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Accepted Paper:

The question of the Commons in Parque Nacional Peneda-Gerês (Portugal): conflicts, resistance and creativity   
Humberto Martins (CRIA-UMinho)

Paper short abstract:

This paper discusses the various ways through which dwellers of the Parque Nacional Peneda-Gerês use their commons, proposing to look at their creative and adaptive responses (considering both environmental and economic constraints and opportunities).

Paper long abstract:

Protected Areas are not consensual landscapes but disputed territories considering uses and interests (not only human). Through ethnographic material collected over the last 15 years I present a scenario of diversity in resource appropriation and creative responses in which dichotomic and simplistic oppositions must be questioned. Protected Areas are not only public arenas in which environmentalists and local communities dispute their views. What I have seen is a more complex situation in which individuals according to their own life histories (including their lifelong ecological knowledge) and their actualizing interests (economic, emotional, institutional…) give their own contribution for what is the social and natural life of a National Park. Commons as a collective resource and value are a critical part of these processes. Their traditional functions (for pastures, cattle-breeding, manure, wood…) are being replaced by new ones (basically related to the touristic usufruct and energy production) while new demands for the reenactment of old functions are required by scientific projects and expertise (e.g. as wild fire barriers or as ecological balancers). Afterwards the point is not to establish a temporal frontier between a then and a now but mainly to argue on conflictive but coexistent uses of the commons in which local dwellers are able to affirm their own and integrated contribution for a balanced ecosystem; i.e. as indispensable parts of the European protected landscapes and habitats.

Panel P066
"Green policies" and people living inside European protected areas
  Session 1