Naturalness and conservation in France

This article discusses the ecological and cultural criteria underlying the management practices for protected areas in France. It examines the evolution of French conservation from its roots in the 19th century, when it focused on the protection of scenic landscapes, to current times when the focus is on the protection of biodiversity. However, biodiversity is often socially defined and may not represent an ecologically sound objective for conservation. In particular, we question the current approach to protecting a specific type of biodiversity that is at the basis of traditional landscape but does not value systems that are left to develop naturally (i.e., without significant human intervention). We present several examples of current attempts in France and Europe to managing traditional ecosystems and then discuss the values that exist in systems that develop naturally. We feel the latter systems often have much to offer in terms of biodiversity as well as providing important sites for the study of dynamic ecological communities in an ever-changing world.
Keywords Biodiversity  conservation  France  naturalness  protected areas management
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DOI 10.1007/s10806-008-9096-7
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Helena Siipi (2004). Naturalness in Biological Conservation. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 17 (6):457-477.

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