Current research projects

of the Research Group Applied Landscape Ecology and Ecological Planning
© AG Ökoplan

How do young farmers look to the new CAP funding period - and beyond to their future? - A case study along the implementation of agroforestry

Under the guiding question "How do young farmers see their future?", the project investigates which visions guide young farmers in the face of the multiple crises of our time and a dramatic worsening of the situation for many farms, and whether and to what extent the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), with its increased focus on overall solutions, is perceived as a support for a sustainable transformation of the agri-food system.
A particular focus will be on agroforestry systems, which have been added to the CAP funding landscape as eco-schemes (or promoted as agri-environmental measures, depending on the state) from the 2023-2027 period. Agroforestry systems are associated with multidimensional potentials for climate change adaptation, renewable energy use, food security, and revitalization of agricultural landscapes. At the same time, they promise an increase and diversification of agricultural production and more resilience of farms on an ecological, economic and social level. This is not just about integrating trees and/or shrubs in fields, meadows, or pastures, but involves associated far-reaching challenges such as intergenerational, longer-term decision-making, and a rethinking of farm planning and working practices.
Therefore, another research question is whether young farmers perceive the introduction and maintenance of agroforestry systems as an interesting strategy to secure their farms and to contribute in overcoming the challenges. The aim is to formulate appropriate structural (or financial) policy support, such as the CAP, to support young farmers' visions and resilience-building initiatives, and to consider agroforestry systems as an option.
Methods from participatory social research will be applied. The broad application of a questionnaire and individual interviews on young farmers* personal visions and their perceived challenges will be followed by different teaching formats designed to provide insights into agroforestry systems. These include farm visits as well as workshops in order to get into conversation with each other and to be able to realistically capture the viewpoints and perspectives of the young farmers.

The project is funded by the Edmund Rehwinkel Foundation of Rentenbank.
Project duration: May 2023 - January 2024

Permaculture garden as a meetingpoint
© C. Steinhäuser

Ecosystem Künstlerdorf - Learning from Nature

This project was initiated as accompanying research to the institutional social-ecological transformation process of the residency program for international artists of the Künstlerdorf Schöppingen Foundation. This process aimed to be inspired by permaculture in order to create a model for fair and sustainable coexistence within the Künstlerdorf community and the surrounding citizen. In the meantime, the project has grown and developed in an interdisciplinary manner, won the Citizen Science Prize of the University of Münster and, above all, has led to a deep learning process from each other for everyone involved.

Project Homepage

Term: May 2022 - March 2024

© AG Ökoplan

BIOBRAS - Research-based learning in neglected biodiverse ecosystems of Brazil

Global change, particularly climate change, land-use change and invasive species, are currently the main threats to biodiversity and compromise the targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The global loss of biodiversity can further affect ecosystem services. Consequently, conservation of biological diversity and sustainable use of natural resources have become key research topics in recent years. Further, the Agenda 2030 and CBD call for intensified technical and scientific cooperation, access to and transfer of technology and education, and the raising of public awareness.

Project homepage

Term 2018 - 2022

© AG Ökoplan

EUfMa - Watercourse development of heavily modified waterbodies

The objective of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) to achieve good ecological and chemical status or good ecological potential for all water bodies by 2015 has not been met, and there are hardly any better forecasts for the current management period. New approaches must be taken, especially on HWMB water bodies. The DBU-funded project seeks to explore the effectiveness of small-scale measures in particular through the cooperative development of decision support for WFD implementation practice at catchment level for heavily modified lowland streams and the creation of a measures database with guidance. In addition, knowledge about monitoring is to be improved by significantly shortening the survey intervals.

Project seite (de)