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  • Institute for Rural Development Research and the Swabian Donaumoos Association     

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.

(Re)wetting of arable land, land exchange livestock-arable farming

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.     

Agroforestry concepts

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.

Policy analysis and scenario development

In MIXED, the IfLS focuses on policy analysis and scenario development around MiFAS. After the first rounds of field workshops (WP1), the IfLS conducted an in-project data collection of relevant policy elements wherein the networks reported in particular supporting and innovative policy tools. In parallel, interventions of the Common Agricultural Policy as of 2023 were searched for keywords related to the thematic aspects of the MIXED networks. Subsequent to the assessment, online workshops were held in spring 2024 in which the discussions focused on the topics of agroforestry (traditional and modern systems) and diversification (including rewetting of peatlands, agrotourism and small farms) - unfortunately, the workshop on regional cooperation could not take place due to time constraints. Nevertheless, initial drafts of potential policy frameworks have been drawn up and the next steps will involve combining these with the results of the other work packages, in particular the research work packages WP2-WP5. Since, after all, the policy recommendations should ultimately be aimed at efficient and resilient mixed farming and agroforestry systems.

Read more about the networks in Germany



Raphael Rehm
Phone:+498221 2061282

Anja Schumann
Phone: +498221 7441  

Simone Sterly
Phone: +49 69 972668315

Holger Pabst
Phone: +49 69 972668312
IfLS homepage: https://www.ifls.de/en/