AlpFUTUR – an inter- and transdisciplinary research programme on the future of summer pastures in Switzerland
Felix Herzog1, Rosa Böni2, Stefan Lauber2, Irmi Seidl2
1 Agricultural landscapes and biodiversity, Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon ART
B3.O-1 in Multifunctionality of agricultural landscapes: the ecological perspective
16.09.2009, 09:30-09:45, H17, NWII
Alpine summer pastures are a distinctive feature of the cultural landscape of many European countries. In Switzerland, they make up about one third of the agriculturally used land. Available data indicate that land use continues to develop in two contrasting ways, with both intensification and either extensification or abandonment.
To address the question of further management of Alpine pastures, we conceived the inter- and transdisciplinary research programme AlpFUTUR. AlpFUTUR consists of 18 coordinated research projects which investigate:
- the role of summer pasturing, herding systems and management intensity in preserving cultural landscapes and biodiversity whilst producing high-quality fodder;
- the effects of climate change on the future feasibility of summer pasturing, on biodiversity values and on natural hazards;
- the profitability of summer pasturing in the context of mountain farming, depending on the size of summer farms, productivity and (novel) products and production innovation;
- the effectiveness of policies and the importance of the regional economic context for the future feasibility of summer farming;
- the demands of society at large and requirements of the local population including herders. AlpFUTUR will address those questions with a scientific approach.
We have the ambition to finish the project in 2013 with a set of practical recommendations useful for policy makers, mountain farmers and NGOs.