ECO²SCAPE Co-Design ökologisch und ökonomisch effizienter Politikinstrumente und Maßnahmen zur Erhaltung von Biodiversität und Ökosystemleistungen in Kulturlandschaften.

Förderkennzeichen 16LW0079K | Laufzeit 01.10.2021 – 30.09.2024 | Projektleitung Prof. Dr. Anna Cord



The aim of ECO²SCAPE is to generate the necessary system and action knowledge to maintain and enhance the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services in cultural landscapes. The research is based on the concept of multifunctionality of landscapes, in which perspectives and preferences regarding biodiversity and ecosystem services of different stakeholders are considered and integrated. In an interdisciplinary research approach, ECO²SCAPE further develops current methods from the fields of agricultural sociology, political science, ecoacoustics, machine learning, landscape ecology, environmental economics and ecological-economic optimization and links them in an innovative way. ECO²SCAPE thus develops practice-relevant approaches and policy recommendations for the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services (especially result-based and cooperative reward) and brings them to pilot implementation. This is done by considering ecological, economic and social frameworks and governance structures in the development of measures and policy instruments, e.g. in the context of acceptance measurement. At the same time, it is investigated in which local governance structures measures – also outside of policy instruments – can be initiated and implemented in the model region in the future.

By and large

One focus of the project is the coordinated development of measures that work together at the landscape level and thus have a greater impact on biodiversity than measures taken by individual farms. To implement such measures, farmers must cooperate and establish biotope networks. Examples of cooperative measures are contiguous green strips or the joint maintenance or creation of hedges.

Overview of the work packages

Project structure

In a co-design process, practical measures for the conservation of biodiversity are developed and implemented on a pilot basis together with farmers in the model region, taking into account regional biodiversity goals and guiding principles.

Existing policy instruments and governance structures will be analyzed in terms of their potential to support result-based and collaborative policies in order to derive target group-oriented policy recommendations for an innovative policy mix.

The values and role perceptions of different stakeholders will be analyzed to gain a comprehensive understanding of how biodiversity and ecosystem services are valued.

A deep learning model for automatic bird call identification is developed.

Spatial models of biodiversity and ecosystem services are used to determine the effectiveness of landscape-level interventions.

The costs of the measures, as well as “value-based” cost factors, are identified to further develop result-based and collaborative measures.

Ecological-economic models will be used to optimize the allocation of measures and to develop a software-based planning tool for the model region. Transferable optimization software for cooperative reward analysis will be developed.

Coordination and management includes the internal project structure and networking with other projects and partners.

All findings and results of the project will be communicated and consolidated beyond the model region. The transferability of the developed measures and methods will be tested in three cooperating biosphere reserves.

En Detail

Our goals


and implementation of practical measures for the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services, taking into account regional biodiversity targets and guiding principles

In a co-design process with the stakeholders of the model region, measures for the conservation of biodiversity and the protection of ecosystem services are developed, which are implemented on agricultural land by the farms participating in the project. These measures will be specifically tailored to the ecological and socio-economic conditions in the model region. The concrete design will take into account regional biodiversity objectives and normative guiding principles for the model region, as well as the costs and challenges faced by farmers and will be developed together with stakeholders from civil society. It is embedded in policy instruments (results-based and cooperative remuneration) and governance structures.

Transparency and participation

regarding conservation measures for biodiversity and ecosystem services shall be increased by investigating social acceptance

With the help of interviews as well as ethnographic methods and empirical social research (e.g. transect walks, analysis of social networks, survey of civil society), important factors for the acceptance of measures and policy instruments as well as societal values regarding biodiversity and ecosystem services in the model region will be collected. On this basis, tailor-made concepts and formats (including local events, workshops, day excursions, educational modules "Agriculture and Biodiversity") for educational and public relations work within and outside the model region will be developed and implemented to promote the appreciation of biodiversity and ecosystem services in society.

Spatial analyses

of suitable areas and modeling of the expected ecological effects of measures in the landscape context of the model region

The ecological effects of current and potential measures for the protection of biodiversity (birds, plants, grasshoppers, bats) and ecosystem services (carbon storage, water purification) will be assessed in the landscape context, i.e. taking into account environmental gradients, land use, landscape structure (composition and design), in order to identify particularly suitable measures and their spatial distribution in the landscape. Spatially explicit results of the accompanying sociological research (transect walks with farmers), third party data (e.g. Central Species Database of the LfULG) and datasets collected in the project (e.g. breeding bird mapping) will be used for the modeling to more accurately predict habitat suitability for the selected indicator species.

Derivation of factors

 for best possible transference

While the measures are developed, implemented and scientifically accompanied in the context of the model region, ECO²SCAPE is also dedicated to the transferability of the instruments, measures and concepts developed in the project. The aim is to analyze the factors, adaptation options and barriers for successful transferability. This includes the analysis of individual and connecting factors of spatial and societal/demographic structures, regional funding frameworks, governance structures, operational structures and values of civil society actors. Selected results will be tested for transferability with the administrations of the cooperating biosphere reserves.

New technologies

for acoustic biodiversity monitoring will be tested and developed further

Based on ecoacoustic recordings in the model region, new machine learning methods will be developed for the detection of bird species in the agricultural landscape. Low-cost devices (AudioMoth model) with long battery life and large storage capacity will be used to record the audio data, which can also be used to record grasshoppers and bats in the project. Ecoacoustic monitoring results will be compared and linked with independent mapping and with model results. In the long term, farmers and conservationists will use this innovative technology to obtain information on the effectiveness of bird conservation measures. In ECO²SCAPE, concepts for result-based compensation incorporating monitoring results will be tested.

Translated with (free version)

Optimization of measures & policy instruments

by means of economic-ecological models and a software-based planning tool

Ecological-economic models will be developed that integrate results from cost calculations, eco-acoustic monitoring and landscape ecological models and take into account farmers' values. These models will be used to (i) investigate how cooperative payments can be made economically efficient in a real landscape, (ii) develop optimization software using the model region as an example (but transferable in principle), which will allow the efficiency of result-based and measure-based payments to be compared, and (iii) develop, together with the LPV, a software-based planning tool adapted to the specific needs of the region, which will allow the cost-effective optimization of landscape-level measures in terms of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Innovative policymix

by integrating biodiversity enhancing measures into policy instruments and governance structures

Based on the measures developed, an innovative policy mix will be designed. The focus is on integrating result-based and cooperative rewards into existing policy instruments at the state level. In addition to economic instruments, regulatory (especially technical law) and informational (consulting and information services) instruments will be considered. Furthermore, it will be investigated which governance and incentive structures are necessary so that measures can be developed and implemented independently by different actors (e.g. nature conservation associations, local groups, educational institutions) in the future. In addition to decision-makers and farmers, private and local financiers as well as potential "funding agencies" from civil society (foundations, associations, companies) will be included, who can develop and implement measures in the sense of bottom-up processes in the future.

This is what we do

Model region & measures

Model region

The model region is located in North Saxony, is part of the nature region “Sächsisch-Niederlausitzer Heideland” and belongs to the field of action “Altkreis Delitzscher Land” of the practice partner LPV. The region is characterized by intensive but also diverse land use, contains designated biologically unique protected areas and is representative for many cultural landscapes in Germany.

Target indicators

  • Birds
  • Flowering weed species
  • Bats
  • Grashoppers
  • other plant species


ECO²SCAPE will develop measures for the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services together with farmers and other stakeholders on the basis of regional biodiversity targets and guiding principles (co-design), pilot these measures and accompany them scientifically with an innovative and systemic research approach. Selected existing measures on arable land and grassland will be redesigned in such a way that they meet with the broadest possible acceptance among relevant stakeholders and in civil society and are efficient from an ecological and economic perspective. This includes, for example, management methods in the field of extensive cereal cultivation (reduced crop density in the field, reduced tillage, flowering catch crops and undersowing), protective strips (flower strips, fallow strips, green strips) or extensive grassland use (rest during the breeding season, extensive grazing). An important element in the development of the measures will be the design of result-based reward approaches and cooperative measures.

What have we found out?


Here you can find and access (follow links in bold) our project results updated on a continuous basis. 

Consortium & Advisory Board

About us

The transdisciplinary ECO²SCAPE consortium consists of two universities (TU Dresden, BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg), one non-university research institution (Leibniz-Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research e.V.) and two practice partners (Landschaftspflegeverband Nordwestsachsen e.V., Nationale Naturlandschaften Deutschland e.V.) and combines expertise from the fields of agricultural sociology, political science, ecoacoustics, machine learning, landscape ecology, environmental economics and ecological-economic optimization.

More information about our chair can be found on the homepage.

Stay up to date

News & Events

FEdA Conference in Frankfurt

On May 9 and 10, 2023, the FEdA conference “How do we get into transformation?” took place in Frankfurt/Main. Representatives of the chair actively participated:

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Leave us a message


Head of the Chair

Prof. Dr. Anna Cord

Tel: +49 351 463-33260


Dr. Lisanne Hölting

Tel.: +49 351 463-34603


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ECO²SCAPE Co-Design ökologisch und ökonomisch effizienter Politikinstrumente und Maßnahmen zur Erhaltung von Biodiversität und Ökosystemleistungen in Kulturlandschaften.

Förderkennzeichen 16LW0079K | Laufzeit 01.10.2021 – 30.09.2024 | Projektleitung Prof. Dr. Anna Cord