Researches and Projects

Private protected areas as new driving force of rural dynamics: what landscapes for tomorrow?

The landscape has become an important resource for community development. While many studies have shown that agricultural dynamics are the main driving forces of rural landscapes, some new phenomena appear to have significant impact on them as well . This is the case of protected areas on private proprieties (PPA) whose growth was raised to the rank of government priorities for achieving 12% of protected areas on inhabited territory. Having taken shape in the United States mostly, these mechanisms are known to be key elements for the protection of biodiversity. However, despite the extensive literature they generated, the influence of PPA on the dynamics of rural landscapes remains to be measured. A research program funded by the Research Council Social Sciences and Humanities was given to explore different facets of this issue. 


As the first project to focus on private protected areas (PPA), this research aims to reconstruct the history and to grasp the specificity of the phenomenon, particularly in terms of spatial distribution and of contribution in terms of protection of biodiversity in the inhabited territory. On a second level, it aims to update the landscape dynamics induced by PPA in the territories on which they are deployed. These include:

  • Measuring the impact of the implementation of PPA on the physico-spatial reality landscapes;
  • Updating motivations and representations of the people who initiated and carried PPA landscapes; 
  • Identifing, by linking the first two objectives, the evolutionary trajectories of landscapes induced by PPA and measuring the ability of intervention tools to act on these trajectories;
  • Feeding strategies and implementation of PPA programs in inhabited territories. 

Started in April 2013, this research will continue until 2017.


Olivier Craig-Dupont et Gérald Domon.  Vers une privatisation de la multifonctionnalité au Québec? La difficile cohabitation de la conservation environnementale et de l'agroforesterie dans la néoruralité québécoise. Communication livrée au Colloque « La ruralité au Québec depuis les États généraux du monde rural» du 13 et 14 mai 2014 à l'ACFAS.



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