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Sunday, 11 March 2012 08:38

The main goal of my research is to explore the applicability of the concept of sense of place and how its inclusion can provide new perspectives for protected areas planning and management.

To fulfill my research goal I will seek to identify the sense(s) of place of the National Park ‘Galicica’, Republic of Macedonia. I will take the concept of relational place as a basis. Where place as a social construct is considered to be space embodied with meaning. Thus, relate that meaning to the concept of sense of place, where sense of place is identified with the attachments and other individual or group feelings that arise from the lived experience in the place. Having in mind the theories of place, and the manifold character of place where perceptions [activities], conceptions [ideas] and lived experiences [feelings] come together, I will focus on the lived experience as the source of the attachments to the place. My research will aim to answer the question: “What kind of sense(s) of place of the National Park ‘Galicica’ exists, and how does it (they) relate to nature protection and the Park's development?”.

My objective of the research will be to provide the perspectives on the Park by: 1. the local peoplei; 2. visitorsii; and 3. the plannersiii, with the aim, to potentially integrate these perspectives in the management of the Park as a place. My research will focus on a central theme of protecting forests and nature as a result of intrinsic values, meanings and attachments that people make to the place. Thus, from the research I should be able to extract which sense(s) of place contribute to the protection of the nature. In order to achieve this, I will seek answers to the following questions:

· Which meanings and attachments to the National Park Galicica of actors are present? 
· Which activities and interactions are present on the territory of, or related to the Park?
· What is(are) the history(s) of the Park, and what are the changes and/or events that influenced the perceptions?
· How do the perceptions, conceptions and lived experiences interact in making the sense(s) of place of the Park?


This research is my Master thesis work in the framework of the Erasmus-Mundus International Master of Science Course in Rural Development. I am preparing the thesis at the Rural Sociology Group of Wageningen University, The Netherlands, under the supervision of Joost Jongerden.


i Local people for the purpose of the research, I define them as people that permanently live on the territory of the Park, or in the vicinity, up to 10 km away from the Park.

ii Visitors, I define them as people that visit the Park on a short term basis, but also people that own land an/or house in the Park or its vicinity, but have their permanent residence in another town.

iii Planners, I consider them as all those that are employed or somehow related to the Park's administration.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 November 2013 09:52