To prevent biodiversity loss is one of the most challenging issues nowadays. Historically, farming has contributed to diversifying landscapes and a large number of animal and plant species depend of farming systems to survive. There are currently great challenges in this sector to halt biodiversity loss caused by processes such as intensification and the simplification of farming techniques.
We actively work to promote biodiversity on farming areas in Europe through European projects or the elaboration of sustainable sourcing guides where biodiversity plays an essential role. One of the most recent examples is the LIFE BioStandards, where we collaborate with a European partner network to include pro-biodiversity criteria in agrifood standards.
The LISA project (Landscape, Infrastructures and Sustainable Agriculture) is being developed simmoultanously in Germany, Spain, France, Hungary, Italy, Poland, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republich and Romania. Fundación Global Nature coordinates in Spain the implementation of samples to assess the most important ecological infrastructures for the farming landscape and the effectiveness of the “greening” measures of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
We develop analysis on land use and biodiversity indicators in more than 2,500 hectares in two areas: Castile La Mancha and Castile y León. The samples are carried out every two years and allow studying the evolution of the farming landscape, especially the variations in terms of quantity and quality of the ecological infrastructures, the intensity of soil use and other parameters that might reflect if agri-environmental policies have a positive impact on the environment. It is currently the only project at a large scale in Europe to assess the effectiveness of the “Greening” of the CAP.
The participating entities are: Czech Society for Ornithology, Fundatia ADEPT , Institute for Agroecology and Biodiversity (IFAB) (coordinator), Institute of Environmental and Landscape Management (Szent Istvan University), Instituto Nazionale di Economia Agraria (INEA), Joint Research Centre (JRC), Pracownia Przyrodnicza, Rob Schröder Consult, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), Solagro, University of South Bohemia.
Project to improve biodiversity in vineyards
The “European initiative to improve biodiversity in vineyards”, financed by the EU Erasmus+ programme, aims to propose farming measures that positively impact on biodiversity and the competitiveness of the wine sector. The project partners are specialists in viticulture and biodiversity experts from Germany, Spain, Portugal and Turkey, who will exchange knowledge and will train and provide advice to farmers and who will develop training materials specifically designed for this sector.
One of the tools of the project is the development of the “biodiversity checks” that allow getting to know the impact of vineyard management on biodiversity. The farming management of the crop and the areas not dedicated to cultivation are analysed. Other areas, such as the facilities for wine production, can also be analysed. A specific Action Plan is elaborated with the results, which includes measures to reduce the impacts and that allows managers and farmers to measures their progress through specific indicators.
The participating entities are: ADVID (Associaçao para o Desenvolvimento da Viticultura Duriense), Bodensee-Stiftung, ECOVIN (Federal Association of Organic Viticulture), Fundación Global Nature, Global Nature Fund, La Unió, Quercus, Rapunzel Organik Tarim Ürünleri.
To find out more about this project (podcasts in Spanish):
Tree and bush planting in private farms
We plant trees to improve biodiversity in farms. They are usually local species that can be found in these areas. One type of these measures is the creation of semi-forested areas with trees and bushes, creating “small forest islands” in areas dominated by crops. Therefore, shelters are created for birds, species suitable for hunting (such as partridges or rabbits) and other animals such as insets that otherwise cannot find shelter nor food in these areas.
In addition, we also plant local species to create/improve hedges in farms. These hedges host insects that can control plagues in a natural way and they are also common in organic farming as they are a barrier to chemicals used in farms close-by. Several studies show that hedges play a highly important ecological role, not only as a shelter for insects that are useful for farmers but also for biodiversity in general (for example, for birds).
Other type of tree planting that positively impacts on the environment is the plantation of organic fruit trees. These agro-foresstry plantations have several environmental and social benefits. They diversify crops and promote the conversion from conventional to organic production.
With the support of AccorHotels and the technical guidance of Pur Project, we develop these programmes in farming areas in Valencia and La Mancha. Since 2012, more than 20,000 trees have been planted in collaboration with farmers.
Fundación Global Nature