Are the land managers behaviors out of step with their attitudes? A Multifunctionality transition typology bounded by post-productivist & productivist action & thought.

Authors and Affiliations: 

Filipe Barrosoa, Teresa Pinto-Correiaa, Isabel Rodrigob, Helena Menezesa, Daniela Costaa


a-ICAAM/Évora University

b-ISA-Lisbon University


European peripheric rural areas and mediterranean areas in particular have been under significant changes, affecting land use and landscape pattern. The changing factors, including productivist and post-productivist trends, which are combined in different ways and have followed quite diverse directions and intensities in different regions (Wilson, 2007). Regarding the Mediterranean peripheral areas it has been observed that many revealed a decline in the social and economic role of agriculture, but a strong potential for other public goods that society expects nowadays from the countryside, as nature conservation and hunting, as well as tourism (Pinto-Correia et al. 2010). Therefore these areas are changing from being strictly a production-oriented space, into spaces of consumption and/or environmental conservation, in different combinations in different areas (Holmes, 2006). Theses changes encourage new ways of managing the land, new strategies for farm survival, combining production with other income sources (van der Ploeg, 2008). Hence an increasing group of land managers (including hobby farmers, business man, new residents, etc.) is emerging in these attractive areas giving expression to what some authors call the multifunctional transition bounded between productivism (associated to more intensive systems an way of managing not favoring non-productive functions) and post-productivism (associated to more extensive and integrated systems, promoting environmental quality as the base for other non-commodity functions); or both, as they can overlap in time, space and structure.

In this study, the question addressed is how the land managers within this system, facing multiple transition options, are choosing different management paradigms, in the complex range between productivism and post-productivism. Based on 373 enquiries made in three municipalities in Southern Portugal, a productivist and post-productivist action and thought typology is produced, aiming to grasp the combination between the management practices in the farm and the expressed land managers attitudes towards farm management in order to provide a broad indication of the variations in the characteristics of land managers and land management and to understand how these rural areas are changing, in order to develop a better targeted policy. The different types were categorized depending not only in practical issues or actions (what the land manager does) – behaviors; but also on their thoughts, beliefs or ideas (what the land manager thinks)- attitudes (Gordon et al., 2008; Willock, 1999). Taking in consideration that both behaviors and attitudes were addressed, the result in term of types was either revealed in the form of land managers as in land management. The study thus reveals many underlying tensions between practices and attitudes, which are leading to changes in the management. In fact, a lot of land managers show behaviors contradictory to their attitudes, mainly because of favorable incentives or unfavorable biophysical & farm structure conditions. For example land managers who are becoming more post-productivist oriented are often struggling to translate this orientation in their practices. At the same time land managers with a productive way of thinking often due to unfavorable biophysical conditions they have post-productivist system since their management is very extensive creating conditions for other functions as hunting, eco-tourism, etc.

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