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Balancing Economic Development and Environmental Conservation for a New Governance of Alpine Areas

Maria Giulia Cantiani (), Clemens Geitner (), Christine Haida (), Federica Maino (), Clara Tattoni (), Daniele Vettorato () and Marco Ciolli ()
Additional contact information
Maria Giulia Cantiani: Department of Civil Environmental and Mechanical Engineering, University of Trento, Via Mesiano 77, Trento 38123, Italy
Clemens Geitner: Institute of Geography, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck A-6020, Austria
Christine Haida: AlpS GmbH, Innsbruck A-6020, Austria
Federica Maino: Institute for Regional Development and Location Management—European Academy of Bolzano/Bozen (EURAC), Viale Druso, 1, Bolzano/Bozen 39100, Italy
Clara Tattoni: Department of Civil Environmental and Mechanical Engineering, University of Trento, Via Mesiano 77, Trento 38123, Italy
Daniele Vettorato: Institute for Regional Development and Location Management—European Academy of Bolzano/Bozen (EURAC), Viale Druso, 1, Bolzano/Bozen 39100, Italy
Marco Ciolli: Department of Civil Environmental and Mechanical Engineering, University of Trento, Via Mesiano 77, Trento 38123, Italy

Sustainability, 2016, vol. 8, issue 8, 1-19

Abstract: In the Alpine environment, Man has always been directly dependent on mountain ecosystems. Social mechanisms have created specific models of governance, capable of assuring the persistence of ecosystems and their capacity to provide essential goods and services. In recent decades, however, dramatic changes have occurred, such as climate change and changes in land use. The complexity common to all linked human-natural environment systems is extremely marked in the Alpine areas and this makes it difficult to understand how resilient these systems may be. Many research questions arise, in particular as to the comprehension and quantification of the impact of changes on the capacity of ecosystems to produce goods and services in a sustainable way, and the possibility of local mechanisms of governance to adapt to both current and future changes. Reasons and effects of change are analysed from the perspective of the specific issues of governance. The importance of the Ecosystems Services (ESs) concept is acknowledged and the necessity for a dynamic assessment of ESs, taking into account people’s values and expectations, is particularly stressed. Through a careful analysis of selected papers and case studies, the main gaps in current knowledge are identified and directions for further research are provided.

Keywords: governance; sustainable development; landscape scale; ecosystem services; decisions support systems; public participation; Alps (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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