The themes of the protection and valorization of the physical integrity of landscape, of its historical and cultural sedimentations, of the different environmental resources, and of the impact of the various productive activities that have profoundly transformed landscape over time, are often addressed by specific disciplines in a sectorial way. Only more recently landscape protection and valorization issues have been approached with a less sectoral approach. However, the challenges posed by the evolution of social, economic, environmental and climatic dynamics, as well as by the acknowledgment of the sustainability principles, require an increasingly multi-cross-inter-disciplinary approach to the study of landscape, going beyond descriptive approaches. The study of landscape becomes an even more urgent need for rural landscape, where agriculture, animal husbandry and forestry represent the main productive activities, as well as for peri-urban fringes, where those activities must find a balance with others more linked to human settlement and other productive activities or services for the community. We believe that the CIGR scientific community, given its wide range of expertise in many fields, may and should play a key role in addressing the issues related to landscape transformations compatible with the many challenges that agriculture, animal husbandry and forestry are facing, often also in conflict with other productive activities.
The WG aims to promote the alinement of visions and mutual exchange of knowledge from different contexts, and to facilitate the preparation of joint research, innovation and demonstration projects, as well as publications and dissemination activities. The WG will address the rural landscape domain with a clear focus on environmental, economic and social sustainability.
The Rural Landscape Protection and Valorization Working Group is aimed at facilitating a transdisciplinary approach to rural landscape studies, and at representing a permanent forum for the discussion about rural landscape analysis, monitoring, planning and design. The WG aims at gathering scholars from different disciplines and backgrounds, covering the geographical and socioeconomic diversities, promoting virtual and real discussions and workshops, with the aim to create new research, education and dissemination opportunities that would not be possible within each single discipline.
The WG will focus on the agriculture/landscape nexus, and on bridging landscape protection and valorization through innovation, considering both the economic importance of a well-planned and managed rural landscape for the production and valorization of food, fiber, and other plant and animal products, its strategic environmental relevance related to the provision of ecosystems services, as well as the key role related to social and cultural issues and the benefits descending from the production of immaterial goods.
The WG will first of all collect the expression of interests from the CIGR community across the various disciplines, and establish an initial group of members. The group will be always open to new members in the future, and we count on a progressive involvement of new members by means of the words spread by the members themselves. An initial meeting, scheduled on the occasion of a CIGR event, will officially launch the new WG.
Since the Rural Landscape Protection and Valorization domain covers a very wide range of topics, the WG would be organized according to the following tasks:
Rural landscape and climate change
Rural landscape regeneration
Rural landscape and ecosystem services
Rural landscape and heritage
Rural landscape and tourism
Rural landscape planning and design
Rural landscape and education
Subgroups may be defined, focused on the aforementioned tasks, with one or more persons coordinating each subgroup.
The constitution of the working group may be started by proposing some themes for a comparison aimed at indicating which are the main challenges to be faced, as well as the methods and the expected results, for each of the above-mentioned tasks (with modalities to be defined: website, etc.)
The product of this work may then be discussed with other WGs to receive critical contributions, integrations, improvements, or amendments, also in order to create synergies between the WGs.
The outcomes that could arise from the discussions and comparisons could also be problem statements, technical notes, comparisons on analysis methodologies, and methodological exchanges with other disciplines, in order to define transformation scenarios based on the environmental and technological challenges that agriculture, animal husbandry and forestry must face in different geographical and climatic contexts. Those thematic contributions may also be related to scenarios already developed by other scholars.
In addition to the outcomes related to interdisciplinary research, the WG may also provide outcomes for the education field, to be implemented in existing first, second and third level programs, as well in vocational courses, or in new programs and curricula.
The WG could also enhance synergies with other international networks active in the field of landscape.