2023-02-07Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.3390/su15043030
Fostering the Implementation of Nature Conservation Measures in Agricultural Landscapes: The NatApp
Large-scale, high-input, and intensified agriculture poses threats to sustainable agroecosystems and their inherent biodiversity. The EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) covers a great number of nature conservation programs (Agri-Environment and Climate Measures, AECM) aiming to encourage sustainable agriculture. Currently, farmers are not encouraged to broadly implement these measures due to the lack of structured information, overly complicated and unclear application procedures, and a high risk of sanctions. In addition, the current structures are associated with time-consuming monitoring and control procedures for the paying agencies. Digital technologies can offer valuable assistance to circumvent relevant barriers and limitations and support a broader uptake of AECM. NatApp is a digital tool that supports and guides farmers through the complete process of choosing, applying, implementing, and documenting AECM on their fields in accordance with legal requirements in Germany. We introduce the concept of NatApp and analyze how it can simplify and encourage the uptake and implementation of AECM. This study identifies its unique features for the provision of information and documentation opportunities compared with other digital farming tools focused on sustainable agriculture and outline how it can support farmers to actively contribute to more sustainable agriculture.
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