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Wild at Sea: The wilderness concept in Scottish and EU environmental and marine conservation, and its interpretations by stakeholders

Kuuliala, Vilma-Inkeri Annikki (2017) Wild at Sea: The wilderness concept in Scottish and EU environmental and marine conservation, and its interpretations by stakeholders. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:63879)

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Abstract

For over a century there has been a push to preserve the areas of nature where the human impact is the smallest, often referred to as wilderness. In Europe the suitability of the concept is debated, as the entire continent has been heavily modified by humans, and the areas without visible human impacts are small and fragmented. At the same time there is a strong push for preserving these areas, including the areas at sea. At sea the wilderness concept faces unique challenges, as the environment is less understood than the terrestrial, and the potential wilderness areas are not necessarily accessible for recreational purposes.

This thesis examines the use of the wilderness concept, especially as it relates to the marine environment, in both policy and common use. The aim is to contribute to the conceptual framework for marine wilderness, by studying how the concept of wilderness is understood and used by policymakers and stakeholders. The research is conducted using discourse analysis on legal texts and newspapers, and surveys, interviews, and social network analysis to examine the views of individual stakeholders. The results show that while there is political will in Scotland to conserve wild areas, which are more modest in size than wilderness but provide the wildness quality and its beneficial effects, the concept of wilderness has multiple interpretations, and can be rather political. To address the consequent issues, participation of stakeholders is considered vital for successful management. Marine wilderness remains a particularly ambiguous concept, and considering the ongoing tensions in marine resources management, it is suggested that marine wilderness is more useful if seen as an added benefit than the ultimate goal.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Tzanopoulos, Joseph
Thesis advisor: Bride, Ian
Uncontrolled keywords: biodiversity management; marine conservation; wilderness concept
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2017 13:50 UTC
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2020 04:17 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/63879 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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