Project: Towards multifunctional agricultural landscapes in Europe: Assessing and governing synergies between biodiversity and ecosystem services

The overall aims of the project are (1) to disentangle and quantify the multifaceted links between agricultural production, biodiversity and ecosystem services (ESS) in different European landscapes and (2) to provide a learning environment that supports design and evaluation of policy options particularly regarding the CAP that can help to reconcile conflicting demands, namely the production of agricultural commodities while at the same time ensuring ESS provision and biodiversity conservation. The project addresses the effects of different land use structures and land use intensities in a set of agricultural landscapes using selected site-specific measures of biodiversity and ESS indicators. Main aspects include the identification of (a) synergies and quantitative trade-offs between ESS, biodiversity and agricultural production at different scales; (b) how agricultural production, ESS supply and biodiversity conservation, as well as the synergies and trade-offs between them, might change under different scenarios representing various land use strategies, climate change conditions and objectives across scales; (c) those land management strategies and policy instruments that could help to reduce trade-offs between ESS and biodiversity conservation in the different regions. The project is organized in five work packages (WP). While WP 0 will ensure project coordination and management, WP 1 (Policy analysis) analyses the policy framework impacting land use decisions regarding agricultural use, biodiversity conservation and ESS supply in the study areas. It will identify both the major policy-related drivers for the current land use pattern and land use intensity and the synergies and conflicts caused by the implementation of different policies. WP 2 (Indexing multifunctionality in agricultural landscapes) characterises the environmental settings in the regions, identifies and quantifies the status of biodiversity conservation and ESS provision by developing and applying different biophysical, bio-economic and statistical models. WP 3 (Stakeholder involvement and scenario development) involves relevant stakeholder groups within the study areas and analyses expectations and perceptions on policies as well as biodiversity and ESS objectives. This is the base for the development of specific land use scenarios. Based on the input of WP 2 and WP 3, WP 4 (Optimisation of objective functions and policy options) assesses land management strategies from the perspective of multifunctionality. Biophysical and statistical models linked to optimisation algorithms will be used to evaluate land use driven trade-offs between biodiversity, ESS and other environmental targets. The resulting sets of optimal land use patterns (regard to achieving similarly environmental and production-oriented objectives) will be analysed regarding whether they support land sharing or land sparing strategies. They serve as a basis for real world scenarios which will be developed together with stakeholders and decision makers. WP 5 (Synthesis and learning environment) will facilitate the integration of results through the development of a learning environment that serves as a platform for integration and exchange between partners and stakeholders during the project period. It will be made available to other scientists, practitioners and policy makers to provide tools and approaches, as well as a summary of project findings, to the different stakeholder groups addressed.

Acronym TALE
Duration 01/04/2015 - 31/03/2018
Website visit project website
Network BiodivERsA2
Call Promoting Synergies and Reducing Trade-offs Between Food Supply, Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services (Joint Call between BiodivERs and FACCE-JPI)

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research Coordinator Germany
IMDEA Agua Spain
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna Austria
Institute for Rural Development Research Germany
Technical University of Madrid - Research Centre for the Management of Agricultural and Environmental Risks Spain
Federal Department for Economic Affairs, Education and Research Switzerland
VU University Amsterdam Netherlands