The potential role of cultural ecosystem services in heritage research through a set of indicators
The Cultural Ecosystem Services (CES) field provides a methodological framework for identifying the “non-material” services that ecosystems can offer to people, such as aesthetic values, educational values or tourism and recreation posibilities. In areas of significant cultural value, the so-called Cultural Landscapes, these type of services influence landscapes’ role as development drivers. As Cultural Landscapes are recognised as heritage, CES assessment provides a methodological framework for bridging the gap between heritage and sustainable development, which has been a challenge for research and innovation. In this regard, the CES approach within the heritage sector is becoming increasingly relevant, but it has received limited attention to date in scientific literature. In order to fill this gap, this article conducts a literature review on the most-used supply-side quantitative CES-rooted indicators for the purpose of analysing their potential to inform heritage planning and management of Cultural Landscapes. A set of thirty-six indicators is obtained from the review. Our results show that the majority of them (86%) have potential application in the heritage sector, as these ones have already been applied in areas where there is interaction between human and natural factors -the essence of Cultural Landscapes- and their results have proven to be communicable to decision makers. 50% of the studied indicators have been applied at least once in a study whose case study is an area where this interaction is particularly relevant because of its representativeness and/or uniqueness. The study shows that policy-effectiveness and an integrative framework are the main benefits of a CES-rooted set of indicators in relation to their usability in the heritage field. However, the lack of a consolidated CES methodological framework represents the most significant obstacle for effective knowledge transfer to a heritage scenario. The variety of methods and approaches for addressing similar purposes leads to a lack of clear concepts, definitions and understandings of the processes to be measured.
- Artículos de Revista