Knowledge Platform


Different types of knowledge exist between the actors in landscape management, such as local, managerial and scientific knowledge. While scientific knowledge and to an increasing extent managerial knowledge prevails in landscape management, local resource-use based knowledge is established only to a lesser extent. However, also local (traditional) knowledge and landscape cultures are relevant for sustainable resource use. Knowledge differences between land management e.g. between farmers, stakeholder and a wider community represent a source of conflict that need to be taken into consideration, as they represent bottlenecks for policy effectiveness.

For instance, knowledge gaps among farmers hinder the adoption of agri-environmental schemes (AES) or other landscape management and environmental practices. Information and knowledge transfer is particularly recognized as an important measure in order to increase the acceptance of Cross Compliance (CC). Support for advisory services is granted, in order to enable farmers in meeting the regulatory standards. Within Rural Development Programmes, the CAP offers various measures for training and skill development. Also farmers' environmental attitudes and commitment with the policy objectives are most relevant for participation in AES, as well as in policies aiming at the landscape valorisation such as diversification schemes. Especially age, education, length of residency, farming philosophy, land ownership, and trust in government or expansion drive represent important explanatory factors for farmers' attitudes and knowledge.

Also the valorisation of landscape for regional welfare and competitiveness is influenced by the agents and stakeholders, who are involved in this process. Depending on their functional ties, roles and social practise these actors are determined by different perceptions, values and preferences. These differences in turn determine how landscape is valorised and which benefits landscape delivers. Differences occur in the perception and preferences between producers and consumers of the landscape, but also between different beneficiary groups, e.g. local residents and visitors. However, an effective delivery of landscape services and its appearance in terms of contribution to social welfare and competitiveness requires compliances with the demand side. This is usually difficult, as public good non-commodities are difficult to monetize.

Empirical Case Study Evidence

The role of farmers' knowledge for the implementation of landscape management has not been addressed extensively. Only in the Turkish case study, it has been pointed to the relevance of farm accountancy data network (FADN) participation, agricultural extension and consultancy services to support the application of specific landscape management practices.

In the Austrian case the role of networks and mutual knowledge of stakeholder has been addressed, finding key actors how are able to channel knowledge through the network with the aim of promoting common strategies.

Another aspect of knowledge and awareness is the way, how environmental behaviour by the users of the landscape is influenced. In the case of Lowland Ferrara (IT), the empirical findings showed a clear positive relationship between the awareness/importance attributed to landscape by both local residents and tourist and the attitude to use landscape services, e.g. by local products.

It has been shown in several case studies that knowledge and awareness about landscape management, (traditional) landscape structures and elements as well as the importance for landscape valorisation for socio-economic second-order benefits. Examples can be found in the French case study (pig holding), the Turkish study (rose farming) and the Bulgarian case (wine production) where the landscape contributed to the image for a specialty / quality product. In some empirical studies the role of education, knowledge and information for awareness-raising of landscape values as well as for the strategy-making for regional landscape valorisation has been looked at. For instance In the Polish case study, local community's knowledge and interest about landscape protection measures has been investigated, finding rather low knowledge levels (only 12% have some knowledge about landscape management measures; 18% knew about consultations), despite high interest (90%) in additional information about the management of the local landscape. Therefore an information gap between institutions, farmers and local community has been identified.

Conclusions & Recommendations

Knowledge and awareness of actors and stakeholders in landscape management and the socio-economic valorisation are important aspects in understanding, how policies are implemented and the resulting landscape potential is utilized. Actions should be undertaken to raise awareness and continuous dialogue with local community about environmental protection and promoting agro-environmental programs.

Further Reading

Burgess,J., Clark,J., Harrison,C.M. (2000). Knowledges in action: an actor network analysis of a wetland agri-environment scheme. Ecological Economics 35: 119-132.

Curry, N., Ingram, J., Kirwan, J., Maye, D. (2012). Knowledge networks for sustainable agriculture in England. Outlook on Agriculture 41(4): 243-248.

Siebert, R., Lascheweski, L. & Dosch, A. (2008). Knowledge Dynamics in Valorising Local Nature. Sociologia Ruralis 48(3): 223-239.

Sutherland,L.A., Mills,J., Ingram,J., Burton,R.J.F., Dwyer,J., Blackstock,K. (2013). Considering the source: Commercialisation and trust in agri-environmental information and advisory services in England. Journal of Environmental Management 118: 96-105.