The Characteristics of the Cultural Landscape in Malaysia: Concept and Perspective
Long-term human–nature interaction in rural areas creates special features with unique spatial ecological functions. These areas are called cultural landscapes, or are occasionally known as rural landscapes. Around the world, cultural landscapes have long been impacted by socio-economic development. The effects include loss of biodiversity, changes in the ecosystem and ecological processes, a pattern of resource use by local people, and an aesthetic value. In countries in the European and North American continents, as well as the Far East of Asian regions, and particularly Japan and Korea, the characteristics of cultural landscapes and their response to socio-economic development have been identified and assessed. However, this process has received less attention in countries of the Southeast Asian region, for example, Malaysia. Therefore, the objective of this chapter is to develop the concept and perspective of a cultural landscape in Malaysia, and to define it in the context of the country. A case study – the Merbok estuary – is presented as an example to describe the characteristics of cultural landscapes in Malaysia.
KeywordsPaddy Field Forest Resource Cultural Landscape Vegetable Farm Southeast Asian Region
This study is part of a research project entitled “Landscape fragmentation and heterogeneity of mangrove landscape in peninsular Malaysia” funded by Research University Grant UKM-GUP-ASPL-08-06-212, courtesy of the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia.
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