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German Association for Landcare (DVL)
The German Association for Landcare (DVL) is the umbrella organization of at the moment 155 Landcare Associations (LCA) in Germany. These regional non-governmental associations link nature conservation groups with local farmers and local communities. The often opposing interest groups work together in LCAs voluntarily to care for the cultural landscape and traditional farming systems which have created Germany´s landscape for centuries. The cultivation of land has led to diverse landscapes with mountain-meadows, poor soil pastures, hedgerows and orchards. By pooling interests and local forces LCAs implement integrated and sustainable land management practices in many rural areas in Germany to protect the adopted flora and fauna and to support sustainable development
Local Landcare Associations (LCA)
Local Landcare coordinators in LCAs develop projects for specific landscape types including scientific measures, financial calculations and the implementation of agri-environment schemes. They apply for available funds on the state-level and supervise the implementation of activities, mostly done by local farmers, as well as monitor the project outcome. The basis for successful projects is the close cooperation with farmers, local communities, conservation groups and government authorities. All LCAs in Germany work together with 20 000 farmers, half of Germany´s communities and have a turnover of 20 Mio €/year for practical projects on the ground. Project coordinators also include the combination of traditional knowledge and new scientific results to foster farming practices which improve a sustainable income to farmers and conserve the diverse mosaic of landscapes including its services.
As part of this engagement the LCAs also initiate regional development by bringing together regional stakeholders in rural areas. This helps farmers to market their quality products like apple juice or lamb meat. Those products can also be called “nature-conservation-products” because they were produced in an environment friendly and sustainable system. Once started with regional marketing an increasing cash-flow within the local market can be observed.
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