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‘Farming for Biodiversity’—a new model for integrating nature conservation achievements on organic farms in north-eastern Germany

Abstract

The new label ‘Farming for biodiversity’ was introduced to make nature conservation achievements visible to the consumer and to bridge the gap between limited consumer interest and government financial support. We developed a whole farm assessment system (WFAS) based on individual modules and credit points. A catalogue of measures, landscape features and target species help farmers and nature conservation advisors to enhance the achievements of the farm and increase biodiversity. Farmers have to achieve an overall total score of points as well as a special score of points for small-scale effective measures (SSEM), which are designed for sensitive target species. The system allows flexibility for the farmers and is effective for biodiversity. The assessment of 50 farms showed that extensive farming practices are widespread. High levels of biodiversity including endangered species were found in case of weed flora. Successful additional measures were implemented to aid a declining farmland bird, the whinchat. To ensure the successful implementation of measures, sound nature conservation advice and knowledge of the individual farm and species settings are required. The WFAS and the new product label could help to establish biodiversity as an added value of organic farming and encourage consumers to buy organic products.

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Acknowledgments

We would like to thank the Biopark organic association and the farmers for their fruitful cooperation.

Funding

The research activities were coordinated and supported by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Germany and funded by the food retailer EDEKA.

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Correspondence to Karin Stein-Bachinger.

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Gottwald, F., Stein-Bachinger, K. ‘Farming for Biodiversity’—a new model for integrating nature conservation achievements on organic farms in north-eastern Germany. Org. Agr. 8, 79–86 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13165-017-0198-2

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Keywords

  • Assessment tool
  • Credit points
  • Agricultural management
  • Small-scale measures
  • Flora
  • Fauna