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


Developing regional value chain networks for communal catering — RegioWertGeBen

The RegioWertGeBen project aims to develop innovative and practicable approaches to strengthen regional, organic communal catering. The project works in two pilot regions - Ludwigsburg-Stuttgart and North Hesse – and uses the example of the vegetable...

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AFaktive - Agroforestry as a Key to improve Water Management & Adaptation to Extreme Weather Events

Modern agroforestry, as a nature-based solution that combines trees and/or shrubs with traditional agriculture, can help to improve landscape water retention and thus contribute to protection against drought, erosion and flooding. In view of the need...

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Use of biochar in agriculture: Opportunities and limits

Due to the need to curb climate change, options for actively removing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere are increasingly coming into focus. One way of converting carbon into a very stable form and preserving it over a long...

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Species conservation in the light of modernised agricultural techniques

Half of Germany's land is used for agriculture, about 70 % of which is arable land. A massive decline in both species diversity and abundance can be observed, especially on intensively used agricultural land.

At the same time, land management is...

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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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Target fulfilment monitoring and evaluation in accordance with the Baden-Württemberg Act for the Strengthening of Biodiversity- "BW Biodiv"

On 22 July 2020, the so-called "Biodiversitätsstärkungsgesetz" (Act for the Strengthening of Biodiversity) was passed by the state parliament of Baden-Wuerttemberg. In this law, the existing Nature Conservation Act ("NatSchG") and the existing...

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Socio-economic evaluation of the "Main.Kinzig.Blüht.Netz" project

The Main-Kinzig district is implementing the "Main.Kinzig.Blüht.Netz" project as part of the federal biodiversity program. Areas that are in public ownership are to be optimized from a nature conservation perspective. These include, for example,...

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

To protect insects, farmers in Baden-Württemberg create flowering areas by sowing special flowering mixtures. These flower-rich stands are intended to provide food for insects and serve as reproduction and refuge areas. In the course 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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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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