Cultural echoes in Dutch immigrants’ and non-immigrants’ understandings and values of nature

M.E. Kloek*, A.E. Buijs, Jan J. Boersema, M.G.C. Schouten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Contemporary societies are rapidly changing demographically and culturally. This raises new challenges regarding support for and engagement in nature conservation. Our paper discusses differences and similarities between young adult non-immigrants and immigrants in how they understand and value nature, based on group interviews and a survey conducted among young adults of Turkish, Chinese and non-immigrant Dutch backgrounds. We show that how people perceive nature differs between ethnic groups, even though the immigrants included spent (most of) their youth in the Netherlands. Non-immigrants used most strict boundaries to qualify green areas as nature, while especially Chinese immigrants expressed a more inclusive idea of nature. Turkish immigrants articulated most often ecocentric and religious reasons to conserve nature, while Chinese immigrants stood out as mentioning most often anthropocentric reasons. Traditional cultural representations of nature partly seemed to echo in people's perceptions of nature. Support for nature conservation was high among the respondents; however, this hardly translated into engagement in nature conservation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)818-840
JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
Issue number5-6
Early online date8 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


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