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Source: Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety A new project in the federal program Biodiversity is investigating how species-rich and structured forest gardens can represent an alternative to monocultural management.

New project in Brandenburg tests model forest garden systems

An area that is overgrown with herbs, perennials, shrubs and trees and at the same time supplies vegetables, fruit and nuts – that is the idea of ​​forest gardens. This natural cultivation method is not yet established in Germany. A new project in the federal program for biological diversity is now investigating how to design forest gardens rich in species and structures so that they also represent an economically attractive alternative to monocultural management for agriculture. To this end, five different forest garden systems are being tested at Kyritz in Brandenburg. The Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) is funding the pioneering project until 2025 with funds from the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety in the amount of 777,000 euros. Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze: “Forest gardens with fruit and nut trees, bushes, bee-friendly shrubs and vegetables – and herbal layer are not only highly productive. At the same time, they provide a habitat for a wealth of species, especially insects. Forest gardens are therefore a good remedy for the death of insects. But in times of climate change with its periods of drought and heat, they are also good for soil quality, water balance and microclimate – and not least for people. ”BfN President Prof. Dr. Beate Jessel: “As a new type of use, forest gardens can make a major contribution to the protection of biological diversity and climate protection. If they are also economical in the long term, they offer a real alternative to conventional, often species-poor forms of farming. That is why we now want to use the new federal program project WASYS to test how forest garden systems can be established as future-oriented and economically viable agricultural production systems. ”The aim of the project“ Forest garden systems as insect-promoting agricultural production methods – creating insect habitats and structural diversity in the agricultural landscape ”(WASYS) is to test different forest garden systems in different combinations with useful plants on five different plots. To this end, the STATTwerke e. V. developed model areas on an area of ​​around eleven hectares. The five systems are examined in terms of their economic efficiency and compared with one another. The diversity of species in terms of the number and frequency of selected groups of insects on the various areas is compared with conventional agriculture. With WASYS, the association also wants to make the forest garden management system better known together with various cooperation partners. Educational trails, workshops and other educational offers are intended to provide information about forest gardens and encourage imitation. The offer is aimed primarily at agricultural businesses and producers, who can thus get to know the possibilities for economic use and the transformation into a diverse agricultural landscape.

The federal program for biological diversity The implementation of the national strategy for biological diversity (NBS) has been supported by the federal program for biological diversity since 2011. Funding will be given to projects that are representative of the state as a whole within the framework of the NBS or that implement this strategy in a particularly exemplary manner. The funded measures help stop the decline in biological diversity in Germany and turn it into a positive trend in the medium to long term. They serve the protection and sustainable use as well as the development of biological diversity and go beyond the legally required standards. Acceptance-building measures for information and communication help to increase social awareness of biological diversity.

14.10.2020 | Press release No. 180/20 | Conservation / biological diversity Joint press release with the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation

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