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Germany tests an app to effectively and practically integrate nature conservation measures in agriculture

The project, coordinated by the Leibniz Center for Agricultural Landscape Research and the pilot project financed by the German agricultural pension bank, involves DBV, the Harz University of Applied Sciences, and the Thünen Institute.

3/18/2021

Use of 'Natapp' by a German farmer participating in the pilot test.

How can nature conservation measures be effectively and practically integrated into agricultural practice?

A new app is currently under development that will help German farms in implementing nature conservation measures and at the same time reduce red tape for farmers and authorities. In the project phase that has just started, the German agricultural sector is field testing a "NatApp" prototype in close cooperation with the German Farmers' Association (DBV).

The Nature Conservation App ("NatApp") is intended to provide agricultural businesses with a tool that will significantly simplify the application, implementation and documentation of nature conservation measures. The app provides information on financing options, among other things, and makes it easy to create space with the help of a built-in GPS tool. A timeline, reminders, and warning messages help companies meet processing periods, area sizes, and other management obligations, and reduce the risk of penalties. With the application documentation tool, companies independently document the implementation of measures. The application is intended to assist farmers and agricultural administrations in the implementation and administration of nature conservation measures in accordance with the ordinance.

NatApp in a practical test

The application is being tested for handling and practical suitability on a total of 20 pilot farms in Bavaria, Brandenburg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Thuringia, coordinated by the Leibniz Center for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) and the DBV. The Thünen Institute is investigating the extent to which the use of the app simplifies the administrative processing of nature conservation measures for the authorities. A ready-to-use trial version of NatApp should be available within the year. The development of the prototype is supported by the Harz University of Applied Sciences. In the long term, the NatApp should be available as a voluntary offer to farmers in all federal states and integrated into the responsible authorities. Furthermore, the NatApp is being developed in such a way that various financial instruments are better supported by nature conservation measures through their use.

The project, coordinated by the Leibniz Center for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), involves the German Farmers' Association, the Harz University of Applied Sciences, and the Thünen Institute. The implementation of the NatApp pilot phase in agricultural and administrative practice is financed by the German agricultural pension bank.


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