Capacities for nature conservation in agriculture

Motivation
Numerous agricultural farms provide important capacities for nature protection. The social understanding and recognition of these, mostly voluntary, environmental benefits is, however, often insufficient. Furthermore, many farmers lack the knowledge of how to achieve positive effects for nature and environment with simple procedures. Quality advice on environmental protection is the key factor for prospective goal-oriented nature protection in agriculture.

Goals

  • maintaining and enhancing biodiversity and conservation of landscapes character in the project area
  • preservation and advancement of professionally used agricultural sites
  • motivating farmers towards planning and implementation of conservation measures on the farmsteads and fields
  • development and advancement of technical information and advice possibilities about environmental protection for all farmers
  • development of instruments to integrate environmental goals and measures into development plans for agricultural undertakings (professional conservation plan for farm development) and exemplary implementation at four farms in the Western area of Lake Constance
  • establishment of a stable network for agriculture and environmental protection

Measures and Effects
40 farmers from the Constance district joined the competition "Capacities for nature conservation in agriculture". The motivation among participating farms was high and was additionally encouraged. Thanks to the press and the introduction of the competition into the agricultural school especially the young farmers were targeted. The closing event with an awards ceremony as well as the the competition's documentation were important measures for anchoring the environmental capacities of farmers in the public awareness. During the competition trust and enthusiasm for environmental protection among "conventional" farmers was awoken. For many farmers symbolic and public appraisal for their work was very important.
A specialised brochure with the advice of the working group was not issued in print but simply as a PDF file.
Goals of the advisory module were largely accomplished. The positive additional conclusions from the cooperation with both REPRO teams could not be achieved due to software defect. The most surprising conclusion was that the ideas already existed in the model farms, and the main point was the need for technical assistance in implementation.
The cooperation with model farms and authorities was productive in all aspects. The international professional meeting with 40 participants was well attended. It led to consolidation of trans-national contacts and know-how exchange in the Lake Constance region.

Project partners were ILN Singen and BUND-Landesverband Baden-Württemberg. During the competition there was close cooperation with Amt für Landwirtschaft des Landkreises Konstanz and local BLVH sections in Stockach and Konstanz.

The project was financed thanks to Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt and PLENUM Westlicher Bodensee.