Leibniz Center for Agricultural Landscape Research

Muncheberg, Germany
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Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2012.1.4-06 | Award Amount: 1.86M | Year: 2012

The proposed project Food Planning and Innovation for Sustainable Metropolitan Regions (FOODMETRES) thrives to assess both the environmental and the socio-economic impacts of food chains with regard to spatial, logistical and resource dimension of growing food as well as food planning and governance. Recognising that food production and consumption is not only linked via food chains in a physical-logistic way, but above all via value chains in terms of social acceptance, FOODMETRES is designed to combine quantitative and evidence-based research principles with qualitative and discursive methods to address the wider dimensions of food chains around metropolitan agro-systems. The main goals are: - Identify concepts as well as practical examples for food chain innovation in the context of small-scale urban, peri-urban and peri-urban-rural forms of agriculture and food production up to large-scale metropolitan production regimes geared towards feeding urban populations; - Assess the economic, environmental and social impacts of innovative food chain systems from small scale to large scale, making use of the ecological footprint and product life cycle analysis with special emphasis on efficiency, regional competitiveness, cultural identity (landscapes and regional markets) and ecosystem services such as water management, nutrient recycling and biodiversity; - Study and compare technical, logistical, organisational and governance aspects of innovative food chain systems in selected case studies to define best practice when engaging regional stakeholders from both business and policy in sustainable food planning at the level of metropolitan regions. - Supply scenario modeling and impact assessment tools to all stakeholders in urban-peri-urban areas to assist with planning and decision making. This is complemented by active knowledge brokerage to speed up innovation and innovation exchange within the case studies, but also for any other users in urban areas of Europe or developing countries.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-CSO | Phase: ENV.2011.4.2.3-1 | Award Amount: 2.25M | Year: 2011

The CiVi.net project aims to analyse, transfer and disseminate successful and sustainable community based solutions with regard to ecosystem service management in Latin America. The main focus is placed on institutional settings in terms of original rules and related governance models which help to prevent and resolve tensions arising from a necessary new repartition and use of natural resources. Thereby, the role of civil society organisations (CSOs) within these governance models is in the core of the research. To meet these challenges, CiVi.net takes an action research and case study approach. The project has chosen four case study regions in Brazil and Costa Rica where successful solutions have been worked out. These will be analysed with respect to the following questions: - What kinds of management instruments are used to solve environmental problems and how effective are they? - What kinds of original rules and institutional arrangements are implemented and which economic governance models have been established? - What crucial aspects must be considered when transferring these solutions to other communities that face similar problems? - What is the capacity of CSOs and their networks for contributing to finding, implementing and transferring such solutions? Based on the findings, CiVi.net wants to facilitate the transfer of successful solutions to at least one other community for each selected case study region confronted with similar environmental challenges. To do so, CiVi.net will develop an ex-ante assessment approach to test the transferability of institutional solutions and of successful governance models. One of the final outputs will be a manual to assist practitioners and scientists on how to design and manage the knowledge transfer. CiVi.net will put much emphasis on the dissemination of the produced knowledge. Thus, another of its final outputs will be an innovative web-based data portal for providing and trading knowledge.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: KBBE.2012.1.4-07 | Award Amount: 1.86M | Year: 2012

European farmers need topical knowledge, training and support to remain competitive and respond to manifold demands in a continuously evolving environment. Functioning agricultural knowledge and information systems (AKIS) are needed to tackle challenges like (i) giving small-scale farmers access to relevant and reliable knowledge, (ii) bridging scientific research topics and farmers demands and (iii) offering appropriate support for diverse rural actors that form networks around innovations in agriculture and rural areas. Advisory services are one essential means to enhance problem solving, information sharing and innovation generating processes. In a functioning AKIS these services can be provided by various actors, among them formal extension services, training and post-secondary education bodies, NGOs but also by members of administration or research institutions. PRO AKIS will thoroughly review international literature sources on AKIS and provide an inventory of the AKIS institutions and interactions in the EU-27. Furthermore, PRO AKIS will highlight the mentioned challenges through a selection of case studies that are conducted for each topic in parallel in several member states. Comparative analyses and assessments of these cases will reveal successes, strengths and weaknesses of the specific knowledge flow systems. AKIS stakeholders and policy advisors will accompany PRO AKIS, share interim findings, and participate in workshops and seminars. They will be invited to intervene repeatedly in the projects course and to contribute through feedbacks and in assessments of results. On these bases policy recommendations for the strengthening of European agricultural innovation systems will be developed and further research needs will be designated. A range of dissemination activities will assure that findings are timely available for the interested communities and for the public at large.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ISIB-01-2014 | Award Amount: 2.99M | Year: 2015

The objective of the project is to provide a conceptual basis, evidence, tools and improved incentive and policy options to support the smart provision of public goods by the EU agriculture and forestry ecosystems, in the light of trade-offs and conflicts brought about by prospective intensification scenarios, using a transdisciplinary approach. PROVIDE will consider a wide range of public goods, including the scope for intensification to produce negative externalities, in relation with a wide set of legislations. It will address the issue in a multi-scale framework working both at the EU level and at case study level in thirteen Countries of the EU. The practical results of the project will be: a renewed (un-packed) conceptualization of the notion of public goods; an operational framework to support the smart provision of public goods; a toolbox putting together an inventory/mapping of options, operational means for valuation and evaluation, and a selection of evaluated policy/sector mechanisms; a consolidated and long-lasting community of knowledge and practice. The project will achieve the above results through a mapping and inventory of public goods and the mechanisms producing such goods, allowing to identify hotspots for mechanisms and policy development. Around these hotspots, the project will then value different public goods and explore value transferability across several regions and ecosystems. Next, to meet a smart production of public goods, consistent with the current needs of productivity, bioeconomy strategy and rural development, innovative policy tools and mechanisms will be comparatively assessed and evaluated. The outcomes of these activities will feed information into the framework and toolbox. All these processes will be co-developed with stakeholders, so that the framework and toolbox will be a co-constructed product allowing incremental development also beyond the lifetime of the project, maximizing PROVIDEs impact.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE.2011.1.4-04 | Award Amount: 1.87M | Year: 2012

The provision of public goods (including landscape services) in rural areas is recognized as one of the key topics for the future of agriculture and rural policy. Agriculture plays a major role in landscape management through its complex interlinkages with landscape features. In turn, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) remains an important driver of landscape management due to its importance as a determinant of farming activities in the EU. The main objective of the CLAIM project is to provide the knowledge base to support an effective CAP policy design in the direction of improved landscape management, particularly providing insights into the ability of landscape to contribute to the production of added value for society in rural areas. CLAIM is focused in particular on understanding and enhancing the contribution of landscapes management to socio-economic development and agricultural competitiveness in rural areas. This will be based on a pragmatic consideration of landscape services and their analysis through a mixed-method approach, taking into account the wider EU policy strategies (in particular related to innovation and the bioeconomy). The main expected result of the CLAIM project is an evidence-based policy support framework on the different and possible contributions of agriculture and the CAP to landscape management. The framework will be mainly developed and validated through a set of 9 case studies, a strong involvement of stakeholders at different territorial levels and a wide coverage of the perspectives of EU and candidate countries. The framework will finally take the practical form of a web-based manual to be implemented in accordance to stakeholders needs and indications.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE.2013.1.4-12 | Award Amount: 3.87M | Year: 2014

FLINT defines Farm Level Indicators to improve the policy evaluation on (amongst others) cross compliance, sustainability and innovation in the CAP. The data collection on these indicators has ideally to be linked to the current Farm Accountancy Data Network in which data on costs of production and incomes are collected on 75.000 farms over the EU-27, but alternatives will be explored. In the project foreseen harmonized data on the Profit, Planet and People indicators will be collected in a pilot-network in several European countries with an invitation for others to join. Data will be stored in a central database (after permission of the collaborating farmers of course) and used to investigate how this date improves policy evaluation.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE.2010.1.2-02 | Award Amount: 7.75M | Year: 2011

Organic and low-input dairy farming systems are increasingly noted as delivering multifunctional benefits to the agricultural industry and society but technical and economic constraints prevent widespread adoption. SOLID will deliver an innovative toolbox of novel methodologies that will contribute to the competitiveness of the dairy industry and increase the effectiveness with which these benefits are delivered. SOLID facilitates the use of breeds and feeding strategies to maintain productivity, improve animal health and welfare while meeting the market requirement for high quality milk. A multidisciplinary team comprising academic and stakeholder (SME) partners from across Europe, encompassing dairy cows and goats, will identify and apply novel strategies at the farm level and throughout the supply chain. Innovative science and models, combined with a participatory approach, will tackle practical issues, and assess competitive sustainability and integration across a range of scales and geographical contexts. Proteomics combined with genotyping and calorimetry will be used to characterise and quantify dairy cow and goat breed adaptation to organic and low-input systems. Given the reliance of such systems on forage, SOLID will develop novel and sustainable feed resources and design a decision-support model to optimise the management of on-farm forage supply. Life cycle assessment tools will assess environmental sustainability of grassland-based multifunctional dairy systems. Analysis of the supply chain from fork to farm will quantify the acceptability of new strategies and enhance collaboration. An integrated assessment tool and socio-economic modelling will assess innovations on farms and along supply chains, and will predict the impact of more widespread adoption of low-input practises. Effective knowledge dissemination and exchange activities will target key stakeholder groups ensuring exploitation of outputs at animal, farm, region, sector and European levels.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: ISIB-02-2015 | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2016

Smart-AKIS was submitted to the 2014 call, remaining on the reserve list (12/15). For resubmission, all items in the ESR have been carefully addressed: i) more focused approach, addressing only Smart Farming Technology for crop production and using more concrete methodologies; ii) stronger involvement of the machinery industry, with specific support from national Associations and a dedicated working group within CEMA; iii) a Data Management Plan ensuring compliance with H2020 Open Access Policy and inclusion in different thematic aggregators. The project aims at setting up a self-sustainable Thematic Network on Smart Farming Technology designed for the effective exchange between research, industry, extension and the farming community in order to disseminate direct applicable research and commercial solutions and capture grassroots level needs and innovative ideas. Smart Farming Technology (SFT) encompasses Farm Management Information Systems, Precision Agriculture and Agriculture automation and robotics. Smart AKIS will collect existing knowledge related to SFT and will produce easily accessible end-user material under the EIP-Agri common format. The project will also integrate the socio-economic aspects involved in the innovation processes and will generate interactive and innovation-based collaborations among researchers, advisors and farmers through the use of open innovation in multi-actor workshops. Knowledge flow will be facilitated through the implementation of the Smart Farming Community Platform, which will be compatible with the EIP-SP in order to ensure long term accessibility of results. Smart-AKIS will build on results from five flagship EU projects (VALERIE, SOLINSA, PRO-AKIS, FRACTALS, AGRISPIN), through the participation in the project of their core partners. The project will establish direct communication with EIP-Agri to maximize impact of project activities and stakeholder mobilization.

Lehmann J.,Cornell University | Kleber M.,Oregon State University | Kleber M.,Leibniz Center for Agricultural Landscape Research
Nature | Year: 2015

The exchange of nutrients, energy and carbon between soil organic matter, the soil environment, aquatic systems and the atmosphere is important for agricultural productivity, water quality and climate. Long-standing theory suggests that soil organic matter is composed of inherently stable and chemically unique compounds. Here we argue that the available evidence does not support the formation of large-molecular-size and persistent € humic substances € in soils. Instead, soil organic matter is a continuum of progressively decomposing organic compounds. We discuss implications of this view of the nature of soil organic matter for aquatic health, soil carbon-climate interactions and land management. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 3.83M | Year: 2012

Implementing the EU vision of a Green Economy will cause rapid changes to the forest-based and bio-energy sectors. Growing bioenergy demands change land use and cause intensified resource utilisation in agriculture and forestry. Sustainable development targets in production and consumption of biomass and wood products have stimulated wider adoption of sustainability assessment methods in policy and company practices. The forest-based and bioenergy sectors have prominent roles to play in developing a sustainable knowledge based bio-economy due to their foundation on renewable resource use and their substantial climate change mitigation potential. The Careers in Sustainability Excellence (CASTLE) project will combine research and training on a suit of methods used for sustainability assessments in the forest-based and bioenergy sectors in Europe. The project will develop state-of-the art methods that can be applied to current sustainability challenges in the industry and regional policy making. The sustainability experts working in the sectors in the future need to be knowledgeable about direct sustainability impacts of operations (e.g. GHG-emissions, carbon footprint, and the resulting product footprints). But as new products may also induce indirect-land use changes especially in other world regions, the experts need to have a broad understanding of global market and land use effects. As communicators towards the customers, the future experts also need to transparently report on social corporate responsibility of companies. CASTLE will elaborate an overall training schedule on sustainability assessment methods to train the early stage researchers in a broad range of methods and skills that will offer them excellent competences for their future careers in the industry, consultancy business or policy making. 14 individual research studies will in addition develop specific methods and practices in more detail, mostly in cooperation with private sector actors.

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