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Nature conservation and restoration in Frisian agriculture

Montfoort, J. van (2020) Nature conservation and restoration in Frisian agriculture.

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Abstract:Attention for nature conservation and restoration in the Netherlands is growing. Simultaneously, a polarization between farmers and society is witnessed, in which the agricultural sector is often mentioned as the sector responsible for the decline of biodiversity for the sake of intensive food production. Targets on a European and national level are set towards 2027 in order to strengthen the network of nature in the Netherlands. The process is stagnating and it is questionable if the targets will be achieved. This research aims to contribute to the existing theories on the necessary transitions of the agricultural sector in light of nature conservation and restoration by creating scenarios based on specification of existing theory to current governmental policies towards 2027 and practices in the case of the Hegewarren area, Friesland. The Hegewarren, an agricultural polder in a peatland area, is selected as a source of drawing information using interviews of involved stakeholders. Data collection is done through research and elaboration on existing policies which are subsequently evaluated using the Governance Assessment Tool. Furthermore, interviews with stakeholders from the case were held of which the results are conceptualized using open, axial and selective coding. The results of the analysis contribute to the specification of four dimensions of motivation, ability, demand and legitimacy that were found in literature on conditional factors for farmers to participate in nature conservation and restoration measures. Highlighted findings include a noticeable absence of important actors in policy strategies and measures, an overall unsupportive governance context based on policy evaluation and the concept of a locked-in position of farmers in relation to societal and institutional demand. Furthermore, scenarios based on business as usual and based on a desired outcome towards 2027 and beyond predict that targets are unlikely to be achieved without substantial changes in supportive systems for farmers to participate in nature conservation and restoration measures. Future research is suggested to focus on validating the perceived locked-in position of farmers using a more diverse target group and interview questions more aimed at specification of the formerly mentioned four dimensions.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:43 environmental science, 48 agricultural science, 88 social and public administration
Programme:Environmental and Energy Management MSc (69319)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/83105
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