• An expression of multiple values: The relationship between community, landscape and natural resource

      Smith, Darrell; Convery, Ian; Ramsey, Andrew; Kouloumpis, Viktor; University of Derby (Stockholm University Press, 2016-10-24)
      To aid political and institutional decision making in the sustainable use of natural resources the value of ecological, socio-cultural and economic assets has increasingly been communicated in terms of monetary units. Despite reliance upon natural resources, the impact of human activities has now reached a stage where cumulative losses are forcing society to re-appraise the evaluation process and how to better incorporate these values in to the decision-making process. This paper examines the attributes of value held by natural resources within ecological, socio-cultural and economic value domains from the perspective of a rural UK community. Here we reflect upon the continued primacy of monetary valuation of natural resource using two approaches, a scaled preference-based value typology and a place-based map measure. We demonstrate that the societal relationships which inform the evaluation of natural resources are both multi-faceted and hierarchical. Moreover, whilst aware of the utilitarian character of society’s relationship with natural resource, the societal value-for-natural-resource relationship is primarily expressed using social-ecological qualities. These results add weight to the call for a new approach towards natural resource evaluation and how these values contribute to the sustainability agenda. New methods of evaluation must adopt multiple values that extend beyond a solely economic-based commodification concern to encompass the human relationship with the resource itself. Wherein, a multi-faceted approach to attributing value to natural resource, set within an experiential framework, can provide a focal point for discussion and the decision-making process.