Journal article
Dancing with Cranes : A humanist perspective of cultural ecosystem services of wetlands

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Author list: Röslmaier, Michael
Publication year: 2018
ISSN: 1461-6688

Abstract

Cultural ecosystem services (CES) are important spatial elements providinghumans with recreational, aesthetic, spiritual and other benefits. Yet, because of their immaterial, subjective, qualitative and unmeasurable nature, this means that scientists,decision-makersand general public oftenfind their value difficult to grasp. Weenrich the CES approach with theoretical insights from humanistgeography, where we frame CESas arising from perpetual interactions between humans and their environment.Places are formed through various processes, both organic and planned, which endow people with unique identities, experiences, capabilities, knowledge and skills.We use the rural wetland area of Lake Hornborga, Sweden, with its complex history of restoration phases, to explore theprofound interrelations betweenenvironmental spaces and cultural practices expressed in the everyday activities of learning, playing, creating, caring, producing, and consuming. The data was collected through qualitative methods, including interviews, observations and a focused group interview, in order to capture these unique senses and experiences. The findings outline CES as key drivers behind the formation of place, rather than mere labels for inventoryingbenefits people receive from nature. The presence of the iconic migratory crane is especially conducive to a positive sense of place and the practice of various activities, including tourism, around the wetland. We frame the implications for planning and future research of our findings within a context of ethics.


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