Climate-robust Landscapes research group
The Climate-robust Landscapes: connecting agriculture and nature research group with Professor Ellen Weerman is focusing on how we can achieve a climate-robust landscape; a landscape that can cope with changing rainfall patterns with more heavy downpours interspersed with periods of drought.
The research group is also looking at the part agriculture and nature can play in improving water quantity and quality, and stimulating biodiversity through smart use of the landscape. This research group is a joint research group of HAS University of Applied Sciences and NIOO-KNAW, and is subsidised by the SIA (LINTL.INST.L04.009).
Agriculture plays an important role in this climate-robust landscape, which is why future-proof forms of agriculture have an important role to play in the research programme. This programme consists of 3 research lines:
- landscape integration and cultivation techniques
- climate-resilient agriculture: water quality and biodiversity
- agricultural professionalism
The starting point is to consider what is possible in this area based on the natural soil-water system. The research group is involving the business community, government authorities, and, above all, students. The research group aims to further promote the transition to climate-robust agriculture.
Measures to deal with drought
Measures are already being taken to improve resistance to droughts. For example, streams are being restored so water remains in an area longer and is available during drier periods. Groundwater levels are also being restored around wet nature areas. These measures have an impact on the agricultural areas around the streams and nature reserves; the fields get much wetter. This method uses the natural soil-water system better.
The transition to other forms of farming
Restoring the natural soil-water system offers opportunities for alternative forms of agriculture that support restoration of nature. Synergy between agriculture and nature can improve both biodiversity and water quality in an area, and at the same time offers prospects to farmers for fields that are otherwise not profitable to farm after the groundwater level has been raised. This requires a different approach from farmers and nature managers. This is one of the areas where the research group will study the knowledge and experience needed to achieve this transition.
The Climate-robust Landscapes: connecting agriculture and nature research group is financed in part by the subsidy scheme L.int: Lecturer positions at Institutes of the Taskforce for Applied Research SIA, (Regieorgaan SIA) and the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. Under this scheme, a lecturer can work at both a university of applied sciences and a research institute. This allows the lecturer to link the fundamental research of the institute with the practical research of the university of applied sciences.