Panel 2 Paper 2.1: Rural Landscapes: Farm and Forest Heritage in the 21st century

O'Donnell, Patricia (2019) Panel 2 Paper 2.1: Rural Landscapes: Farm and Forest Heritage in the 21st century. In: ICOMOS 2019 Advisory Committee Scientific Symposium - Rural Heritage - Landscapes and Beyond, 17 October 2019, Marrakesh, Morocco. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract (in English)

Globally we are witnessing evolution of the rural landscape. Both agriculture-- farmers working productive lands and silviculture-- foresters and conservationists protecting productive forests, are evolving. These shifts in rural landscapes offer both positive and negative vectors for heritage. On the one hand large scale monoculture farming impacts land uses, replacing the diversity of traditional family farming, while on the other it provides basic foods in quantity. Small plot farming, in many nations, links to sustainable society/economy/environment for small plot land owners. Drawing on my home state, Vermont, USA, the 2015 farm census noted that while the numbers of farmers was decreasing and their median age was increasing across the USA, in Vermont the trend reversed with more farmers of lower median age. The foundation of this trend is the growing interest of consumers in local, one-kilometer food purchasing and in organic foods. The Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) movement, where a family pays for a crop share in spring, and gets a weekly harvest share summer into fall, offers a valuable platform for supporting younger farmers. Linked to this vector is farmland conservation. In my town the Charlotte Land Trust, working with partners, has partially funded transfer of prime farmland to the next generation of farmers, paring conservation investments so that the price of the land to the farmer is reduced. Another aspect of farmland preservation is the potential for improved insect and bird habitat, both resident and migratory uses. For a decade, on our property, delayed hay field mowing fosters endangered field bird habitat. 2018 witnessed a Broad work to sustain and increase forest conservation and productive uses addresses habitat retention, species diversity, medical and culinary forest plant retention, sustainable selective timber harvest, soil stability and carbon sinks. Simply stated, both tropical and temperate forests act as carbon sinks, reversing the carbon releases of fuel uses. There is a critical need for heritage forests with larger trees protected over decades for eventual use in the repair of historic structures. Loss of forests through slash and burn for short term agricultural use and growing monoculture plantation forests both continue. However, some regions and nations have acted to further conservation, teaming up with NGOs such as the Nature Conservancy, to conserve and protect forests. From Vermont, there is the informative example Burnt Mountain forest preserve, a 5,500-acre area, with a “forever wild” easement. Burnt Mountain will become a carbon project where polluters can purchase carbon credits. The Vermont Nature Conservancy states that “Early estimates suggest that the parcel will yield over 236,772 credits in the first decade (1 credit = 1 metric ton of carbon), an equivalent benefit of removing 38,000 cars from the road. The carbon storage project is also anticipated to generate $2 million in revenue over ten years.” This forest protection direction demonstrates a rebalancing of environmental and economic benefits that holds great promise. The rural landscape of farms and forests and those works of those who steward them can leverage positive shifts toward sustaining heritage, while addressing climate change. The rural landscapes of both farms and forests can evolve, while multiple values are retained.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
O'Donnell, Patricia
Languages: English
Keywords: Cultural Landscapes; réchauffement climatique; paysage rural patrimonial; Monoculture; Rural Heritage; global warming; climate change; land use; agro-ecology; paesants; paesantry; farming; sustainable development; forests; local level; community participation; social and economic aspects; case studies; conservation of natural heritage; biodiversity; USA
Subjects: Q. LANDSCAPES > 06. Agricultural Landscapes
G.DETERIORATION > 03. Climate change
H.HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 02. Agricultural heritage
J.HERITAGE ECONOMICS > 05. Heritage and sustainable development
P. GEOGRAPHIC AREAS > 01. Americas
Name of monument, town, site, museum: Vermont, USA
National Committee: ICOMOS International
International Scientific Committee: Cultural Landscapes (ICOMOS-IFLA)
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2019 Advisory Committee Scientific Symposium
Depositing User: ICOMOS DocCentre
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2019 14:08
Last Modified: 22 May 2023 15:41

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