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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2022-03-01 - 2027-02-28

Several aspects of dairy and beef supply are perceived as unsustainable, such as impacts on climate change, loss of land and biodiversity for feed production, animal and human welfare problems on farms and in abattoirs, health risks due to excessive meat consumption or antibiotic resistance. While the problems are attracting considerable public attention, there is no agreement on reasonable targets and we lack information on transition paths to achieve them. Actors from farm to fork are caught in lock-ins and there is a culture of mutual blame. Based on transition management, we aim to break the blame game by initializing a co-learning process that combines expertise from social, environmental, agricultural, and veterinary sciences with the knowledge of practitioners in farming, processing, retail and gastronomy, and of citizen-consumers. The project aims to identify transition paths to a more sustainable beef and dairy supply and to understand whether and how scenarios and serious games can support learning and transition management. We address three questions: 1. What has driven past changes in the cattle system and why have sustainability innovations (not) been implemented? 2. How do alternative dairy/beef chains compare in terms of animal and human welfare, the environment, socio-economic characteristics, and potential for up-scaling? 3. What are broadly acceptable and future-proof transition paths? We will analyse innovations (e.g. cow-calf contact systems, pasture-based feeding, mobile abattoirs, cow-sharing, nose-to-tail gastronomy, milk/beef substitutes) in a farm-to-fork assessment, considering sustainability and potential for up-scaling. We will complement this assessment with scenarios (visions, targets, trade-offs) and serious games, which create playful learning spaces for experimenting with transition paths. An integrated farm-to-fork assessment of real-life innovations, scenarios, and serious gaming are woven into an innovative transdisciplinary research design. This will generate outstanding knowledge on transitions in beef/dairy supply and on scaling of food sustainability innovations as well as methodological advances for transition management.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2021-10-01 - 2022-12-31

The project aims to gain new knowledge about possible impacts of climate change on agricultural production in Upper Austria and about efficient adaptation measures. The research objectives are addressed in a generally valid and reproducible way by applying scientific methods, such as integrated modeling. In addition to the presentation of the research results in a detailed project report, at least one scientific publication is planned. This ensures in principle that the knowledge generated within this project will be made available to the scientific community in the best possible way for the purpose of teaching and research and, if necessary, to the public ("third mission").
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2021-11-01 - 2022-08-31

Globally, the agricultural sector is the largest source of non-CO2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. To achieve the EU’s and national climate targets also in the agricultural sector a significant reduction in GHG-emissions will be required in the next two decades. Several studies confirm the potential of structural and technical measures to reduce GHG-emissions in the agricultural sector. However, their practical implementation is lagging behind. In 2013, a Eurobarometer survey revealed that 70% of participating Austrian citizens are not aware of scientific developments. This calls for urgent action to promote exchange between science, farmers, policy, and the society. The project aims at developing a concept for an interactive web platform (hereafter "web platform") for presenting modelled farm-level GHG emissions under climate change. The methodological approach comprises three steps 1. a literature review on web platforms (in general and regarding climate change and agriculture) 2. interviews to identify the requirements for the planned web platform and relevant indicators to be displayed 3. protocol development for implementing the web platform Science, farmers, policy, and the society may benefit from the project results in various ways. Farmers could use the web platform to evaluate the effect of management measures and technology on GHG-emissions. An important information for the motivation and implementation of climate change mitigation measures – together with information on calculated marginal abatement costs also for policy makers to develop and adjust climate and agricultural policies. Moreover, motivating climate change mitigation reduces GHG-emissions in the agricultural sector, of which the society will benefit. Science will benefit from the publicly available protocol, which provides important insights for the implementation of a web platform as a direct interface for the digital exchange between science, farmers, policy, and the society.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations