Head of subprogramme: Dr. Hans-Peter Ende
By applying innovative land use concepts and thanks to progressive technologies, it ought to be possible when developing rural areas to reconcile agricultural and forest production, water management, the power industry, other future uses of renewable raw materials, nature conservation and environmental protection, demands on leisure uses and tourism, etc. with economic and socio-cultural requirements (multifunctionality). In so doing, it must be clarified how structural and use-specific aspects can be combined to bring about advantageous effects with regard to the sustainable development of regions. To this end, enhanced methods and monitoring systems must be developed to be able to pursue and assess the spatio-temporal ecological and socio-economic effects of the integrated production and use systems with an appropriate amount of effort. Such systems are to be developed in specific case study regions. The knowledge gained is promptly transferred to other study areas; specific experience, particularly in the diverse regions of Europe, but also in China, South America, Africa, etc., are utilised for further project developments.
Key scientific issues:
- How can site-appropriate land use be shaped with regard to space and content so that the balance of nature can develop in line with the objectives of sustainability? How can the necessary functions be guaranteed whilst optimising the economic and socio-cultural situation of rural areas? How should the political and economic framework conditions be shaped to achieve this goal?
- How should future production systems be shaped to enable not only the production of high-quality food and feed, but also the efficient production of renewable raw materials, taking into consideration the objective of sustainable landscape development? Can economic and ecological advantages be gained by system solutions such as mixed cropping systems? What contribution can the production of renewable raw materials make to stabilising the socio-economic situation of rural areas?
- How can future land use systems be coupled to water management systems to stabilise the area’s water balance and to improve the quality of its water bodies?
- How can landscape use systems developed together with local actors for the case study region be put into practice under the given political and economic framework conditions?
- Which conflict potentials, risks and obstacles arise, and how should the framework conditions perhaps be changed to enable the objective to be achieved?
- Are the available instruments for supporting the desired participatory decision support processes suitable and practicable?
- Do the desired economic effects actually occur after changing or adapting the use? If not, why not?
- Are the proposed indicators suitable for assessing the sustainability of landscape use? Where and how do they need to be further modified and specified?
- What information should be made available, and how? How should monitoring be adapted to enable the proposed indicators to provide compelling information for the assessment of sustainability?