It became obvious from recent reports on the state of biological diversity like the Millennium Assessment or the review of the 2010 targets, that the loss of biodiversity in Europe was not yet halted, despite serious efforts from European governments, non-governmental organisations, and other stakeholder groups. The overall success (effectiveness) and efficiency of nature conservation seems to be rather poor, because it never resulted in a general recovery of degraded nature and its biodiversity. This is true especially compared to the amount of money spend and the vast administrative infrastructure established in the environmental sectors. Obviously conservation still misses sound strategies and high quality implementation instruments to influence the future landscape development in predominantly heavily used cultural landscapes to be more successful than. This is a central part of the so called “implementation crisis“ of conservation.
The current thesis is a contribution to the improvement of methodologies for conservation and a contribution to the strategy discussion of conservation in Europe. Of course it can not offer an overall solution for the existing deficiencies in conservation strategies and instruments in cultural landscapes in Europe, as well as testing and validating all approaches discussed hereempirically.
On purpose the thesis concentrates on a few methodological problems, that have key-positions in the conservation planning and that are important for many other instruments, that haven’t been tackled hereafter (e.g. EIA, SEA, and designation of protected areas).
Therefore the current thesis emphasis on:
1. Methodological solutions for the definition of conservation objectives in cultural (used) landscapes in Europe
2. Procedural and methodological standards for conservation methodologies in landscape planning
3. Integration of conservation objectives in agricultural regulations and practice.
In the final chapter options for the integration of the presented results in different environmental policies are introduced. Only if the suggested instruments and methodologies are linked to the wider environmental policy governance, it can be expected that they will be of relevance to the future development of European cultural landscape and its conservation values.