Agricultural Biodiversity: Divergent Scientific And Practical Perceptions

As we know that there are several negative impacts of agriculture on the global ecosystem. Therefore, it is very important to minimize these impacts to conserve natural ecosystems and global agricultural biodiversity.

In this article, we will discuss several perceptions according to a recent survey by European scientists of local agriculturists and farmers about the adaptation to scientific results and recommended agricultural practices.

A recent survey was conducted by European scientists, with 209 farmers and 98 environmentalist participants about the agricultural biodiversity in Germany and Austria.

In this survey, the major question of focus was “How the farmers and environmentalists of Germany and Austria perceive agricultural biodiversity and its management.”

In his response to cumulative results the lead researcher from the University of Vienna, Bea Maas said that the farmers and environmentalists have very different perceptions about the ecosystem, biodiversity, and its management. Furthermore, the final results have revealed that for comprehensive action on ecosystem and biodiversity management, cross-disciplinary collaboration is the major need of the hour.

Further analysis of the integrated trans-disciplinary survey has revealed that scientists have given much importance to biodiversity, agri-environmental, and conservation management programs. They believe that to improve agricultural production, sustainability, and ecological resilience these agri-environmental programs are of great importance for farmers.

“Scientists have also explained that it will be more beneficial to value scientific information while making agricultural decisions instead of farmer and government valued information sources,” says Anett Richter, co-author from Thunen Institute.

“The survey also revealed that female and highly educated farmers or organic farm owners specifically emphasized the practical adaptation of conservation practices to protect agricultural biodiversity,” he said.

Yvonne Fabian, co-author from Agroscope Switzerland, also added that this survey has revealed that these perspective differences among farmers and scientists are because of crucial knowledge and communication gaps present between agricultural and scientific communities. This gap is the major reason behind the lack of interest and limited adaptation to agricultural biodiversity conservation practices.

In her concluding remarks, co-author from Columbia University, Sara Kross has said that our findings can be very helpful to overcome the key challenges while establishing transdisciplinary collaboration between agriculturists, environmentalists, and scientific practices.

Furthermore, the researchers have also provided some specific recommendations to establish a trans-disciplinary collaboration to effectively share scientific knowledge and agricultural experiences to effectively adapt agricultural biodiversity conservation practices.

  1. Ensure easy access to scientific information to agriculture practitioners by organizing education programs for farmers.
  2. Enhance targeted approach to agricultural research and practice by integrating perspectives of all stakeholders.
  3. Support oriented integrated collaboration between scientific and practical knowledge by developing transdisciplinary communication.
  4. Promotion of political and communal partnership at the highest level to ensure an integrated approach centered on the development of a sustainable agricultural environment.

Reference: DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2021.109065

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