Nature and culture

Last changed: 26 April 2024
Two people at a horse paddock. Photo.

Many interprets the concept of nature as something in contrast to culture. City against countryside or the preserved against the exploited. Nature is originally a condition for culture and there is still to this day an interaction. Base it from your own perspective: Where can you see how culture and nature interacts?

In reality, there are very small, if still some, areas in Sweden not affected by culture. Even the "untouched" mountain regions is a cultural landscape, which for generations have been shaped by reindeer pasture. The nature in turn is also around the urban human. City parks and green areas gives humans in the city an everyday contact with nature.

In the agreement between SLU and the Environmental Protection Agency, it can be read that nature is "the landscape's nature- and culture given element". SCNI should in particular work for strengthening the heritage interpretation, which bridge the distance between nature- and the culture historical perspective.

Interpretation becomes especially interesting when it can mediate a holistic perspective on the landscape. How is it shaped by humans and how has animals there adapted? How are we affected by the conditions of nature? Knowledge on the relation between humans and nature is a precondition for an understanding about the big challenges that humanity encounters in the form of climate changes and depletion of the biological diversity.


Swedish Centre for Nature Interpretation (SCNI)
Department of Urban and Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)