Aligning nature conservation and agriculture: the search for new regimes

Henny J. van der Windt*, Jac. A. A. Swart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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In addition to the protection of nature in reserves, known as the land-sparing approach, another strategy is often suggested, the land-sharing approach, which implies the integration of nature protection with other human activities. Especially in Europe, a rich variety of sharing approaches have been practiced. Using the theoretical concepts of the multilevel perspective on sustainable transitions, we will analyze two experimental cases in the Netherlands, in which the development of a sustainable, nature-friendly form of agriculture was attempted. In these experiments, new concepts of biodiversity monitoring, self-governance, and agriculture were developed in order to enhance biodiversity and the quality of nature on a regional scale. Our conclusion is that this sharing strategy has proved to be promising, at least in terms of relatively extensive use of agricultural areas. It should, however, not only include sharing of land use but also of responsibilities, knowledge development, aims, and means. Moreover, our study revealed that such an approach is possible only if governmental and market structures also change, and if based on new integrating concepts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S54-S62
Number of pages9
JournalRestoration Ecology
Issue numberS1 Special Issue
Early online date11-Sep-2017
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2018


  • agriculture
  • conservation
  • regime shift
  • sharing
  • sparing
  • sustainability

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