Knowledge Platform


Farmer and land manager represents the main implementing actor in landscape management, the provision of services, but also the valorising of these services for regional competitiveness. Other actors in landscape management and valorisation are (i) Stakeholder and interest groups, such as environmental / nature conservation; (ii) Regional water and soil association (water supply and maintenance of infrastructure); (iii) Public authorities and administration including municipality (council and administration), regional and national authorities (ministry and administration) as funding, administering, monitoring and evaluating body); (iv) Rural development agencies, tourism associations, chamber of commerce (local and regional economic development & liveability); (v) Trusts, community foundations and additional non-governmental funding bodies, which possess an important role of trusts as non-governmental bodies financing landscape management and Community foundations functions as local triggers of rural development; (vi) Local community and general public as "user" (tourist, visitor, consumer) of the landscape. They all pursue their individual, partly common, but also conflicting interests, e.g. agricultural production, natural conservation or local tourism.

In landscape management and its economic valorisation conflicting interests by different actors (nature conservation, farmers, authorities (government and administration) exist, due to substantial differences in environmental attitudes and landscape preferences related to ecological conservation measures exist between farmer and non-farmers. However due to communicative action, addressing intrinsic motivation and encouraging collaboration of stakeholders, information and suasory instruments are particularly governance-oriented approaches. They are classified as either voluntary agreements, moral suasion of objective information and subjective value patterns of single economic decision by individual decision makers, by informing e.g. about social costs of their behaviour, pleas for ethical behaviour, non-monetary social sanctions. Information measures are often coupled with other, mainly market intervention measures.

Empirical Case Study Evidence

The empirical work carried out in the ad-hoc studies focussed on the role of education, knowledge and information for awareness-raising of landscape values as well as for the strategy-making for regional landscape valorisation (AT, PL). Others (BG, FR) again addressed the linkage between the landscape and the added-value it is given to the regional produce.

In the Austrian case the important role of intermediate agents in regional strategy-making has been highlighted. With the Social Network Analysis (SNA) the dense connections and communication between of different agents/institutions as well as their strategies of landscape valorisation have been identified.

The local stakeholder laboratory in the German case study revealed that the absence of local actors in regional networks and the presence of large agribusinesses from outside the region cause serious governance difficulties related to spatial spillover of economic benefits (outflow of RD money outside the region). Stakeholders in the Montoro case (ES) emphasized the need of integrating different actors and functions through bottom-up initiatives to promote socio-economic development. Conflicts and varying stakeholder interests have been also found in the German and Spanish case studies regarding their views on the future landscape management. The conflict line can be drawn between productive landscape (i.e. large-scale agriculture (DE) and olive plantations (ES)) and rather nature conservation oriented landscapes (natural vegetation). Additionally, in the Märkische Schweiz (DE) conflicts occur within the farming community on the land market. It has been reported in the Local Stakeholder Laboratory, that major competition between small farmers on the one hand and large-scale agro-businesses as well as non-agricultural enterprises on the other hand exist on land acquisition, with a structural disadvantage for family farms. In the French case study conflicts occur between the livestock holding farms and the local population, because of free grazing of the animals in the Maquis and chestnuts forest landscape, causing conflicts with other uses of the landscape. It is also argued that these farmers, due to their ranching practices, are incapable to maintain the typical natural vegetation growth.

Conclusions & Recommendations

Generally, the empirical ad-hoc studies substantiate that the implementation pattern of landscape policies is related to the existence of often heterogeneous communities of farmers and land managers as well as of other stakeholders, characterised by individual perceptions, behaviours, motivations and capabilities (e.g. to be able or eligible to implement specific measures). Especially farm size and knowledge play an important role in this perspective. However, intermediate actors have been found effective for collaborative strategy-making toward landscape valorisation for regional competitiveness.

Further Reading

Dwyer, J.F., Findeis, J., 2008. Human and Social Capital in Rural Development - EU and US Perspectives. EuroChoices. Special Issue comparing EU and US Rural Development Policies 7(1): 38-45.

Healy, P. (2010). Making Better Places: The Planning Project in the Twenty-First Century. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.

Prager, K. & Freese, J. (2009). Stakeholder involvement in agri-environmental policy making - Learning from a local and a state-level approach in Germany. Journal of Environmental Management 90 (2): 1154-1167.

Primdahl, J. & Kristensen, L. (2011). The farmer as a landscape manager: Management roles and change patterns in a Danish region. Geografisk Tidsskrift-Danish Journal of Geography 111(2): 107-116.