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Implementation of landscape planning and nature conservation in the agricultural landscape: A case study from Saxony

Implementation of landscape planning and nature conservation in the agricultural landscape: A case study from Saxony

Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment 92(2-3): 159-170

The interface between environment, agriculture and society needs more attention to improve nature conservation in rural landscapes. The present paper attempts to identify the conditions on which ecological landscape plans can be implemented in agricultural practice, considering the prevailing conditions of agricultural policy. The case study was carried out in a local authority area in Saxony (Germany). Calculation of variable margins indicated that most of the measures proposed by the landscape plan (such as planting hedgerows, reduction of land use intensity, establishment of field margins rich in arable weeds) can be realised without loss of farmers' income. That is 6% of the agricultural area can be withdrawn from cultivation without any negative financial effect for the farmers. In addition, a certain proportion of arable fields and grassland can be managed less intensively. Nevertheless, the attitude of farmers towards nature conservation was an obstacle in the realisation of ecological measures, even with generous economic incentives. The method applied was adequate to show that agriculture in this area is dependent on payments from agri-environmental programmes. It is proposed to strengthen the link between such subsidies and more effective agri-environmental measures.

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Accession: 010805253

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DOI: 10.1016/s0167-8809(01)00300-0

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