What methods can we use to investigate the sense of place in agricultural areas and how it influences the processes of rural abandonment?

Beatriz E. Murillo-López (UTP-Colombia), our researcher Antonio J. Castro (UAL), and Alexander Feijoo-Martínez (UTP-Colombia), have published their latest research on this topic in an article entitled "Nature's Contributions to People Shape Sense of Place in the Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia".

Despite the undeniable rural exodus that affects all agricultural lands on the planet, there are still people who are reluctant to leave their environment, and thanks to them we can study the socio-ecological dynamics that will allow us to solve the abandonment that has been increasing for decades.

In this study, conducted in the coffee cultural landscapes of Colombia, the roots that articulate the sense of place or belonging are studied through the analysis of Nature's Contributions to People (NCP). NCPs are understood as all the contributions that nature provides to people and sustain well-being and livelihoods in rural environments.

To this end, they used qualitative and quantitative methods, combining semi-structured and in-depth interviews, with the aim of understanding the perceptions and the diversity of emotions that farmers have for farmland, the motivations for remaining on it and the diversity of PCNs that sustain this relationship with nature. In addition, the results obtained will provide better guidance for the sustainable management of farmland at risk of abandonment.

The article is open access and can be consulted at the following link.

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