Project details

Integrating nature conservation goals with the Federal-level Support Scheme for the Improvement of Agricultural Structures and Coastal Protection (GAK)

The ‘Federal-level Support Scheme for the Improvement of Agricultural Structures and Coastal Protection’ (in German: Gemeinschaftsaufgabe ‘Verbesserung der Agrarstruktur und des Küstenschutzes’, GAK) provides the main possibilities at the level of the Federal Government to (re-)orient agricultural and rural development support and to pay farmers in line with (new) sustainability objectives.

The main questions this study deals with are:

  • Is the GAK is an appropriate instrument for the support of an environmentally friendly land use?
  • Are present schemes actually applied according to such goals?
  • Does the legal and statutory framework as it is at present allow the desired (re-)orientation of support schemes?
  • How can the legal framework as well as the overall support strategy and specific measures better integrate nature conservation and environmental concerns?

At the beginning of this study the legal framework and the present practice of funding are analysed, followed by an extended assessment of the current measures in view of nature conservation and environmental concerns. Both analysis and assessment are based on a review of relevant literature and evaluation reports, additional expert interviews as well as the results of two project workshops involving relevant experts and stakeholders.

Suggestions for the strategic development of the GAK are elaborated concerning contents and future requirements. As new measures, a compensatory allowance addressing the restrictions imposed by the EU flora, fauna and habitats directive, environmental training and consulting as well as nature conservation by contracts are examined. A new sub-scheme, ‘Environment and nature conservation and landscape management’, is outlined.

Project no.: 



Research | Agricultural policy |


Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


2002 - 2003

Contact person/s at IfLS: 

Jörg Schramek