Flowering Farmland Competitions in Europe: History, facts and potential interactions with agri-environmental measures
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Flowering Farmland Competitions (FFLCs) are becoming more and more prominent, especially in Europe. By conducting a survey among organisers and by searching the internet we are able to give a historical and spatial overview and to analyse their potential to promote sustainable farm management in combination with Agri-Environmental Measures (AEMs). The number of competitions held amounts to more than 300 in a time span of 15 years. In every case, they have been intended to raise awareness of biodiversity in agriculture and to promote co-existence or even symbiosis between good agricultural practices and nature conservation. They are usually organised by public administrative bodies and NGOs from the field of nature conservation, as well as those from the field of agriculture. The money spent on FFLCs is moderate and usually ranges between 5000 and 90,000 Euros per competition. FFLCs gain broad attention amongst the public, both with farmers and with people not involved in agriculture, and are therefore well-suited to raising awareness and supporting Agri-Environmental Measures. FFLCs are of course no substitute for AEMs since they do not offer substantial financial help to ameliorate the shortcomings of extensive agricultural practice, but they can be an effective measure for improving the acceptance of biodiversity-friendly and sustainable management.
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