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Cultivating Nature : The Conservation of a Valencian Working Landscape - (Hardcover)
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The watery terrain of the Albufera Natural Park, an area ten kilometers south of Valencia that is widely regarded as the birthplace of paella, has long been prized by residents and visitors alike. Since the twentieth century, the disparate visions of city dwellers, farmers, fishermen, scientists, politicians, and tourists have made this working landscape a site of ongoing conflict over environmental conservation in Europe, the future of Spain, and Valencian identity.
In Cultivating Nature, Sarah Hamilton employs the Albufera’s contested lands and waters, which have supported and been transformed by human activity for a millennium, as a lens bringing regional, national, and global social histories into sharp focus. She argues that efforts to preserve biological and cultural diversity must incorporate the interests of those who live within heavily modified and long-exploited ecosystems such as the Albufera de Valencia. Shifting between local struggles and global debates, this fascinating environmental history reveals how Franco’s dictatorship, Spain’s integration with Europe, and the crisis in European agriculture have shaped the Albufera, its users, and its inhabitants.