Sustainable land use

Agricultural enterprises, like other enterprises, are influenced by various mainly economic factors. In the past, technical and economic developments have led to a situation in which an agriculture oriented towards the economic optimum often counteracts environmental quality objectives.

We deal with the analysis of the impact of agricultural land use on the environment. Therefore, we make use of our expertise in the areas of biodiversity, soil, water and climate protection, taking into account current scientific findings. One focus of our work lies in the analysis of various steering instruments, in particular the approaches within the common agricultural policy of the EU and its national and regional implementation, but also environmental and planning law. We include developments in other countries, also outside the EU, and focus on innovative and result-oriented approaches.

We prepare expert opinions that take into account the close links between agriculture and the environment as well as rural development. We evaluate the effectiveness of agri-environmental policy instruments and develop practical proposals for their further development, which also take into account possible conflicts of objectives.

Contact person at IfLS: Jörg Schramek (schramek[at], +49 (0) 69/9726683-14)

Projects in the field


Design options for economically viable biodiversity-enhancing milk production systems in the organic model regions of Freiburg and Ravensburg - GOBIOM

In the face of enhancing biodiversity, there is an urgent need of laying the foundations for economically viable, sustainable agricultural production. Due to grasslands’ importance for biodiversity protection and the great meaning of dairy farming...

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Multi-actor and transdisciplinary development of efficient and resilient MIXED farming and agroforestry-systems – MIXED

The European MIXED project aims to promote the development of mixed agricultural and agroforestry systems in Europe in the face of more extreme weather conditions. It is studying the benefits of these systems in terms of climate, environment and...

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Ad-hoc study on the faunistic evaluation of flower mixtures

As part of the ongoing evaluation of Baden-Wuerttemberg's rural development programme (MEPL III), IfLS was commissioned to carry out a study on the evaluation of flowering mixtures that are being promoted under the programme for agri-environment,...

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Identification of motives for non-participation in Baden-Württemberg's support programme for agri-environment, climate protection and animal welfare (FAKT)

The support programme for agri-environment, climate protection and animal welfare (FAKT) is part of the rural development programme of Baden-Württemberg 2014-2020 (MEPL III). It is the follow-up programme to MEKA III, which formed the basis...

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Short Study on the Situation of Grasslands in Germany

In order to obtain an overview of the situation of grasslands in Germany, the Institute for Rural Development Research (IfLS) currently works on a short study commissioned by the German Wildlife Foundation. The study is meant to promote the discourse...

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Second ad-hoc study on the faunistic evaluation of flowering mixtures in Baden-Wuerttemberg

To protect insects, farmers in Baden-Wuerttemberg create flowering areas by sowing special flowering mixtures. These flower-rich stands are intended to provide insects with food and serve as reproduction and retreat areas. As part of the current...

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Evaluation of a project with focus on the protection of the common hamster in the Federal Program Biodiversity – 'Common hamster land'

The number of common hamsters in Germany is decreasing due to changed land use practices. The federal programme Biodiversity includes measures to protect the common hamster in order to stop this trend. To assess the effectiveness of these measures...

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Evaluation of organic farming in Bavaria

Bavaria has the largest number of organic farms of all German states. However, rising demand for organic products can only be partly met by local products. Therefore the Bavarian ministry for food, agriculture and forestry has assigned the IfLS and...

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Study for the development of foundations of the implementation of a national peatland protection strategy

About 5% of greenhouse gas emissions in Germany stem from drained organic soils. In order to achieve Germany’s climate goals, a re-wetting is thus necessary to increase water levels in these soils. Rewetted peatland also creates further ecosystem...

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Developing a concept of defining and implementing Ecological Focus Areas in Germany

The European Commission’s proposal of the CAP reform after 2013 includes a “green” payment in Pillar One. One part of the corresponding greening obligations is the introduction of Ecological Focus Areas (EFA) on 7 % of arable land and permanent...

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Development of a concept and implementation plan for a sustainable crop production system for FRoSTA

In conjunction with the reorientation of the FRoSTA brand name, there are new requirements for raw fruit and vegetable products such as

  • controlled growth conditions and ensured retraceability
  • documentation of all cultivation measures relevant for...
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Green belt Frankfurt/Main: Development of environmentally friendly forms of agriculture in the context of communal policy

The urban development project intends to introduce the 100 farmers located in Frankfurt with about 4,000 ha of land to their future tasks, which are increasingly in the area of environmental precautions as well as recreational and leisure activities....

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