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Preprints, Working Papers, ... Year : 2001

Maintaining the integrity of the French Terroir? Critical Natural Capital in its Cultural Context

Abstract

This paper focuses on perceptions of threat to the integrity of France's patrimoine naturel as carrier of collective cultural meanings and as biophysical life support infrastructure. First we situate the patrimoine naturel concept with its connotations of cultural heritage or transmission, in relation to ‘sustainability'. Then we give a recapitulation of results of a recent survey carried out by the French IFEN (Institut Français pour l'Environnement) exploring perceptions of what are the key categories of ‘natural capital' — and their criticalness — for the French society and economy. A review is made of the availability of fundamental categories of ‘natural resources' in the French economy, notably energy sources, forest assets, agricultural soils and water resources, and air quality. Finally we focus on natural capital as a life support infrastructure vulnerable to breakdown or contamination. Topical examples show environmental degradation due to pollution, accidents and the production of wastes, as being both serious and widespread. Ecosystem contamination is closely associated with defilement of food — dioxin in chickens, mistrust of GMOs in agriculture and food, and the vache folle — mad cow disease.
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Dates and versions

hal-00305399 , version 1 (24-07-2008)

Identifiers

  • HAL Id : hal-00305399 , version 1

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Jean-Marc Douguet, Martin O'Connor. Maintaining the integrity of the French Terroir? Critical Natural Capital in its Cultural Context. 2001. ⟨hal-00305399⟩

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