Eva Øvren

Senior Adviser

(+47) 902 89 619
eva.ovren@nibio.no

Place
Oslo

Visiting address
Storgata 2-4-6, 0155 Oslo

Abstract

Protected Landscapes (PLs) are increasingly used in Norway to conserve cultural (human modified) landscapes. In many cases the maintenance of agricultural activities in PLs is required to preserve landscape character. Whilst research exists on land conservation policies in general, the particular effects of PL on management and adjustment of the farms involved have not received attention in the literature. We present results from a questionnaire sent to owners of agricultural land within PLs in Norway. Whilst landowners were divided upon the effects of PLs on farm management, the economic situation of the farm was little affected. Furthermore, changes in farm management after the establishment of a PL did not seem to have been driven by the establishment of the PLs per se. Most importantly, farm management changes were related to potential options to develop the farm and its land. A statistical model showed that PL-farms did not differ significantly from farms outside PL in the development of their land use or animal husbandry. Our findings thus indicate that the establishment of PL played a minor role as a driving force of changes in farm management and farm income.

Abstract

Protected Landscapes (PLs) are increasingly used in Norway to conserve cultural (human modified) landscapes. In many cases the maintenance of agricultural activities in PLs is required to preserve landscape character. Whilst research exists on land conservation policies in general, the particular effects of PL on management and adjustment of the farms involved have not received attention in the literature. We present results from a questionnaire sent to owners of agricultural land within PLs in Norway. Whilst landowners were divided upon the effects of PLs on farm management, the economic situation of the farm was little affected. Furthermore, changes in farm management after the establishment of a PL did not seem to have been driven by the establishment of the PLs per se. Most importantly, farm management changes were related to potential options to develop the farm and its land. A statistical model showed that PL-farms did not differ significantly from farms outside PL in the development of their land use or animal husbandry. Our findings thus indicate that the establishment of PL played a minor role as a driving force of changes in farm management and farm income.

Abstract

Achieving multifunctionality on a parcel of land, or in a landscape as a whole, requires a delicate balance between the different functions. This is particularly so when one of the desired functions is agricultural production. This paper examines the special challenges involved when cultural landscapes are protected by law. Norwegian `Landscape Protection Areas` are intended to preserve the landscape character of special landscapes. Ideally these landscapes should preserve ecological functions, whilst at the same time allowing for recreation and tourism, and the economic returns to ensure continued use of the landscape in the future. Balancing these functions is fraught with difficulties. The former agricultural systems that shaped these cultural landscapes may no longer be viable from the perspective of food production, and biodiversity is notoriously bad at paying for itself. Are the farmers that own the land willing to take on new roles as landscape managers rather than food producers? And who will pay for this? We present results of a questionnaire to farmers that own or manage farmland in Landscape Protection Areas. Of the 893 respondents, almost a quarter claimed that their farm business had been negatively affected by landscape protection. Niche products or alternative income possibilities had not been realised. We found a generally negative attitude towards municipal authorities and 24 % of respondents were strongly against the establishment of new Landscape Protection Areas, even if the State paid compensation for their economic loss. Based on results of the study we suggest that major improvements to the protection system could be made simply by improving communication between management authorities and farmers and involving farmers in making management plans.