Project details

Grassland regions in conversion: How farmers can be supported in the provision of public goods

Against the background of current land use change in grassland regions the study, funded by the Rentenbank, analyses the qualitative and quantitative change in public goods, which result as ‘by-products’ from grassland farming (e.g. biodiversity, cultural landscapes, water availability and soil functionality).

The High Black Forest (Hochschwarzwald, Baden-Wuerttemberg) and the peninsula of Eiderstedt (Schleswig-Holstein) have been selected as study areas. The two regions represent the two polarizing tendencies which characterize current grassland farming:  On the one hand grassland is abandoned in the highlands due to closing down of farms, on the other hand grassland is ploughed as a consequence of land use intensification in the low lands with favourable agricultural conditions. Both trends constitute a considerable threat to the provision of public goods.

Based on an analysis of the current state of public goods their dynamic is surveyed against the background of land use change by the use of GIS and model-based approaches. The objective is to detect which public goods are in decline or threatened and which socioeconomic and societal repercussions are triggered. In a second step the financial requirements in order to preserve grassland farming are determined. Finally recommendations are developed on how to support farmers in the provision of public goods.  

The project begins in October 2011 and will finish in December 2012.

Project no.: 



Research | Sustainable land use |


Development Agency for Agribusiness and Rural Areas Germany


2011 - 2012

Contact person/s at IfLS: 

Jörg Schramek