Barriers and drivers of agroecological transitions in intensive agricultural areas – a case study from Germany

Authors: Gerald Schwarz, Thuenen Institute, Johannes Carolus, Thuenen Institute, Juern Sanders, Thuenen Institute, Jaroslav Prazan, Institute of Agricultural Economics and Information, Alexandra Smyrniotopoulou*, Agricultural University of Athens
Topics: Agricultural Geography
Keywords: agro-ecological transitions
Session Type: Guided Poster
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Roosevelt 3.5, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Agroecological approaches are increasingly discussed as an alternative to conventional farming systems to address the challenges of viably producing enough food and biomass while preserving soil, water and biodiversity necessary for ecosystem services. There is a need for a better understanding of the socio-economic and policy factors that hinder or enhance the transition to more sustainable agroecological farming systems. The UNISECO project analyses the drivers and barriers of transitions to more sustainable agroecological farming systems in case studies in 15 European countries covering the diversity of European agriculture. Each case study carries out a detailed analysis of how barriers to transitions to agroecological farming can be addressed in specific socio-economic, institutional and environmental contexts and what lessons can be learnt for future practice and policy recommendations. This poster introduces the German case study. The case study is located in an intensive arable and dairy region in Lower Saxony with a range of environmental sustainability issues such as soil degradation, water pollution and biodiversity loss. The level of cooperation in agri-environmental land management is relatively low, but multi-actor platforms for biodiversity-friendly farming exist, on which this case study builds. The issues and current knowledge, farming practices, and rather low level of agro-ecological innovation provide an interesting example to initiate the transition process to agro-ecological farming based on the co-construction agro-ecological management strategies and policy and market incentives. The poster is based on the UNISECO project (www.uniseco-project.eu) funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme (grant agreement N° 773901).

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