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Strengthen biodiversity and ecosystem services: ECO²SCAPE project enters practical implementation phase

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Since October, another research project, funded as part of the BMBF Research Initiative for the Conservation of Biodiversity (FEdA)​, has entered the implementation phase: ECO²SCAPE. The aim of the project is to develop practical approaches and measures for the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services in cultural landscapes together with farmers.

The loss of biodiversity is progressing at a rapid pace - with hardly foreseeable consequences for humans and the environment, and thus high consequential costs for society. The intensification of agriculture is considered one of the most important drivers of biodiversity loss in Germany. Despite some partial successes, there is a lack of broad implementation of measures to protect biodiversity. This is where ECO²SCAPE comes in: In the project, new, practical approaches and measures for the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services are developed together with farmers in the model region “Vereinigte Mulde” near Leipzig, piloted and studied by an interdisciplinary research team.

These measures will focus on the role of farmers in landscape management and the conservation of structurally rich cultural landscapes beyond the production of agricultural products and aim to achieve the broadest possible acceptance in society. The aim is to design ecologically effective and economically efficient measures, which – by means of newly developed monitoring methods – will be examined not only with regard to their effect on specific areas, but especially with regard to their effects at the landscape level. The underlying innovative research approach thus combines current methods from the fields of artificial intelligence, institutional economic instrument analysis, environmental economics, ecological-economic modeling and software development.

After a one-year preparatory phase, the second project phase was launched at a kick-off event in Dresden on October 21st and 22nd. Among other things, the results of the first project phase were presented and reflected upon. The project’s advisory board also took part. This board includes members from science and practice who are not directly involved in the project and have an advisory role. The opening event was used by the project members for further networking and planning the next steps.

The project is coordinated by Prof. Anna Cord, holder of the Chair of Computational Landscape Ecology at TU Dresden. Prof. Björn Andres, holder of the Chair of Machine Learning for Computer Vision, as well as other experts from TU Dresden with a background in biogeography, environmental sciences, political science and computer science are also members of the project team.

At ZALF, Dr. Maria Kernecker leads the work package "Values and Acceptance" and is responsible for the implementation of the tasks and milestones within this and other work packages. The central objective of the work package is to investigate which factors influence the acceptance of biodiversity conservation measures and the associated values of farmers and the public in the model region. Specifically, she and her collaborators will 1) explore farmers' values and perceptions of biodiversity, landscape and measures in the model region; 2) identify key stakeholders and the knowledge flows between them in relation to agriculture and biodiversity conservation and 3) categorize the roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders in relation to biodiversity conservation.

Project partners:

  • TU Dresden (coordination)
  • Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg (BTU)
  • Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF)
  • Landscape conservation association Northwest Saxony e.V. (LPV)
  • Nationale Naturlandschaften e.V. (NNL)


The project is funded by the BMBF Research Initiative for the Conservation of Biodiversity (FEdA).​



For downloading the pictures please click on a picture and use the icon. Download-Icon 

ECO²SCAPE Team  | Source: © Stephanie Roilo (TU Dresden).
ECO²SCAPE Team | Source: © Stephanie Roilo (TU Dresden).



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