In Germany, MIXED is collaboratively implemented by the Institute for Rural Development Research and the Swabian Donaumoos Association. The project is working with two groups of farmers practicing MiFAS (Mixed Farming and Agroforestry Systems) in different ways.
Agriculture in Germany is practiced on half of the total land area and can be characterized as specialized, highly productive and intensively managed, though with a high degree of local and regional variability. Animal feed is produced on almost two-thirds of the agricultural area. 95% of the 1.4 Mio hectare peatland areas in Germany are degraded. 65% are still used for conventional agriculture, 13% for forestry and by that lose their high potential for climate protection. Drained agricultural peatlands are responsible for 80% of CO2 emissions from agricultural land use in the EU.
A landscape area of about 10.000 ha (with 2200 ha of peatland, and 2700 ha of hillside and floodplain forest) is managed by the Swabian Donaumoos Association. This landscape conservation association is located in Bavaria, Germany, and facilitates the development of a close partnership between agriculture and nature conservation. The focus is on preserving and developing an open, ecologically intact wetland landscape. The management of the peatland is based on a compatible land use for nature conservation and climate change protection. The Swabian Donaumoos Association provides experimental areas, acquires financing concepts for climate-friendly land use, promotes contacts between research and agriculture, and organises networking events.
In Germany, MIXED partner IfLS cooperates since April 2022 with “agroforst-monitoring.de”, a project by students of landscape ecology at the University of Münster, Germany. The project is all about active participation of volunteer citizens and associations in the research of agroforestry systems; and as such, a comprehensive and user-friendly catalogue of methods enables citizen scientists to capture eight dimensions of agroforestry systems through simple experiments. For the MIXED project, this citizen science approach offers the possibility of direct dialogue with different stakeholders of mixed land use systems.
In MIXED, the IfLS focuses on policy analysis and scenario development around MiFAS. Currently, a survey of important policy instruments is being prepared, whereby in all MIXED networks, especially promotional and innovative policy tools are to be recorded in a structured manner by means of an online data query. Free access to the query will enable the project partners to also include external expertise and thus create a comprehensive picture of the policy landscape with regard to the respective network. In addition to the query mask, an accompanying readme will support the respondents in the recording process and clarify any questions that may arise, targeting the completion of the first round of surveys for April/May 2023.
Read more about the networks in Germany