Insect-Friendly Path Margins and Diverse Stakeholder Perspectives - A Dialogue And Communication Strategy For The Agricultural Landscape On The Left Bank Of Rhine-Sieg District, Germany

Silvia Fischer, Wiltrud Terlau


In intensively used agricultural landscapes, path margins are one of the few refuges and nurseries for wildlife. They provide e. g. food sources and overwintering opportunities for many insects, serve as migration corridors for animals, protect soil from erosion, increase its water-holding capacity, and increase soil organic carbon, contributing thus directly to biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation. Path margins are often municipally owned but used and managed by agriculture. For a path margin to be functional, certain conditions must be fulfilled, such as the width, the botanical composition, and how it is managed through the seasons. Therefore, it must be managed under specific requirements. A multifunctional path margin can be achieved only through the commitment of all stakeholders (e.g., farmers, municipalities, conservationists, and civil society).
In this study, we assessed the different stakeholders' perspectives in implementing an insect-friendly path margins project in the agricultural landscape on the left bank of the Rhine between the Eifel and the Rhine in the German Rhine-Sieg district developing and implementing a communication strategy. Three main activities were implemented: (1) A Q-Study build the basis for a (2 ) local stakeholder dialogue workshop and (3) the development of social media materials to communicate project activities.Part of the communication strategy was the Q-Method. This method allowed us to identify the different positions of stakeholders regarding municipal blooming path margins. Through a literature review, 65 statements on insect protection in path margins were pre-selected (first stage), and an additional expert survey was implemented to validate this pre-selection. After the validation of experts and the merging of similar statements, a set of 35 statements was identified as the Q-Sample (second stage), further this 35-statement set was used in a stakeholder survey to rank and sort according to the own stakeholder's views ( Q-Sort, third stage), data was analyzed using factor analysis (fourth stage). As a result, two main factors or perspectives were found: A) perspective on insect-friendly protection measures and, B) perspective on the maintenance and avoidance of negative effects. Finally, these different perspectives were presented and discussed in a stakeholder workshop contributing to the project's communication activities and setting the basis to discuss further project activities taking into account the identified perspectives from local stakeholders.

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ISSN 2194-511X


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