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Environmental Values

Naturalness or Biodiversity: Negotiating the Dilemma of Intervention in Swedish Protected Area Management

Anders Steinwall

Environmental Values 24 (2015): 31-54. doi: 10.3197/096327115X14183182353791


Whether and how to intervene in nature to maintain or restore values is a contested issue among scholars within ecological restoration, protected area management and environmental ethics, but also among the practitioners and public officials who shape how nature is actually managed. This article analyses how the issue of intervention is debated in the case of protected forest area management in Sweden, a country with a traditionally strong preservationist discourse centred on maintaining areas as ‘untouched’ as possible. The analysis shows how this traditional view is challenged by a more interventionist discourse centred on adaptive management for biodiversity, but also how there are still attempts to reaffirm a preservationist discourse and practice. The implications of this as-yet-unsettled debate are discussed, concluding by pointing to a need to examine critically not only the older preservationist discourse and ‘naturalness’, but also the ascendant interventionist discourse and ‘biodiversity’.


Ecological restoration, forest, discourse analysis, policy analysis, preservationism

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Ecological Restoration Restored.Robert L. Chapman

De-Domestication: Ethics at the Intersection of Landscape Restoration and Animal Welfare. Christian Gamborg, Bart Gremmen, Stine B. Christiansen and Peter Sandøe

The Liberation of Humanity and Nature Eric Katz

Concepts of Nature as Communicative Devices: The Case of Dutch Nature Policy. Jozef Keulartz, Henny van der Windt and Jacques Swart

The Role of Views of Nature in Dutch Nature Conservation: The Case of the Creation of a Drift Sand Area in the Hoge Veluwe National Park. Esther Turnhout, Matthijs Hisschemöller and Herman Eijsackers

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: The Dying Planet Index: Life, Death and Man’s Domination of Nature. Clive L. Spash

Restoring or Re-storying the Lake District: Applying Responsive Cohesion to a Current Problem Situation. Isis Brook

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