There are many different ways in which individuals and groups relate to nature. We have developed innovative ways of mapping human values for places at the regional scale and within their everyday living environment. In early work dating back to 2009, we developed public participation geographic information system (PPGIS) approaches for identifying the spatial distribution and intensity of social values for ecosystem services in the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin as perceived by community leaders in natural resource management (Figure 1).
Figure 1. The distribution of ecosystem service values as percevied by community leaders in NRM in the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin (Raymond et al. 2009).
Over time, we have become increasing interested in relational approaches to understanding the diversity of ways of valuing and knowing places, which has resulted in the development of more embodied understandings of human-nature relationships (Figure 2), building on insights in process philosophy (including tacit human-nature relationships, Kaaronen et al. 2018), the sustainability transformations literature (including values underpinning sustainability transformations, Milcu et al. 2019) and sound ethnography (Ritts 2017).
In 2019, we edited a special feature that explored multiple theoretical traditions on social values for sustainability (Raymond et al. 2019). We identified multiple lenses and meta-lenses for organising the plurality of social values.
Despite such tools and frameworks, we lack approaches for understanding possibilities for, and consequences of combining multiple knowledge systems, values and human-nature relationships for environmental policy and decision-making.
Raymond, C.M., Kenter, J.O., van Riper, C.J. et al. (2019). Editorial overview: Theoretical traditions in social values for sustainability. Sustainability Science. 14: 1173. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11625-019-00723-7
Milcu, A. et al. (2019) Values in transformational sustainability science: four perspectives for change. Sustainability Science 10.1007/s11625-019-00656-1
Kaaronen, R.O. (2018) Reframing Tacit Human-Nature Relations: An Inquiry into Process Philosophy and the Philosophy of Michael Polanyi. In Env. Values. https://doi.org/10.3197/096327118X15162907484466
Ritts, M (2017). Environmentalists abide: Listening to whale music – 1965–1985. Environment and Planning D Society and Space 35(3) DOI: 10.1177/0263775817711706
Raymond, C.M., Giusti, M., and Barthel, S. (2017b). An embodied perspective on the co-production of cultural ecosystem services: Toward embodied ecosystems. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09640568.2017.1312300
Raymond, C.M., Kyttä, M and Stedman (2017). Sense of place: Fast and slow. The potential contributions of affordance theory to sense of place. Frontiers in Psychology. 8: 1674.