This paper describes a qualitative social
assessment of ecosystem services (ESS), as part of an integrated ESS assessment in a peri-urban study area in central Belgium. We interviewed 39 decisionmakers and other people actively using and managing nature in the study area and asked them firstly what nature means to them, and secondly to assess the importance of 31 ecosystem services at the local scale. By applying a grounded theory-inspired analysis of the interview transcripts, we defined interviewees' images of nature. Two dimensions along which images of nature are revolving, emerged: on the one hand the nature versus culture dimension and on the other hand the view on the relation between nature and people. This paper elaborates on these dimensions and illustrates them trough interview quotes.We also demonstrate how the images of nature fit the ESS concept and ESS classification. We show how cultural and provisioning ESS are clearly present in the images of nature, regulating ESS are much less connected to the images.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationeProceedings of the XXVth Congress of the European Society for Rural Sociology
Place of PublicationPisa (IT)
PublisherLaboratorio di studi rurali SISMONDI
Number of pages2
ISBN (Print)978-88-908960-0-2
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2013
EventXXVth Congress of the European Society for Rural Sociology - Florence, Italy
Duration: 29 Jul 20131 Aug 2013

Publication series

NameRural resilience and vulnerability: The rural as locus of solidarity and conflict in times of crisis


ConferenceXXVth Congress of the European Society for Rural Sociology
Abbreviated titleESRS

    Research areas

  • ecosystem services, images of nature, social assessment, social valuation

ID: 2331972