Project title:
Land management and nature conservation on alpine pastures and mountain meadows – a participatory economic observation (LANA-Partizip)

For centuries Austria’s landscape has been shaped by agriculture. Agriculture is thus mainly responsible for shaping the living space in rural regions and the resulting cultural landscape. In alpine regions, farming extends to high altitudes and is also of considerable importance on alpine pastures. Especially there one finds a unique flora and fauna. To preserve this flora and fauna and to ensure these special habitats for plants and animals, some alpine pastures and mountain meadows in Austria have been included in the zones of Natura 2000 areas, nature reserves and national parks.

This can result in land use regulations for agriculture that do not always correspond to the prevailing management of the land. Such restrictions on use can take different forms with different management prohibition periods. The clash of different strategies for the conservation of the cultural and natural goods of the alpine pastures can lead to conflicts of use. Since both nature conservation and agriculture are supported with public funds and alpine pastures are a point of attraction for tourists, societal expectations play a decisive role in the design of utilisation strategies and support measures. The aim of this project is to gain a better understanding of societal expectations regarding the use of alpine pastures and mountain meadows. In particular, agriculture and nature conservation are to be better harmonised in order to achieve an optimum of both goods. The knowledge gained should lead to a sustainable development of these regions and increase the value of alpine pastures and mountain meadows in society. It facilitates agricultural management with respect to the amenities of the alpine landscape and the sustainability of its production. The demands of residents and visitors can then trigger local value creation and the building of resilient regional supply.

02/2021 – 07/2022

Project partner:
Institute of Agricultural and Forestry Economics, BOKU

Project lead:
Stefan Kirchweger, STUDIA

Commissioned and financed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Regions and Tourism and the Office of the Upper Austrian Provincial Government, project number (101558)