Extensively management of pasture are of crucial importance for the Europeanbiodiversity, that is why the farmers and breeders are constantly involved in theimplementation of biodiversity conservation measure through national initiatives,regional conventions, LIFE and Interreg projects and rural development programmes.

As part of the GRACE project, a scoping study was carried out in order to identify the best practices in the field of biodiversity conservation and monitoring that could beadapted and replicated in the Lazio region and in the GRACE project.

At the conclusion  of the scoping study 5 cases listed below were chosen:

  • Grazing Animal Project
  • SMARTCHAIN: Towards Innovation - driven and smart solutions in short food supply chains
  • Aran – Manage the habitats of the Aran Islands to maximize their agricultural and ecological production
  • Collaboration Agreements in Natura 2000: farmers as main actors in management
  • BiodiversitätsmonitoringmitLandwirtInnen (Biodiversity monitoring with farmers) 
  • Grazing Animal Project

The Grazing Animal Project was developed in the UK, to encourage farmers to implement conservation measure for native breeds of horses, goats,sheep, and pigs through conservative grazing. Some of the best practices implemented in this project are the creation of both physical and virtual marketplaces that allowfarmers and breeders to create a local market with products supplied by their native breeds. To increase the interest of citizenson agriculture practices and animal husbandry a number ofagricultural parks has been identified in whichactivities such as pic-nics,guided tours, eco-tourism, educational activities are carried out. The key point of the project raising farmersawareness on their relevant role on biodiversity and native breeds conservation. The project promotes training courses the exchanges of best practices between farmers and breedersthrough online forum. 

  • SMARTCHAIN: Towards Innovation - driven and smart solutions in short food supply chains

“SMARTCHAIN: Towards Innovation - driven and smart solutions in short food supply chains” is a project financed by European Union through the Horizon 2020 programme with the aim of promoting and speeding up the transition towards short food supply chains (SFSCs) andintroducing solid measures which can strengthen the competitiveness and sustainability of European agri-food sector.

The projectutilizestheGAIN model and blockchain technologies to facilitate the transition from long food supply chain to a shorter and less complex food chain. In addition, the presence of the digital platform allows access to informative contentto set up the methodology and interpret the results of the market analysis aimed at understanding the attitude of consumerstowards the consumption of meat from N2000 sites. 

  • Aran – Manage the habitats of the Aran Islands to maximize their agricultural and ecological production

The AranLIFE and Caomhnù Arann are two projects developed in the Aran islands with the aim of improving habitat conditions through a new experimental results-based on agri-food programme.Within the projects, a farm management plan was created  in which the farmers are linked by a contract which details the work to be make on each parcel and the relative cost of this work. To evaluate the optimal grazing, the project developed a scoring system from 1 to 5 which represent the quality of habitat  and grazing level achieved, with the aim of encouraging farmers to grazeat determinant level and testing the approach based on results, to be usedin future agri-environmental programmes at the conclusion of the project.The project is using drone technology to monitor the quality of habitat decreasing the necessity forfield survey work and other high administrative costs. 

  • Collaboration Agreements in Natura 2000: farmers as main actors in management

The Junta de Extremadura has developed a new initiative in which the farmownersbecome Natura2000 managers, responsible for the development of conservation action in order to reduce the conflict between conservation and land use of Natura2000 sites. The tools developed for this initiative are “Aid for sustainable development” and “Collaboration agreement”. These complementarytools allowagricultural, livestock and forestry companies to improve company performance in managing and conserving species and habitats, providing an economic contributionin return to a clear commitment to the conservation of habitats and species.Through collaboration agreements, farmers are encouragedto become the managers responsible for the conservation of the natural values present onthe lands they own land. While the Aid for sustainable development is non-productive investments financed through measure 4 of the RDP with the aim of balancing the economic interests of farms with the conservation of species and habitats. 

  • Biodiversitätsmonitoring mit LandwirtInnen (Biodiversity monitoring with farmers)

The Austrian project "Biodiversitätsmonitoring mit LandwirtInnen" (Monitoring biodiversity with farmers) is co-financed by the Austrian Rural Development Program and represents a "citizen science" approach, in which farmers and agricultural students acquire a new awareness of biodiversity issues and are asked to collect on a voluntary basis data relating to the presence and distribution of animal and plant species. For a greater and immediate involvement of the farmer in the conservation of biodiversity, the slogan "We care for ..." was created. In this project, the farmer can join on a voluntary basis the Package of Measures (OPUL) specifically dedicated to the conservation of nature by committing to carry out a series of interventions within his property or carry out conservation measures in his own company and be paid by the PSR based on the conservation results achieved. A key point of the project is the transfer of information from experts to farmersand students, in order to achieve a solid confidence and a sense of mutual responsibility. Within the project, as regards the monitoring activity, a specific APP was created to facilitate data collection by farmers.