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Datenbank der Projekte zur ländlichen Entwicklung

Monitoring agri-environment results


Agri-environment measures receive the largest proportion of RDP budgets at EU level and it is important that farmers are able to improve the visibility of results from agri-environment payments. This project offers an insight into how they can do it.



In 2004 a project was started to establish a means of measuring changes in biodiversity in Austria, which resulted in a set of 50 indicators such as ‘species monitoring by farmers’.Farmers are best placed to observe and count plants and animals, since they directly influence the diversity and, in 2007, fifty farmers started monitoring and have been providing data regularly even since. Meanwhile the monitoring process has been refined based on their experiences.


The main aim is to raise awareness and understanding among farmers of the need for biodiversity in green pastures, and the need for nature protection, and thereby improve the conservation of pasture land throughout Austria.

Main activities

In 2007 a countrywide network of farmers was set up, supported by environmental protection specialists. They observe and count plants that are sensitive to over-cultivation and/or over-fertilisation and report them to a central registry. Farmers are paid for this work and learn the effects of cultivation on the plants. In 2009, Agricultural Colleges and their students joined the observation process and in 2010 the monitoring was extended to some animals.

Results & Benefits

Monitoring makes farmers more aware of conservation and biodiversity and they see the direct relationship between them. Farmers now view their pastures from a new perspective, pay more attention to them, and feel more responsible for the preservation of species. Showing a commitment to nature conservation helps raise self-esteem and improve the farmer’s status within society.

Lessons learnt

The special feature of ‘Farmers Observing Plant and Animals in the Cultural Landscape’ is that the monitoring and recording of biodiversity is done by those who know the land and are directly responsible for its maintenance – namely farmers. Farmers learn the importance of the ecological cultivation of their land by observing rare animal and plant species. Recognising the needs of species can have a positive effect on future cultivation.

Project location and other information

Austria, all regions.

RDP Territory


Total project cost (€)

500 000

EAFRD contribution (€)

240 000

National contribution (€)

260 000

Contact name

Johanna Huber


+43 (0)1505 18 91 13

Languages for contact

English, German

At a glance



Final beneficiary type

Individual farmers, Public/local authorities

Budget range

€100 000 - €500 000

Start date:


End Date:


Theme / Measure:

• Competitiveness of Agriculture & Forestry
• Promoting knowledge and improving human potential
• 111. Vocational training and information actions


Biodiversity, Sustainable agriculture, Environmental education

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