F.R.A.N.Z. (Future Resources, Agriculture & Nature Conservation)

F.R.A.N.Z. (Future Resources, Agriculture & Nature Conservation) is a demonstration and dialogue project aiming to better integrate nature conservation into conventional farming practice in Germany. Starting in 2017, the project is intended to run for ten years and provide long-term insights into trends in farmland conservation.

Within the project, scientists, conservation advisors and farmers have developed a suite of biodiversity measures that are implemented on ten demonstration farms across Germany. Alongside tried and tested measures such as flower strips, the participating farmers have also experimented with less well-established measures such as farmland bird strips in maize. The ecological, sociological and economic impacts of these measures are monitored by a team of scientists from the Michael Otto Institute of the NABU, the Thünen Institutes of Rural Studies, of Farm Economics, and of Biodiversity, as well as the Georg-August University of Göttingen.

The team at the Conservation Biology and Plant Ecology and Ecosystems Research (Prof. Christoph Leuschner) departments of the University of Göttingen are monitoring developments on the demonstration farms in butterfly, plant and soil biological diversity, as well as the ecosystem services biological pest control and pollination of wild arable plants. A further focus of the team is the synthesis of the long-term monitoring data from multiple organism groups.

The F.R.A.N.Z. project is jointly coordinated by the Environmental Foundation Michael Otto and the German Farmers' Association. The ten participating farmers are additionally advised by regional farmers' associations and cultural landscape foundations. The project funding is provided by the Rentenbank with special support from the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food as well as by the Federal Agency for Nature Conversation with funds of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conversation, Building and Nuclear Safety. The Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Environment are patrons of the project.

Involved researchers: Naema Schlagowski (coordination), Nathalie Rodenwald, Laura Sutcliffe