Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment

M. Penker and H. K. Wytrzens:

Agro-Environmental Law and its Effects on the Landscape

An Evaluation Method applied on the Austrian Agro-Environmental Program, on Regulations of Nature Conservation and Energy Taxation


Numerous legal regulations are not only supposed to control the societal system but in case of the environmental law they are also intended to influence ecosystems. The interdependence between law, human behaviour and landscape was the object of an interdisciplinary study within the Austrian research focus on cultural landscapes. A main product of this study is an evaluation method for agro-environmental law, that focuses on legal-sociological impacts as well as economic and landscape-ecological effects. This paper presents the evaluation concept and the methodological framework. Its practicability and feasibility is demonstrated by three case studies: the Austrian Agro-Environmental Program (ÖPUL), nature conservation law and energy taxation. The mechanisms of impact identified in these case studies could help to improve the instrument’s effectiveness and to minimise the unintended destruction of both socio-economic as well as ecological development options.

Key words: Recht, Landnutzung, Landschaft.