Common lands, landscape management and rural development: a case study in a mountain village in northwest Portugal
Keywords:traditional commons, multifunctional landscape, rural development, mountain, Portugal
Sustainable landscape management is a key aspect for the development of mountain areas, especially where communities historically held common lands. Mountains face depopulation and abandonment, and transition to multifunctional landscapes emerges as an opportunity. We present a village case study (NW Portugal) focusing on people’s perceptions and practices around the common land. Results confirm the common plays a central role in local identity, being perceived as shared heritage with potential to provide multiple benefits. Traditional uses and governance practices are prevalent, revealing inertia in adapting to new users and goals. Public support targeting common land management skills would facilitate these transitions, as well as to overcome lasting effects of former authoritarian regime.
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