New ideas for old landscapes: using a social-ecological approach for conservation of traditional rural biotopes - a case study from Finland

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New ideas for old landscapes: using a social-ecological approach for conservation of traditional rural biotopes - a case study from Finland

Traditional rural biotopes (TRBs) are high nature value farmlands (HNV). There are only 20.000 ha of identifiableTRB left in Finland. Ecosystem services were explored as a way of better understanding the value of TRBs to society. Postal questionnaires were sent out to all farmers in Raasepori Municipality in SW Finland to locate TRBs. Frequency of on-farm tourism, direct sales and services to the public were compared between farms with and without TRBs. Return rate for questionnaires (n=326) was 40%. Farms with TRBs had a higher rate of services and sales to the general public. A third of respondents with TRBs said their TRBs provide non-agricultural goods or services and 1/4 said their TRBs are utilized by people from off-farm. Changes in policy toward more evidence-based approaches, adaptive management and consideration of ecosystem services could improve conservation of TRBs.

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