The French in Europe: a comparative perspective on citizens’ images of nature

Presentation Birgit Elands

Dr. Birgit Elands of the Forest and Nature Conservation Policy Group of Wageningen was invited by the IUCN France to give a presentation within the seminar series “Usages et représentations du sauvage, Journées d’étude du UICN Comité Français”. Entitled “Les Français en Europe: une perspective comparative sur les images de la nature des citoyens”, Birgit presented the results of the European survey on citizens’images and values of nature in Europe (Farjon et al., 2014), commissioned by the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. This survey is part of the Nature Outlook project. She specifically introduced the concept “images of nature” (Buijs, 2009) and used this framework to analyse the opinions of French citizens in relation to the other involved countries and the overall European perspective. She also revealed that the French have four main images of nature, i.e. “nature represents wilderness”, “nature needs to be protected by and used for humans”, “nature is mainly for human use” and “no clear opinions about it”.