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  • Author: Drahomíra Kušová x
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Biosphere Reserves - Suggested Model of the Institution of Commons (Case study of the Šumava Biosphere Reserve)

An attempt to address the interdependence between human economies and natural ecosystems has been articulated in ecological economics, among others, in terms of ecosystem services. Introducing ecosystem services yields positive result in the sense that the theoretical concept of cultural landscape has been complemented by the more or less effective political scheme, suitable as a basis for practical decision making. Nevertheless, practical management of ecosystem services on landscape scale is a rather complex task. The concept of institution of commons could be suggested to be used when dealing with the problem of implementation of ecosystem services concept in practice. The overall aim of the contribution is to discuss whether or not, or to which extent, UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the modern strategy in biodiversity conservation backed up by internationally agreed upon conventions, can be used as a model for institution of commons in landscape-scale nature protection. The discussion is based on empirical evidence gained within a long-term research conducted in the Šumava Biosphere Reserve, Czech Republic.

Motivation and life style of the Czech amenity migrants (case study)

Amenity migration is a specific type of migration which is not motivated by higher wages - it has been brought about by the desire to render more valuable natural or socio-cultural environment of the target territory, and it is often directed from metropolitan to rural areas. The group of amenity migrants from chosen areas of the Czech Republic was described and identified on basis of collected empirical data set. Results are discussed with relevant authors who currently study amenity migration abroad. It follows from the mentioned results that amenity migrants in model areas are rather university educated, economically strong and more creative. They prefer natural amenities to cultural ones, their in-migration is not related to tourism and second homes phenomenon as it was expected earlier. They use current residential potential for permanent living in the amenity-rich places.

Amenity Migration in the Context of Landscape-Ecology Research

Amenity migration is a specific type of migration that is not economically motivated. Rather it is brought about by a desire to render more valuable the natural or socio-cultural environment of the target territory, and it is often directed from metropolitan to rural areas. This phenomenon has been strongly supported by the spread and growing accessibility of mass information technologies. As with any other kind of migration, it can lead to changes in the spatial distribution of human activities in the target territory. Under specific conditions, it can become one of the driving societal forces determining the socio-economic development of a given rural region. In the European context, amenity migration appears to be in its early stages of development. As such, it has been the subject of theoretical debate rather than being documented by empirical evidence. Amenity migration can be seen as an ambiguous phenomenon. Optimistic hypotheses claim that it could support local development of rural space and thus diminish the disproportionate development of particular regions and that it can maintain or even improve these region's environmental and cultural quality. On the other hand, it can also lead to a massive invasion of urban behavioural patterns into rural areas, making them culturally uniform. Tried and tested GIS methods exist for identifying a landscape's potential for amenity migration. The use of qualitative and quantitative techniques is a useful and progressive approach to landscape ecological research. We can expect further progress in the methods used to study amenity migration and for evaluating rural development within a landscape context following further research on amenity migrants, which will take place over the coming years.


Current landscape ecological research applies trans-disciplinarity as a principle when considering the study of landscape as a multifunctional entity. The principle can be practically applied by use of participatory action research. The paper reports on the use of participatory action research in the process of step-by-step institutionalization of the Šumava Biosphere Reserve, as a complement to the state-conducted nature conservation, which took place in the period 1991−2016. To briefly summarize the main findings, we can suggest that the present institutional model of the Šumava Biosphere Reserve emerged primarily thanks to the ‘permanent jointly conducted experiment’ that followed the spiral scheme of action research, in which outputs of one implementation project served as a starting point to formulate, and subsequently realize the follow-up projects(s). The local community was engaged in the whole process, hence lessons learned became a part of local social and cultural capital, which since can be considered important endogenous developmental potential of the region.