Reference : Greening Local Economies: Nature Parks as Instruments for Sustainable Regional Development
Dissertations and theses : Doctoral thesis
Life sciences : Environmental sciences & ecology
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Human geography & demography
http://hdl.handle.net/10993/21818
Greening Local Economies: Nature Parks as Instruments for Sustainable Regional Development
English
Feyeh, Franklin Bahfon mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE) > Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning]
2015
University of Luxembourg, ​​Luxembourg
Docteur en Géographie
220
Schulz, Christian mailto
[en] Green Economy ; Sustainable Regional Development ; Nature Parks
[en] ABSTRACT
The proliferation of Nature Parks in Europe and the change in the function of these areas has brought forth questions about the meaning and extent to which Nature Parks encourage practices for regional sustainable development. As such, research into this subject is ongoing. Since the creation of the first Nature Park in Europe some five or six decades ago, today, the functions of many of these areas have metamorphosed; triggered by increasing knowledge about the importance of existing ecosystem services in park areas, on adjacent local inhabitants. Consequently, parks have moved from areas of pure conservation to areas that combine environmental preservation with other socioeconomic demands in regional development. When this multifunctional characteristic is fixed into various regional policies, Nature Parks are generally interpreted by policy makers as necessary tools for realizing sustainable development in local areas.

For the fact that parks have assumed new functions, it is certain, there are modifications in the strategies adopted for managing these areas. As a result, this study holds that the strength of Nature Parks in mitigating resource depletion, to improve socioeconomic prosperity and participatory regional processes, in rural areas in Luxembourg, is explicitly linked to the development strategies intended for these areas.

The study draws on two official Nature Parks in Luxembourg (Haute Sûre and Our), to explain contemporary strategies to simultaneously integrate activities of ecological conservation, economic development, social well-being and resource governance. Therefore, the study sticks on the concept of green economy, an integrated notion in the framework of sustainable development, as for example, promoted by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP, 2011), to draw a line between theory and practice of Nature Park development in Luxembourg.

To comprehend the role and impacts of Nature Parks in regional development, the study has been guided by a qualitative methodology. Methods were chosen based on flexibility and the strength to provide useful insights about parks’ activities. This provided responses to the main research question; to what extent are strategies contributing to the appreciation of Nature Parks by local, regional and national stakeholders, as instruments for greening local economies, for the purpose of attaining sustainable regional development in Luxembourg?

The dissertation presents different dimensions in which Nature Parks in Luxembourg are trying to promote regional sustainability. It made use of chapters that describe and analyse ecological policies for improving ecosystem services. This is mainly guided by schemes for environmental education, biodiversity contracts and agricultural advice that convey modernisation into traditional agricultural practices. Undeniably, approaches affixed for the development of Nature Parks have been contributing in reshaping local economies. Not only are these strategies important in integrating economic development and ecological conservation, but also, the outcomes via innovative and diversified projects have fairly improved approaches for local production. A new rural identity is now being developed, standing tall as the main strength behind the marketing of locally branded Nature Park products. Apart from the fact that organic production is still a matter of controversy, concrete social policies are lacking while local participation in Nature Parks’ activities is a critical challenge and absolutely insufficient.

Away from researching on the ecological, economic, social and governance approaches for greening Nature Parks, the study has also explained certain challenges caused mainly by, but not limited to, differences between stakeholders in conceptualising Nature Parks as tool for local/regional development. The emerging drawbacks from these limitations vis-à-vis regional projects are enough reason to rethink the extent to which Nature Parks in Luxembourg encourage sustainable regional development. The research reasons that attaining sustainable development in Nature Parks is a critical challenge. This can be most effective if predestined strategies logically integrate aspects of environmental conservation, economic prosperity and social well-being, including attractive policies of regional governance.
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students ; General public ; Others
http://hdl.handle.net/10993/21818

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