Farmers are caught in Tri-Dilemma - Objectives and Challenges for Biodiversity in German Nature-Protected Areas

Angela Turck, Lasse Schloemer, Wiltrud Terlau


This paper aims to assess farmers’ challenges in enhancing biodiversity. The so-called “trilemma” (WBGU 2021) of land use stems from the multiple demands made on land for the benefit of mitigating climate change, securing food, and maintaining biodiversity. Agriculture is accused of maladministration, causing soil contamination, animal cruelty, bee mortality, and climate change. However, farmers play a key role in overcoming upcoming sustainability challenges. While their supportive role is urgently needed, farmers find themselves caught between a “rock” and a ”hard place”. Consumers call for sustainable production and affordable food products without pesticide residues, demanding enough for all. Farmers are restricted by the wants and needs of consumers who are influenced by interest groups and exposed to interdependent direct and indirect influencing factors. They need to balance the scrutiny of the critical public as well as the regulatory control. In this paper, we collected and surveyed the data of farmers within or close to the 21 selected nature protected areas of the DINA (Diversity of Insects in Nature protected Areas) Project, using a mixed methods approach with a semi-structured questionnaire considering issues’ interdependencies and the complexity of today´s problems. The conflicts and obstacles faced by farmers were assessed. The results reflect the farmers’ willingness and the importance of receiving appreciation for implementing biodiversity measures. These results, complemented by a following quantitative study, are the basis for recommendations for policymakers and farmers in all German nature protected areas.


Biodiversity; farmers’ drivers; land use dilemma; land use trilemma; mixed method approach, semi-structured questionnaire

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ISSN 1869-6945


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