Conservation, Local Development and Agricultural Policies in the Natural Parks - In Italy - and in other European countries, too - most national parks are characterised by rural landscapes. Thus, more often than not the aim is to preserve the human landscapes generated by agricultural activities. However, human landscapes are directly or indirectly the object of both conservation policies and agricultural policies. The territorial overlapping ojthese two different classes ojpolicies raises di}ficult practical questions and conceptual issues. Although agricultural policy has undergone some change - and jurther changes are expected aiming at encouraging environment-friendly jarming - it remains largely inappropriate in the context oj natural parks. The obstacles to the integration oj these two policies stem jrom the jact that they rely on different conceptual jrameworks. Firstly, agricultural policy uses the concept oj capitai, and consequently conceptualises relations between
economic process and capitai in very different jorms jrom the way it is applied in conservation policy. Secondly, in agricultural policy territory is conceptualised through the rural area concept in a way that, again, contrasts sharply with what is needed in the context ojconservation policy, namely differentiation oj the territory in terms oj ''[ocal systems ". By taking rejerence jrom two different conceptual jrameworks the two policies
ultimately pursue contrasting aims, with different evaluations oj the results oj the actions accomplished. Awareness oj the methodological origins oj the contrast between conservation and agricultural policies may help us towards solving what amounts to a key issue in most natural parks in Italy as, indeed, in other European countries. Moreover, it may draw attention to some conceptual shortcomings that seem to be marring the current debate on the rejorm ojagricultural policy.