Researches and Projects

Pratiques agricoles et occupation des sols

Conventional agriculture is declining over vast territories on which it has shaped quality landscapes. However, stakeholders are inventing or reinventing products and practices. The project seeks to measure the contribution of these efforts to maintain landscape quality.

The invention and reinvention of products and agricultural practices as a tool for maintaining the land and landscape quality in areas of abandonment

In the new "post-productivist" rural setting, territories must not only meet the expectations of production (real food), but also those related to consumer (tourism, leisure) and conservation (natural and cultural heritage). The viability of rural communities is now closely linked to the multifunctionality of land and to certain traditionally marginal dimensions such as landscape quality. Although widely recognized, these considerations are hindered on the field by certain trends leading to landscape standardization. Among the most significant: abandonment of agriculture on swathes of territory. This involves land occupation, landscape diversity and the vitality of its communities.

A considerable number of initiatives emerged in recent years countering dominant trends. These initiatives led to inventing new products and practices, and reinventing old practices for new purposes. The economic and social development of the regions shed some light on the contribution of these initiatives. But their contribution in terms of land use and landscape maintenance remains to be assessed.

Based on these findings, this program aims to:

  • Assess the contribution of initiatives of invention and reinvention of products and agricultural practices on the multifunctionalty of territories in areas of abandonment;
  • Propose suitable measures to promote sustainability.

Theoretically, the program feeds on emerging trends in rural areas and resource management. With regards to rural areas, it seeks to survey rural area restructuring. In terms of resource management, considering rural areas as social reality and biophysical landscape, landscape ecology remains the perspective most likely to ensure understanding of their dynamics.

Considerable work remains to be done to achieve the goal of landscape ecology: contribute to the sustained exploitation of resources and human settlements through implementing developed knowledge. This perspective should situate the expected contribution.

Empirically, assumptions will be explored from a particular territory, representative of the areas of abandonment.

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