9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN12 Environment and Society

Forested commons and «deserted» communities ? Is it environmentally wise to have an increasingly denser and wider forested area, without people to impact on it? The «taskscapes» are no longer dwelled in, but rather «enjoyed« from afar?

Commons present researchers with a very special «laboratory», where it is possible to observe and participate in an ongoing drama of how humans inhabit and dwell in their «surroundings», since they provide possibilities of unveiling the networks build around individuals, social groups and ?territory?. This presentation wishes to focus on what commons may teach about the need of dwelling, and therefore of human impact, in order to maintain a certain degree of confidence and of resilience both on the human and other nature end of the network, i.e. territory. Commons management was, in the past, the individual or household dwelling of neighbours, not on planning and collective agreements. For the community, to be asked to understand and manage, while suffering human and land desertification, is to be parachuted in a different and almost alien reality. Forests never covered the hills. Forests or trees were never expected to stretch so far into the horizon, covering the landscape, and never before had the communities? collective access to the financial surplus that they have now. So conflicts arise, people are drawn into a bureaucratic management, they start learning to cope with institutions well beyond their daily lives, going as far as Brussels. Human and land desertification gave way to a forested landscape, that is both an important carbon sink, an environmental «necessity» as it is a "highly fuelled risk". It is interesting that forests are now an international panacea for the Kyoto Protocol demands?. Nevertheless, the major risk these populations express is not fire, as the urban dwellers may think, but that one already written in their landscapes, since unhurriedly and silently it seems there are only but landscapes and alien carbon markets and nothing more...