EU project will SHOWCASE the path to biodiversity-friendly farming
Credit: Project SHOWCASE
SHOWCASing synergies between agriculture, biodiversity and Ecosystem services to help farmers capitalising on native biodiversity (SHOWCASE) is a newly funded EU Horizon 2020 research project, dedicated to the integration of biodiversity into farming practices. A research team of leading scientists in the field of agro-ecology and socio-economy join forces with farmer and citizen science networks, science communication specialists and nature conservation NGOs. The project brings together experts and scientists from 21 institutions from 15 countries.
Biodiversity is closely interrelated with the development of the agricultural sector. Farmland biodiversity is steeply declining throughout Europe, and society at large is increasingly concerned about the loss of public goods, such as iconic wildlife and cultural landscapes.
More biodiversity-friendly farming practices are available but see little uptake. We need to know what economic or other incentives trigger agricultural producers to integrate biodiversity-enhancing practices in farm management.
SHOWCASE will tackle this question by focusing on the socio-economic incentives that effectively motivate farmers to integrate biodiversity practices into agricultural management and by establishing how biodiversity management impacts crop production as well as wildlife. The project thus aims to establish a rigorous evidence base for synergies and trade-offs between biodiversity and agricultural production. SHOWCASE will rely on a multi-actor pan-European network of 10 Experimental Biodiversity Areas (EBAs) and use them as a testing ground for the co-design of farming practices that capitalize on the positive interactions between biodiversity and agriculture.
“We hope the 5-year collaboration will achieve a breakthrough in the integration of biodiversity into farming,” project coordinator Prof. David Kleijn from Wageningen University explains.
Along with research results, the project also focuses on strong communication of sustainable farming narratives that aim to inform and inspire stakeholders and the general public to embrace the benefits of sustainable agricultural production that are deeply rooted in biodiversity-based solutions.
SHOWCASE held its official kick-off meeting virtually on 2-4 December 2020. Project partners met for the start of the 5-year research project. A detailed discussion of actions for the first period of the project framed a plan for the achievement of results.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 862480.
Prof. David Klejn