COS 129-8
Environmental policies for combining human welfare and conservation

Friday, August 15, 2014: 10:30 AM
309/310, Sacramento Convention Center
Joanne Clavel, UMR7204 Cesco, Université Paris 6, CNRS, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France

Cultural offerings by nature, defined as an Ecosystem Service (ES) by the MEA, may be an object of mediation between citizens and politicians. Indeed, cultural services are usually the first biodiversity services raised by citizens far beyond functional services highlighted by scientific ecology (e.g. regulation or production?). ES have the dual advantage of being a relevant approach to both citizens and local politicians (mayor, deputy). On one hand, cultural services provide a sensitive connection with nature for the individual subject, on the other hand, they represent a link between environment and different societal issues managed by public services, such as health, education and social justice.

We collected field data to study the demand for cultural services offered by nature emanating from both environmental policies and citizens. Our surveys was conducted in Seine et Marne, France, in 10 cities where corridor managements have been implemented (restoration or creation) thanks to public subsidies. 10 mayors and 40 residents have been interviewed.


Our survey revealed that cities have invested  21,000 ($ 27000) on average to restore nature area, half of this sum was granted by the state. Cities would be willing to do it again to develop additional, novel, restoration projects (90% were highly satisfied). Their motivation is both anchored in environmental concerns and the will to maintain a positive societal dynamics around touristic activities. 

Local residents were all very supportive of these developments. 

According to them, restored nature areas favored recreational outdoor activities with family or shared across schools. In addition to improving residents' connection with nature, restoration plans also contributed to stimulate social interactions among them.

If protected natural areas maintain a wild biodiversity in its full complexity and guarantee an high restorative experience for humans, ecological continuities or corridors maintain functional services of common biodiversity and guarantee the daily experience of nature, which is the only way to establish a strong "connection" between man and Nature. They are therefore complementary tools for conservation sciences.