In a presentation at The James Hutton Institute Simone Martino raises the importance of participatory methods and discusses enabling transition paths to leverage biodiversity whilst mitigating agronomic and economic risks.
The aim of the poster presentation was to introduce the importance of participatory methods and discuss how the governance of several farmer clusters in Europe, a non-statutory institution, can enable the transition paths to conserve biodiversity whilst also mitigating any potential agronomic or economic risks.
The discussion on the structure of the farmer cluster mediated by the participative mapping of the socio-ecological network where farmers and other stakeholders of the supply chain operate allows the research team to depict the structures and connections of key players along with the exploration of impacts, dependencies on natural capital and relations between other forms of capital (such as human and social).
This qualitative analysis can be integrated with a more traditional quantitative accounting approach to commensurate the input used, and outputs generated, in the farms, and to measure the habitat extent and conditions (quality) and effects on biodiversity. Indication on landscape characteristics (e.g., fragmentation of habitats, patches connectivity) can be useful to address statistical approaches with the natural capital assets such as soil, water, biodiversity to explore any relations.
This integrated approach to profile the natural capital assets of farmer clusters, in phase of evolution and currently addressing the analysis of the socio-ecological network, has received favourable support by the farmers who have participated in the first workshop carried out in January at the AONB Cranborne Chase (Dorset, UK), with the goal to better understand and delineate the strengths and the weaknesses of the current farmer cluster governance towards the support of biodiversity and possibly the generation of wellbeing to the rural community.
This approach, that will be replicated in different clusters of Europe, will provide ideas to be shared among farmers, and farmers researchers and practitioners in conservation, emphasizing strengths and weakness of the farming management in place, and will serve as a bridge to put in connection initiatives and discuss success in biodiversity management.