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Scenarios on land sharing and land sparing in five European case studies

5 case studies in Europe, who followed the same scenario appraoch.
The Mostviertel in Austria (3359 km²), the Broye catchment in Switzerland (635 km²), Middle Mulde river basin in Germany (1624 km²), the Kromme Rijn in the Netherlands (219 km²) and the Cega-Eresma Adaja basin in Spain (7854 km²). All regions are characterized by agricultural land use but they are diverse with respect to size, climate, ecosystem services and biodiversity.

The scenario development was part of the research project TALE, which was funded through the 2013-14 Biodiversa/FACCE-JPI joint call for research proposals. The overarching goal was to develop participatory scenarios for land sharing and land sparing in each region, which are comparable with each other. To this end, we developed and followed a common scenario protocol and applied a hierarchical multi-scale scenario approach. In each case study, local stakeholders were involved in the scenario development.

The process evaluation after the case study workshops show that the majority of the participants regarded the workshops as useful for their daily work. More than 85% of stakeholders reported that they were satisfied after the scenario development in each case study. The reasons mentioned for the usefulness were mainly new information
(e.g. on the case study region) and the networking opportunity. Processes like these allow stakeholders to abstract from their daily businesses and to turn to more strategic thinking. From the researchers’
perspective, stakeholders provided very useful information for models and overall knowledge about the study area and learnt themselves about facts and issues related to ongoing land use dynamics.
To summarize, the specific design of the participatory scenario
process led to vivid discussions on the land sparing/land sharing approach, created common visions, coproduced knowledge, and fostered information exchange between different stakeholders.

The scenarios were made in:


The scenarios look out to:


Project facts


Middle Mulde river basin in Germany, Mostviertel in Austria, Broye catchment in Switzerland, Kromme Rijn in the Netherlands, Cega-Eresma Adaja basin in Spain


Submitted by:

Katrin Karner

Project member

January 21, 2021

How to cite this page:

Katrin Karner

Scenarios on land sharing and land sparing in five European case studies



Karner, K. et al. 2019. Developing stakeholder-driven scenarios on land sharing and land sparing – Insights from five European case studies, Journal of Environmental Management 241, 488-500

Hagemann, N. et al. 2020. Bringing the sharing-sparing debate down to the ground—Lessons learnt for participatory scenario development, Land Use Policy 91, 104262

Project images

UTAS_Future Seas_Logo_1.jpg

Martin Volk




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