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Journal Articles Open Research Europe Year : 2023

Development of agroecology in Austria and Germany [version 1; peer review: 2 approved]


Background: Transforming food systems is necessary to address the global issues of severe biodiversity loss, hunger, and malnutrition as well as the consequences of the rapidly advancing climate change. Agroecology as a systemic approach has been recognised as a promising path of change exemplified in various case studies strengthening this transformation. The aim of this study is to get insight specifically for Austria and Germany in providing an overview of the advancement in agroecology in both countries and identify agroecology-related initiatives. Methods: 21 interviews with experts were conducted to determine the recognition, understanding, and development of agroecology in Austria and Germany in terms of movement, practice, policies, education, and research. In addition, information about agroecology-related initiatives was collected from interviews with 24 representatives of initiatives and literature analysis. Data was analysed according to five activity categories under which agroecology manifest: movement, practice, living lab, science and research infrastructure, and training and education. Results: Results show that the term agroecology is not commonly used in Austria and Germany, where the concept is mainly associated to a scientific discipline. Practices considered agroecological are implemented primarily through organic agriculture, which is very developed in Austria and to a lesser extent in Germany. Many networks, food policy councils, associations, and scientific projects related to agroecology exist, each with specific purposes and ambitions to change farming and food systems. While most selected initiatives do not explicitly refer to agroecology, all follow certain agroecological principles and aim at contributing to accelerate the agroecological transition. Conclusions: Clarifying the concept of agroecology, overcoming economic and political barriers as well as fostering participation of a multitude of stakeholders in the transition is essential for the future development of agroecology in Austria and Germany.
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hal-04119205 , version 1 (06-06-2023)





Anna Brumer, Alexander Wezel, Jens Dauber, Tor Arvid Breland, Baptiste Grard. Development of agroecology in Austria and Germany [version 1; peer review: 2 approved]. Open Research Europe, 2023, 3 (25), pp.1-20. ⟨10.12688/openreseurope.15431.1⟩. ⟨hal-04119205⟩
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