In the Chlapowski Landscape Park management of the agricultural landscape and creation of socio-economic effects from landscape are influenced mainly by policy driven mechanisms. However actor-driven mechanisms are also present in the region. Policy mechanisms are connected with two areas – impact of the Common Agricultural Policy measures (described in the following section and Ad-hoc study 2) and regional landscape policy, including spatial planning, strategies of local development and environment protection programs.
For analysing the mechanisms and governance influencing the provision of socio-economic benefits by the landscape we used interview method and analysis of available documentation. We collected 30 personal interviews with the farmers living in the Chlapowski Landscape Park and conducted 6 interviews with the representatives of the local government (two in the County Koscian (NUTS 4) - and four in the communities (NUTS5) Koscian, Czempin, Srem and Krzywin). We asked farmers if they have knowledge about some activities of local government concerning landscape and about their expectations towards local government in this matter. Interviews in the local governments were focused on actions and regular activities, which facilitate the impact of the local policy on the landscape and also on evaluation of the interest of local inhabitants about the landscape connected issues.
A separate study concerned local documentation. We studied the measures applied and functions attributed to landscape in official regional documents in 8 communities, (NUTS5) located in 2 counties – 4 communities within Chlapowski Park boundaries and 4 outside the Park. The following documents were analysed: Communal Study of Spatial Preconditions and Directions for Development (municipal spatial policy), Environment Protection Programme (municipal environmental policy) as well as the strategy of community development or Local Development Programme (Socio-economic development policy).
Results – Policy-driven mechanisms
The most important function attributed to shelterbelts in studied documents is regulating function. The role in reduction of wind erosion, shelter from wind and sun, prevention against formation of snowdrifts or sand drifts, are the most often mentioned regulating effects of shelterbelts. It was observed that the attribution of certain ecological, cultural and economic functions to shelterbelts is present in almost all documents of Spatial Planning Policy and Environment Protection Program, in all studied communities, including those adjacent to the park. In the Socio-economic Policy programs (e.g. Regional Development Strategy) of communities “outside the park” there is much less emphasis on functions of shelterbelts than in communities within the Chlapowski Park borders.
There are various actions and measures applied to landscape maintenance in the studied documents. Most often mentioned are preservation and maintenance of existing shelterbelts and development of new windbreaks. It is interesting that also in communities outside the park, where the shelterbelts have a much lower share in the landscape. There are measures and actions focusing on its implementation and preservation. The most common actions mentioned in documents of environment policy or spatial planning are: “strengthening the environment through shelterbelts development on the soils of the lowest productivity”, “shaping ecological corridors”, ”development of shelterbelts – lines of trees along rivers and local roads”, “inhibition of soil degradation processes through development system of shelterbelts in the territory”, “fields of the size less than 0.5 ha should be developed as shrubs and trees habitats”.
From the interviews with local government representatives it has been found that there are also other actions undertaken by local institutions in order to build the awareness of local society about the landscape and to promote protection of the environment. These are for example educational programs which are mainly offered in schools, building the education paths and biking roads with interesting information on the boards, continuous dialogue with local inhabitants about the environment protection and promotion of agro-environmental programs.
From the interviews with local inhabitants it was observed that they have rather moderate interest in landscape protection and small knowledge about actions undertaken by the local governments in this matter. Only about 42% of respondents have knowledge about some activities of local government concerning environment and landscape. 22% were aware that there were some consultations or meetings concerning environmental issues. This might be because of a low awareness of landscape services or just low interest in governmental actions in general. About 25% declared that they receive some information about the environment and landscape from the local government. However, it is interesting that about 90% of respondents would like to receive more information on landscape management (brochures/meetings) from the local institutions.
Results – Actor-driven mechanisms
Regarding actor-driven mechanisms contributing to landscape valorisation and the creation of socioeconomic effects from the regional landscape the role of local large farm businesses that invested in agricultural production in the region should be emphasized. These important regional players influence the shape of the agricultural landscape, benefit from its provisioning and regulating functions and as the second-order effect, contribute to employment in rural areas. There is also a feedback influence visible on the landscape structure and components. These companies care and protect the existing shelterbelts and also built the new establishments. One of the respondents from LSL said that this behaviour is often “copied” by the local small-holders, who observe practices of large scale agricultural companies and try to follow them on their farms. The other important actor in the Chlapowski Landscape Park is the Research Station of the Polish Academy of Science in Turew. Its role in landscape valorisation, shaping and protection, as well as building the awareness within the local society, cannot be underestimated.
Lesson learned & Policy Recommendations
There are various actions and measures applied to landscape maintenance in the studied documents (municipal spatial, environmental and socio-economic development policy). Most often mentioned are preservation and maintenance of existing shelterbelts and development of new windbreaks. It is interesting that also in communities outside the park, where the shelterbelts are less present in the landscape measures and actions exist. From the interviews with local government representatives it appears that there are also other (then official documents) actions undertaken by local institutions in order to build the awareness of local society about the landscape and to promote protection of the environment.
Interviews with local inhabitants indicate that they have rather moderate interest in landscape protection and small knowledge about actions undertaken by the local governments in this matter. However it is interesting, that respondents would like to receive more information on landscape management from the local institutions. It might be concluded that there is a visible gap in the information flow between the local government and farmers and other inhabitants of the case study region. This gap might be decreased by wider and also better targeted information actions and consultations with the local society.
Agata Malak-Rawlikowska, Edward Majewski
Warsaw University of Life Sciences – SGGW
ul. Nowoursynowska 166, 02-787 Warsaw Poland