Biodiversity checks and action plans
What is a Biodiversity Check-Agricola?
The Biodiversity Check Agricola provides the foundation for a structured dialogue with producers. The check can be applied to both, large and small plantations. For cooperatives, there is a convoi version with which several smallholders can be involved at once.
The BCA analyses the direct and indirect impacts of a farm on biodiversity and uncovers further connections. At the same time, it is a process to raise awareness of the issue among producers. The BCA is voluntary, flexible and confidential and suitable for any crop. The BCA process has seven well-defined steps that aim to implement a biodiversity action plan.
What are the objectives of the Biodiversity Check-Agricola? The BCA process
- raises awareness of the importance of ecosystem services and biodiversity in the production process
- contributes to sustainable production
- enables the integration of biodiversity into the management of a farm and therefore the sustainability reporting
- supports preparation for climate change impacts
- shows opportunities for marketing by communicating the issue to customers and business partners
- helps protect biodiversity itself: Habitats, endangered species, protected areas and genetic diversity, including in agriculture.
Only in the framework of the Del Campo al Plato project, BCAs have already been carried out in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic on more than 40 farms with a total area of 12,500 ha. In total, the check has already been carried out on 66 farms since its development in 2018, and 35 farms are implementing a Biodiversity Action Plan.
18 Goals of the BCA
The BCA targets 18 objectives in four operational areas:
- Biodiversity policies
- Staff training
- Supplier selection
- Minimising the impact of infrastructure
- Legal Compliance
Agricultural production areas
- Soil protection
- Integrated cultivation and avoidance of hazardous pesticides
- Efficient water use
- Protection of genetic resources
On the whole farm
- Preserve natural and semi-natural habitats
- Identify wildlife and preserve their habitats
- Identify areas outside production and enhance them ecologically
- Biodiversity infrastructure
- Invasive species management
- Efficient waste management
- Identify protected areas and reduce negative impacts
- Raise awareness and train staff
- Establish cooperation with local stakeholders, sensitise surrounding communities
Seven steps of the BCA
- context analysis
- preparatory visit
- preparation of the site visit
- inspection with application of the BCA
- preparation of the report
- presentation of the report and preparation of a biodiversity action plan
- implementation of the biodiversity action plan
Who developed the BCA?
The environmental organisations Global Nature Fund and Lake Constance Foundation and the Federal Association of Organic Viticulture ECOVIN e.V. developed the first biodiversity check for agricultural enterprises in 2012, which was implemented in four European countries. GIZ and the Sustainable Agricultural Network SAN have developed this check into the BCA.
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What did we achieve so far
53 farms with a total area of about 25,000 ha underwent
a Biodiversity Check Agricola BCA until end of
2020. 19 have drawn up a Biodiversity Action Plan
(BAP) from the recommended measures and are implementing
measures. This includes improved management
of biodiversity on farms as well as measures to
improve agricultural practices to reduce negative impacts
on biodiversity (use of pesticides, fertiliser management,
soil protection, water, waste management).