In March 2023, the European project called ConservES started. This 3-year project aims to encourage collaboration between different actors from agriculture, economy, science, politics and the general public in order to carry out beneficial actions for biodiversity and in particular the reception of pollinating insects in crops.
In each participating country will be established a Living Lab to integrate those actor groups in the research and innovation process. In 3 of 5 major regions the first step has been done - In France, Czech Republic and Germany the first workshop of the Living Lab in the ConservES project
In 3 of 5 major research regions the first step has been done - the first workshop of the Living Lab was held in France (Rennes), Czech Republic (Dolní Újezd) and Germany (Würzburg).
The aim of the workshop was to inform the participants about the project, to highlight the benefits of flowering strips and to find farmers who want to be part of the project.
For France the first workshop took place on the 12th of April in Britanny. During a two and a half hour of meeting, the 13 participants have learnt about flowering strips and exchanged about the ways to find some experimental plots by making sure that the flowering strips will not take too much place in the fields and reduce the yield.
Coming from different cities nearby Rennes, the participants came from various sectors. There were a few farmers, scientists, politicians and citizens. Farmers and scientists discussed their impressions of biodiversity loss - although scientific studies show biodiversity loss, participating farmers do not have this impression in their fields. The ConservEs project can contribute to recognize the need to protect biodiversity.
The participants and the organizers decided that the Bioblitz will take place on the 2nd of June and one of the farmer present offered a field to welcome this event.
The first workshop in the Czech Republic took place on 14th April. In total the 26 participants, including representatives from agriculture, hunting associations and beekeepers, as well as agricultural students, and 4 speakers of the ConservES project discussed about methodological issues of flowering strips, for example the duration they stay in the fields (6 years), and how to increase biodiversity without losing yield. Another point of discussion was the farmer´s interaction with the general public and local residents who feel disturbed by the flowering strips, because they have more insects in their pools.
The core group is still searching for participants from NGO’s as well as from governmental institutions.
The Czech Living Lab will meet again on 27.5.2023 in Dolní Újezd for the BioBlitz. Everyone who wants to participate is welcome, no previous knowledge necessary. The aim is to monitor everything living around, to identify as many species as possible with the help of experts from VURV and all participating people.
In Germany, nearly 20 participants from business, science, environmental associations and agriculture discussed the project, the experimental setup in the demonstration farms and the BioBlitz (a Biodiversity inventories).
Some of the major points that were discussed are the agricultural policy framework and the potential impact on the size and establishment of the flowering strips as well as the mix of flowers that has to be adapted to local conditions and climates. In addition, the potential barriers to implementing the field trials were discussed, as well as the species to be studied.
The German Living Lab will next meet on June 17-18 for the BioBlitz.
DLG Research and Innovation