Agroscope, Institute for Plant Production Sciences IPS, 1260 Nyon, Switzerland

Evaluation of the impact of ecological measures in Swiss agriculture on biodiversity Evaluation of effects of ecological measures

“According to the Swiss Federal law on Agriculture (article 316), ecological subsidies”” are paid to farmers only if they respect special ecological rules on their farms. One of the major objectives of ecological measures is the conservation and increase of biodiversity in agricultural landscape. Five to seven percent of the land of each farm in Switzerland must be set aside for ecological compensation. By ordinance, the Swiss Federal Office of Agriculture (SFOA) is responsible for assessing the effects of ecological measures in agriculture on environmental indicators. One of these is biodiversity. The SFOA has entrusted the Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture (FAL) with two long term projects lasting both 10 years. The objective of the projects is to assess the effects of ecological measures (imposed to the Swiss farmers by law since 1993) on biodiversity in agricultural landscape. The paper describes the concepts of the two projects which started in 1996 and it presents the ongoing investigations.”

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