Biofact

Farmers and the environment


Assessing the factors that affect farmers’ willingness and ability to cooperate with biodiversity policies 

Dr Mark Toogood, Karen Gilbert and Sandra Rientjes

ECNC-European Centre for Nature Conservation, 2004

ISBN 90-76762-19-8

Farmers are among the main guardians of the landscapes and habitats upon which the majority of European biodiversity depends for its existence. It is therefore highly important to support farmers to adopt practices that contribute to sustainable agriculture and promote biodiversity protection. To date, the main way the European Union and Member States have sought to encourage farmers to protect and conserve nature has been through specific, sometimes geographically categorized schemes which pay farmers for undertaking certain activities beneficial to nature going beyond good farming practice. Farmers’ participation in these schemes, as the BIOfACT research points out, is often driven by economic factors. However, whilst economic factors are crucial to allow changes in farming to be made, it is important to consider the other factors that affect farmers’ decision-making about getting involved in biodiversity initiatives. BIOfACT provides a valuable overview of the other key factors that relate to farmers’ participation, including the social, cultural, and geographical factors.(Foreword by Michael Hamell, European Commission, Head of AgricultureDG Environment)

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