Integrating Ecological And Economic Aspects In Land Use Concepts: Some Conclusions From A Regional Land Use Concept For Bayerisches Donauried

Land use concepts for ecologically particularly sensitive agricultural landscapes are often focussed on the attainment of specific environmental objectives in specific areas, neglecting both socio-economic effects, in particular income effects, and the farmers' income-driven production responses outside these areas. The paper illustrates, on the basis of an empirical study on the land use in the southern German region Bayerisches Donauried, (1) that the farmers' objectives and production responses need to be integrated in land use concepts for agricultural landscapes because of their potentially counterproductive effects on the attainment of environmental objectives, and (2) how multi-criteria analysis (MCA) can be used to transform a primarily ecology-oriented land use concept for an ecologically very sensitive agricultural landscape into a more comprehensive one that makes due allowance for the farmers’ responses and society's socio-economic objectives. The authors show that such integration of socioeconomic objectives can contribute to the maintenance of incomes and employment without overly harming the attainment of ecological goals. As far as the MCA is concerned, two methods are applied: The linear-additive model, and the outranking model ELECTRE. The models serve to evaluate four different land use options. Nine criteria are used, derived from the relevant landscape functions. Weights are based on written interviews with major decision-makers, and stakeholders of the region. The major assumptions underlying the models are discussed. The authors interpret the results of each model on the basis of sensitivity analyses, and compare them. Finally, the paper discusses policy implications resulting from the implementation of land use concepts for agricultural landscapes, in particular the question of a “regionalisation” of agri-environmental policy, and raises some administrative and practical issues that come up if policy makers apply MCA more widely in the design of such concepts.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-04-26

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