The land-use types characterising the Alpine landscape in the future, however, will also depend on the support policies for agriculture and forestry. In order to develop realistic future scenarios, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Alexander Cernusca (Department of Ecology, University of Innsbruck) and Dr. Neil Bayfield (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Scotland) invited local and regional stakeholders to a workshop this week. The list of guests invited to take part reached from landowners to experts in tourism, administration, agriculture and forestry. Together they would discuss the impact of different approaches in subsidy policy on agriculture in mountain landscapes. The main issue was the future relevance of agriculture, forestry, settlements and conservation areas, according to subsidies being directed mainly at agricultural production, land management or rural development in general.
Soon the experts agreed on many topics, while in other cases they reached a consensus after some discussion. In case of agricultural production or land management being subsidised, the stakeholders forecasted a decrease in area used for agricultural purposes. On the other hand settlements, tourist infrastructure, abandoned land and forest would increase in area. A rural development policy scenario, which according to the stakeholders would lead to variety in land use, was mainly assessed positively.
The forecasts will be used for research within the CARBOMONT project. The outcome of this project is then again to be discussed with the stakeholders. Both science and practice are to benefit from this dialogue in the future.
A whole range of high level experts accepted the invitation (from left to right): Daniela Soier, Sascha Scharfs (Dept. of Ecology, University of Innsbruck), Neil Bayfield (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Scotland), Alexander Cernusca (Dept. of Ecology, University of Innsbruck), Peter Höller (Federal Forest Agency and Research Centre, Institute of Torrent and Avalanche Reseach), Sigbert Riccabona (Tyrolean Counsel for Environmental Affairs), Matthias Drösler (Dept. of Plant Ecology, University of Bayreuth), Ulrike Tappeiner (Dept. of Ecology, University of Innsbruck), Richard Dietrich (Austrian Association of Research on Agriculture), Richard Norz (Tyrolean Chamber of Agriculture), Erich Tasser (Area of Alpine Environment, European Academy Bozen/Bolzano), Gudrun Wallentin ("Zillertaler Hauptkamm" High Mountain Natural Park), Bernd Stampfer (Dept. of Industrial Law, Tyrolean Government), Dieter Stöhr (Tyrolean Forestry Authority), Johann Pfurtscheller (farmer and landowner at Kaserstattalm, Neustift im Stubaital) and Johann Jenewein (Dept. of Agriculture, Tyrolean Government).