Caught between trilemma and dilemma – farmers’ perspective - objectives of farmers’ challenges in enhancing biodiversity: an assessment within German Nature-Protected Areas

Angela Turck, Lasse Schloemer, Wiltrud Terlau


The aim of this paper is to assess the objectives of 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. The agricultural sector is accused of maladministration: it is blamed for causing soil contamination, animal cruelty, bee mortality and climate change. That is why farmers are seen as key actors at all levels. They are, however, also key players when it comes to overcoming the problems of the future. Their supportive role is urgently needed, but farmers find themselves caught between a “rock” and a ”hard place”. Consumers are calling for sustainable, environmentally friendly production and inexpensive food products that do not contain pesticide residues, demanding enough food for all. Farmers are restricted by the wants and needs of consumers who are influenced by interest groups and are exposed to direct and indirect influencing factors and their interdependencies. They are also tasked with balancing the scrutiny of the critical public on the one hand, and the control exercised by eager authorities on the other.
As part of the DINA (Diversity of Insects in Nature protected Areas) project, a trans- and interdisciplinary research study, we collected and surveyed the data of farmers who are farming within or close to the 21 selected nature protected areas included in the DINA project. Data was collected as part of a mixed method approach using a semi-structured questionnaire. The methodological and strategic approach and interdependencies of issues demonstrate the complexity of today’s problems. To investigate this, we first used the data collection method using questionnaires with closed and open questions. The conflicts and obstacles farmers face were evaluated, and the results show farmers’ willingness and the importance of appreciation shown to farmers for implementation of biodiversity measures. The paper proposes some follow-up activities (quantitative study) to verify the objectives. The results will later lead to recommendations for policymakers and farmers in all German nature protected areas.

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ISSN 2194-511X


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