Producing nature: Brand marketing of nature parks in Spain

Authors: ,


In recent decades, the neoliberal conservation model has become the dominant global approach to nature conservation. The emergence of this paradigm has led to the imposition of a market logic, based on neoliberal philosophy, coinciding with a significant decrease in public investment in conservation. This, in turn, has brought about major transformations in the management of protected areas, resulting in a combination of private interests and initiatives for environmental protection. The complex current scenario is mobilizing a hegemonic discourse about nature in which socio-ecosystems are impacted by market strategies and the logic of competition. In this context, sustainable development is presented as a means for reconciling conservation goals with those of economic development. Branding in protected areas is presented as another option for the 'nature business' under the aegis of sustainable development. In this article we present a comparative analysis of how programs, brands and logos were created in the nature park networks of three regions in Spain (Andalusia, Catalonia and the Valencian Community). We examine the different strategies implemented by the respective territories to achieve their goals in environmental policymaking, by analyzing the realization of official programs. To conclude, we question whether neoliberal conservation may actually be reversing its own purposes: protecting in order to commercialize instead of conserving to protect.

Keywords: natural brand, marketing, nature parks, environmental politics, consumption

How to Cite: Ruiz, M. A. & Santamarina, B. (2023) “Producing nature: Brand marketing of nature parks in Spain”, Journal of Political Ecology. 30(1). doi: