Monitoring by farmers

Monitoring by farmers
Farmers are important partners in the implementation of relevant measures. © Uwe Steinbrich/ pixelio.de

Involved sectors

Forestry, Nature protection

Affected habitats

Grassland, Arable land

Description

Farmers, with their areas distributed through the landscape, are key elements of transregional networks of interlinked biotopes and are therefore important partners in the implementation of relevant measures. They also possess extensive knowledge and many years of experience which they can contribute to the planning and implementation of biotope networking measures. It is therefore extremely important to involve farmers as stakeholders. They can also perform a key function by monitoring the development of endangered and/or rare species on their own farmland. This observation process raises awareness and also improves their understanding of the purpose of certain management requirements (e.g. areas of extensive use, set-aside etc.). For the monitoring of the biotope network, appropriate and effective indicator systems must be defined.

Impact

Ecological impact  
Other Direct ecological impacts only arise as a result of the measures which are the focus of monitoring. Monitoring systems are appropriate, for example, to measure the impact of actions for the extensivisation of agriculture. Indicators can include the presence of specific rare plant species, for example.
Time of realisation for measure Months: Biotope networking measures must be carried out before monitoring takes place.
Impact scope Very localised (plot): Monitoring takes place on individual plots. The impact can be increased if entire regions participate in relevant programmes.

Implementation

Implementation period Months: Appropriate training must be provided for farmers before monitoring commences.
Frequency Recurring: Because of the high conceptual preparation and management cost this requires long-term implementation.

Economic and legal aspects

Costs Very low (less than 1'000 EUR): Preparation, training for participants, processing of results. A monitoring subsidy could also be paid to participants.
Socio-economic impacts No direct impact: Compensation (payment of a subsidy) is possible to offset the moderate additional expenses incurred by farmers in conjunction with monitoring.
Sources of financing Private sponsor, Public: local, Public: regional

Further information

Evaluation In Vorarlberg, experience has been gathered with a programme to involve farmers in biodiversity monitoring ("Biodiversity Monitoring with Farmers" (BDMWF)). Similar approaches are being pursued in the Species-Rich Grassland Programme.
Information Austria: Information is available, for example, at: http://www.vorarlberg.at/vorarlberg/umwelt_zukunft/umwelt/natur-undumweltschutz/foerderungen/oepul2007/naturschutzmassnahmenimoe.htm http://www.oekl.at/stories/storyReader$698

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