used to prove the necessity of stakeholder and community involvement in assessing environmental problems and their potential solutions. These experiences suggest that wider stakeholder involvement in decision-making has had a high level of participant satisfaction, and an increased understanding of the issues associated with rural land use and landscape changes. Comparisons of the similarities and differences between the two studies provide a basis for discussion of common and locally distinctive guidelines and good practices in rural land use and landscapes planning.

Keywords: Research Methods, Stakeholder Engagement, Landscape Change, Decision-making, the Amazon, Europe

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 11, pp.303-320. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 3.443MB).

Dr. Maria Nijnik

Senior Research Scientist, Socio-Economic Group, The Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, Aberdeen, UK

Since 2002 until now, I have worked with the Socio-Economic Research Group of the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute (MLURI), where I am a Senior Scientist, with PhD, socio-economic and environmental aspects for sustainable development of tourism and recreation, 1984; PhD, sustainability in forestry, 2002. Before joining the Macaulay Institute, I worked at Free University, Amsterdam (1995-2000), and was a Post-doctoral Research Fellow of Agricultural Economics and Rural Policy Group, Wageningen University, in the Netherlands (2000-2002). Through working collaboratively in interdisciplinary, and often in international teams, I have gained experience in scientific research, and research co-ordination and management, with direct relevance to sustainable development, including governance and institutional issues, natural resource/land use, climate change, environmental policy and management, and social and human dimensions of global change. I am a reviewer for numerous international journals and books, and the author/co-author of ca. 200 publications (social science/environmental science/interdisciplinary).

David Miller

Head of Integrated Land Use Systems (ILUS) of the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, UK, Integrated Land Use Systems (ILUS), The Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, Aberdeen, UK

Professor, Dr, Head of Integrated Land Use Systems (ILUS) of the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute (MLURI) in the United Kingdom, coordinator of the European Union project “Visualisation tools for public participation in the management of landscape change” presented in the paper under submission.

Albert Nijnik

Environmental Network Ltd., UK

Albert Nijnik is an ENL Research-Associate specializing in Socio-Economics; Environmental Economics; Sustainable Development and Natural Resource and Land Use; Policy and Management; Environmental Impact Assessment; Human Dimensions of Global Changes and Institutional Transformation.

Stefano Fiorini

Indiana University, IN, USA

Is Research Associate with ACT; with interests on the dynamic relationship between people, environment and nature and the role society, identity and institutions play in shaping and transforming this relationship.

Nathan Vogt

National Institute for Space Research of Brazil, Brazil

Dr. Vogt’s research interests include land-use/cover change, human ecology, forest ecology and management, collective action, governance of common-pool resources, and exploring ways to better integrate social and ecological methodologies.

Eduardo Brondizio

Indiana University, IN, USA

Is Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology, Adjunct Professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA), and Associate Director of the Anthropological Center for Training and Research on Global Environmental Change (ACT).

Jane Morrice

The Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, UK


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