The economic development of a territory should not, therefore, be seen as exploitation, but rather as enhancement. In other words, it implies engaging in processes of value created from specific resources of a place natural, cultural etc. On the one hand, the protection of the territory shifts from being an activity as an end in itself to the condition sine qua non for enhancement, thus enabling, on the other hand, the pursuit of long-term self-sustaining sustainability [ 31 ]. In the light of the above considerations, the most suitable factors for achieving sustainable economic development of protected areas and rural landscapes are tourism, agriculture and pastoralism.
As concerns tourism, natural protected areas as well as rural ones are increasingly popular tourist destinations [ 32 ], as places that offer a wide range of attractions: contact with nature, sports, knowledge, experience of local culture traditions, crafts, eno-gastronomy, agro-food, etc. The combination of tourism-protected and rural areas bases its success on the multifaceted concept of landscape, as organic material evidence of the culture of the communities that have lived in a place consecutively, conforming the territory to their needs—including tastes and values—according to their material and immaterial capacities to produce desired transformations.
Therefore, the landscape, as a set of local resources and the result of the works of human transformation, is an essential element for enhancing and understanding local culture, as it is easily identified and highly differentiated from other contexts. The great opportunity offered by tourism, also as a profitable economic activity, to sustainable land-use planning is confirmed both statistically and in legislative dispositions. Furthermore, the [ 39 ], approved by the Italian Senate in June concerning the regulation of eco-compatible economic activities taking place in parks and protected areas fosters tourism and related initiatives in addition to the recovery of ecosystems and characteristics of landscape, the economic-social development of residential communities, the protection and enhancement of the archaeological and historical-cultural heritage, and the attraction of visitors spurred by naturalistic, cultural and educational motives.
Tourism, as a multidimensional phenomenon [ 40 ], is thus acknowledged as able to reconcile the protection of biodiversity and social, cultural and economic development of a territory. Agro-forestry and cattle breeding also play a primary role in economic activities considered compatible with the protection of environmental resources. In areas where agriculture occupies a significant portion of the territory, such as protected and rural areas, when planned and managed in compliance with sustainability criteria environmental, social and economic , this becomes a decisive tool for sustainable land management.
In line with the considerations relative to the concept of landscape, high levels of anthropic fostering are recorded in rural and protected areas where the territory has been shaped over many years by human activities, especially those related to agriculture, resulting as an inalienable part of local identity and of its value together with the local communities who live there.
The high potential value of agriculture in protected areas and rural landscapes for sustainable development has, thus, become a very important topic for Italians scholars, especially agricultural economists, whose aim is to foster the promotion of development paths in rural areas by providing analytical tools to assess their dynamics, and to identify appropriate policy instruments [ 41 , 42 , 43 , 44 , 45 , 46 , 47 ].
In order to benefit from such economic and socio-cultural opportunities at the local level [ 48 ], it would be useful to include the management of protected and rural areas in regional planning processes [ 49 ]. In other words, to implement a systems governance of the territory [ 50 , 51 , 52 ], based on cooperation between public and private local actors, starting with those responsible for tourism development and those responsible for nature conservation and protected area management [ 53 , 54 ], as well as the local community.
However, the management of protected areas suffers from a lack of political commitment to realize their full potential [ 26 , 55 , 56 ], as well as the persistence of multi-stakeholder conflicts [ 54 ], due to the complexity of governance and the competition between the different interests and views [ 20 , 57 ].
The proposed discussion is developed in the light of the systems theory framework [ 58 , 59 , 60 , 61 , 62 , 63 , 64 , 65 ], with specific reference to the viable systems approach VSA [ 66 , 67 , 68 , 69 , 70 , 71 , 72 , 73 , 74 , 75 , 76 , 77 ], an accredited and a recognized constructivist research stream which favors the observation and understanding of social phenomena, as well as the role of boundaries for interacting systems, and which provides consistent support to decision-making processes for governance [ 69 , 78 ].
The viable systems approach research stream was developed over the last 20 years, mainly in Italy and involving numerous several scholars, and is a research and governance methodology rooted in systems thinking and an evolution of the viable system model of Stafford Beer [ 58 ]. The viable systems approach framework proposes general interpretation and representation schemes of social phenomena, as well as insights that throw light on the concept of boundaries, a key element of this article, highlighting their systemic nature, extending beyond the most common structural ones.
In particular, the approach provides in-depth discussion on the role of relations and interactions, rather than simple connections between actors. Such a shift clarifies the concept of sustainability, representing interaction and dynamism going beyond the exchange of physical resources through individual values and the strong beliefs of the actors involved. This appears particularly useful, as the concept of organizations as open systems is quite common today.
Organizations are involved in many dynamics and related to many actors, with their patrimony of resources—available for exchanging processes if adequately encouraged—necessary to guarantee system survival in context. By this perspective, the role of systems boundaries is a fundamental concept that merits analysis to clarify governance and managerial behavior.
Viable systems approach appears particularly useful also because it allows the representation of the territory as a viable system [ 79 ]. At a structural level, territorial boundaries vary in relation to specific contexts, enabling communication and filtering functions between that which is considered internal and that which is external, including the distinction between external and internal processes. In line with this concept, our paper proposes an innovative interpretation of territorial boundaries, and argues the role and the implications of the properties of interaction processes between systems and actors.
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In other words, despite the usefulness of structural information, we highlight the limits of such a restricted representation. Structural representations implicitly provide information relative to the objective characteristics of observed phenomenon, but clearly appear inadequate for understanding the dynamics that are intrinsically systemic in nature. A brief focus on the issue links territorial governance and the management of protected areas in a potentially common view of sustainable development. The following discussion of the case study of the Alta Murgia National Park in Italy, developed through an on-desk analysis adopting the systems view perspective introduced above, highlights the high potential value of protected areas as models of sustainable development.
Italian governance of territory and rural areas, which can be considered as an interrupt landscape of high cultural value shaped over time by the human—nature relationship, shows the reality of an underexploited patrimony. The Italian system of parks and protected area is facing many difficulties, of different types [ 81 , 82 ]. The main problems are [ 83 ]: 1 lack of public funds and the inadequate capacity of fund raising; 2 often limited social consensus and the explicit aversion of local communities creates disparity between specific aims and territorial extension; and 3 the need for environmental and landscape protection.
From our perspective, these problems also appear to be related to the predominance of a management approach that seems to fail in effectively exploring and exploiting the true potential value of protected areas as well as of the rest of the surrounding territory. In particular, the lack of social consensus appears as an expression of the incapability to make relevant actors converge towards an integrated development plan. Certainly, this problem is related to the complexity of aligning goals in a multi-actor context due to the diversity of interests and views at play.
From a sustainable development perspective, territorial governance is even more complex, given the diversity of interests of the various actors involved in territorial processes that have always impacted on the environmental, social, and economic dimensions of sustainability. Using the lens of systems thinking through the VSA framework, new light can be shed on these issues. Through the analysis and discussion of the case study, it becomes clear that:.
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The condition of isolation of protected areas is the result of a view focused excessively on the structural protection of the areas within the boundaries defined by the zonation process. The systems perspective should enable the integration of resources and the co-creation of value.
The complexity of territorial governance is also the result of an approach incapable of identifying elements of convergence between the actors involved that can generally be traced to the trade-offs between the three dimensions of sustainability. A systems approach could support the creation of conditions of consonance between interacting actors in terms of a unitary and coherent development plan to leverage common interests and value.
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The management approach of protected areas within a wider territorial system should take into account the subjective nature of value and attempt to identify a common key for enhancement involving the largest number of actors addressing development pathways. In the light of the above and the methodological perspective of the VSA framework, our interpretative proposal aims to highlight the great potential of the cultural enhancement of protected areas as models for promoting sustainable development.
The program stipulates, in fact, that protected areas should be managed as tools for promoting sustainable development. Essentially, the development model experimented with in protected areas should progressively involve external actors and communities of the territory. The development model integrates synergistically research, education, economic production, etc.
The model of zonation, in other words, enables the governing body to progressively open the protected areas to interaction with the surrounding territory creating a unitary landscape in which effective and efficient sustainable development practices are defined, experimented with, monitored and socialized through various economic and social activities, primarily tourism, but also agriculture, culture, etc.
As will be seen, the cultural perspective represents a bridging element in the multi-actor and multi-perspective context of territorial governance. In particular, it enables the limits of an objective view of value to be overcome in order to embrace a wider sustainability perspective in which environmental, social and economic elements are integrated into a common unitary framework of reference for action involving all the relevant actors.
The Alta Murgia National Park was established by Presidential Decree of 10 March [ 88 ]; it extends for about 68, hectares and is divided into three diversely protected zones. There are about , inhabitants living in the area of the park [ 89 ]. The perimeter criterion applied to the park to define its boundaries derives from the desire to identify an area that is distinguished and characterized by elements that are typical of the Murgia territory, based on strong local connotations. The zonation process distinguishes the three zones characterized by differing degrees of protection: Zone 1, characterized by natural, scenic and cultural history of relevant interest, where steppe and rocky landscape prevails; Zone 2, characterized by natural, landscape and cultural history value, where agricultural landscape prevails; Zone 3, characterized by ecological connection and the promotion of economic activities that comply with constraints and aims defined by the park.
The territory of the Alta Murgia National Park has been inhabited by man, more or less intensely, since prehistoric times. Nevertheless, until the last decades of the twentieth century, the relationship between man and nature was balanced and human intelligence has made this territory more suitable for productive activities such as transhumant pastoralism and agriculture. The Alta Murgia National Park, a structured, precious set of architectural, environmental, naturalistic assets through its relaxed, silent landscape, creates a unique emotional experience.
The integration between material, culture and emotional experience is the guiding image of the park and its heritage. The park claims numerous strengths that could form the basis of an effective enhancement strategy: biodiversity and heritage in agriculture and forestry; specificity of agro-silvopastoral resources, which characterise almost the whole of the local landscape; typical and high-quality agri-food products; historical centres of artefacts functionally related to agricultural production of the territory; cultural tourist attractions; archaeological and paleontological testimonies; several local traditions etc.
As will be seen, however, many strengths related to agriculture are not effectively capitalized. Moreover, numerous weaknesses prevent the such high potential to be met. In order to address such weaknesses typical of the generality of protected areas, an integrated organization and planning approach has been in place, experimented with since through development of the SAC Sistema Ambientale Culturale—Cultural Environmental System project.
In , the Puglia region issued by public notice the SAC, an innovative project for the allocation of Puglia community funds to integrated territorial areas. Sistema Ambientale Culturale is based on an operational approach at territorial scale and involves the networking of actors, resources and skills for programs of intervention aimed at the enhancement of heritage, the construction of qualified relations with the territory, the mobilization of the productive system, and the promotion of advanced forms of territorial management of environmental and cultural resources.
The Apulian Environmental and Cultural System to date 18 proposals approved throughout the regional territory , based on the idea of integration between goods and work-sharing, is characterized by an original and sustainable idea of development and territorial attractiveness, a coherent project of enhancement and integrated management of environmental and cultural resources. The proposals refer to supra-municipal areas and territorial partnerships which also include local authorities in associated form, park authorities, public law bodies, associations and bodies for social, cultural and tourist promotion, ecclesiastical bodies, foundations, business representatives, other bodies and institutions [ 91 ].
The territorial partnership of the Alta Murgia National Park SAC comprises 16 institutional partners and 68 other socio-economic partners from civic society. Governance of the system involves a leader, a committee, a representative of the institutional partnership who acts as a decision-maker, and an economic and social partnership institution. Free Ebook Newton's Riddle Book. Free Ebook Nexus of the Unexpected Book. Free Ebook Noises Off Book. Free Ebook Northern Memories Book. Free Ebook Notes Book. Free Ebook Novels and other Fictions: reviews by Book.
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