Biocultural landscape in the European framework of landscape ecology

Authors and Affiliations: 

Gloria Pungetti

CCLP & Darwin College

University of Cambridge UK


The conservation of both biological and cultural diversity is fundamental to support nature conservation strategies, which have accordingly moved recently towards a more traditional, ethical and spiritual consideration of nature (Egos et al. 2011). Therefore the link between the ecological, cultural and spiritual values of species and sites, and the cultures which manage them, becomes essential.

The research carried out within the CCLP-IUCN 3S Initiative on Sacred Species and Sites contributed to the understanding of the above values, as well as their recognition into nature conservation science and practice (Pungetti et al. 2012). In doing so, special attention was paid to the relationship between traditional ecological knowledge and communities. Sacred landscapes, sites, plants and animals from around the world have been explored to demonstrate the connections between traditional spiritual beliefs and the conservation of nature.

In this context, biocultural landscape research has also been tackled, proving to contribute to conservation biology and to the maintenance of indigenous knowledge. This research has proved that biocultural landscape is the bond between cultural and ecological diversity, and promotes the integration of intangible values into policy, planning and management (Pungetti 2013).

In this Congress, biocultural landscapes will be illustrated in the European framework of landscape ecology, taking an integrated and interdisciplinary approach to the study of their multiple functions and values. Ecosystem and landscape services, human wellbeing, heritage and socio-ecological values will be considered together with the resilience of biocultural landscapes in ancient and modern contexts.


Egoz S., Makhzoumi J., Pungetti G. (eds.), 2011. The Right to Landscape: Contesting landscape and human rights. Farnham: Ashgate.

Pungetti G., Oviedo G, Hooke D (eds.), 2012. Sacred Species and Sites: Advances in biocultural conservation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Pungetti, G., 2013. Biocultural diversity for sustainable ecological, cultural and sacred landscapes: the biocultural landscape approach. In Fu B. and Jones B. Landscape ecology for sustainable environment and culture. Dordrecht: Springer, pp. 55-76.