Nature services and the AgoraNatura flower to your project
The AgoraNatura flower visualises the nature services supported by your project. Using the online form, you define which nature services you can offer and whether all significant effects can be attributed to your AgoraNatura project.
To offer a nature performance, you should at least reach the lowest of three possible value categories. There are criteria for each of these. In addition, you will find important information on the description, possible quantification and monitoring of results for each nature performance below. In addition, following the nature services, we will show you an illustrative Examplehow you deal with it if relevant effects cannot be attributed to your AgoraNatura project.
This is about the occurrence of exceptionally diverse or endangered wild plant species.
Criteria for agricultural land
We often use the High Nature Value (HNV) farmland indicator method. Agricultural land is differentiated by so-called indicator species/kenntaxa. The higher the number, the higher the nature conservation value of the area. We adopt this for the classification of the project areas into the categories of flowering:
valuable ⇒ at least 4 identification types
very valuable ⇒ 6 - 7 identification types
extremely valuable ⇒ > 7 identification types
For some areas, an expert assessment is also helpful.
Data entry sheets with brief instructions can be found on the page of the Natureplus-Standards.
Criteria for hedges, copses, field margins with woody plants
The following factors play a role in the natural service "plant diversity":
⇒ Number of native woody species: >5 / >8; with a total of >75% native woody species!
⇒ + the value of the fringe (at least 4 HNV species fallow)
Both factors should be considered according to their importance, e.g.:
valuable ⇒ 5 native woody species, at > 75% native woody species
very valuable ⇒ 5 native woody species + a border with 6 - 7 HNV species (fallow)
extremely valuable ⇒ 8 native woody species, for 100% native woody species + > 7 HNV species (fallow)
In the fields "Endangered species", "Number of endangered species", "Other important species" and "Other special features", you can enter your Knowledge of the specific occurrence of plant species represent, which are to be promoted with your project. Please also always indicate your data sources.
Is there No knowledge yet on the occurrence of specific target species, use the last field "Plant species to be particularly promoted".
At agricultural land we use the Identification of species according to the High Nature Value Farmland (HNV) method. So-called "indicator species" are recorded along a representative transect. A survey of the entire area and targeted observation of the spread of individual species can also be helpful. Data collection sheets with brief instructions can be found on the page of the Natureplus-Standards. The assessment must be carried out by an experienced person. (The expected HNV value is the basis for classification in the AgoraNatura flower categories).
At Grassland we assume a mapping 1 - 2 times within five years. At Arable land can also be monitored annually be useful. Please draw transects on a map and indicate the project ID (+ project title) on all mapping sheets!
At The control of new plantings is the most important (planting scheme) important as well as the Development of the woody plants after maintenance measures which serve to preserve the diversity of native woody plants.
Photograph measure implementation and results, preferably with GPS recognition and date display switched on. Photograph special individual species!
This is about the habitat as a whole and aligning your use with the needs of wildlife species in the area or preserving valuable habitat structures.
How do we differentiate the nature conservation value here? Here, too, we build on the criteria of the High Nature Value Farmland Indicator. However, these are specifically supplemented for projects that are geared towards the protection of endangered or protected animal species. The use of plant protection products is generally excluded.
- Areas with a valuable stock of wild plant species
- Protected biotope types maintained by the project
- Areas for improving the connection of valuable biotopes
- If applicable, minimum sizes have been defined for the project type
- Particularly valuable, very well-developed habitat structures described for the project type occur
- Projects in which the use is specifically aimed at promoting endangered or protected species and the development of these species is also monitored
- Project area and use are geared towards supporting the reproduction of protected or endangered animal species
In the online form you can distinguish between three types, this will open different fields. Please use this option, it will make it easier for you to fill in. Then use the fields in the form in such a way that your situation is well represented.
First methods for collecting relevant facts and figures can be found on the page of the Natureplus-Standards.
Would you like to promote specific animal species, the development of the target species - at least the possible use of the project area by the target species - should be monitored.. Spontaneous observations by experienced ornithologists are also valid. It is best to note down observations on a mapping sheet, do not forget the project ID.
Maintain or develop valuable habitat structures, you can map them and document them with pictures, preferably in comparison with the situation before the project. Recording observations by picture increases the attractiveness of the reporting for the investing persons. Use - if possible - GPS detection and date display as additional evidence of your observation.
The effort required varies depending on the project. On the side of the Natureplus-Standards you will find the first methods.
This is about genetic diversity in crops and wild plants and animals.
The meadow orchards are about the Preservation of diverse old and endangered fruit varieties. On the side of the Natureplus-Standards you will find a link to the list of endangered indigenous crops. Point out which endangered varieties are being preserved or newly planted in your orchard. This requires regular care of the fruit trees. The care of the trees and their good condition for age We see this as an important assessment criterion. A meadow orchard that has not been maintained for years but contains many endangered fruit varieties would therefore (only) be classified as "valuable". If the project ensures that the trees are cared for, the orchard will be upgraded.
Develop flowering areas or species-rich habitats
When establishing flowering areas, the use of certified regio seed reached the lowest value category. On the side of the Natureplus-Standards you will find important information on the use of native seeds for wild plants. Likewise, when developing species-rich grassland or arable land, the use of Seeds from neighbouring species-rich areas an extra value can be achieved.
Donor sites for the development of species-rich habitats
If an already existing species-rich area as a donor area, this is seen as an additional value.
Maintain or create new hedges
Will and were indigenous woody plants used, this supports the conservation of genetic diversity. Since the use of new plants in the wild is obligatory, there is usually no additional benefit, but naming the included benefit can increase the attractiveness of the project.
We have prepared various fields for you in the form. Use the different fieldsin order to be able to work in your Highlight relevant details in the project presentation.
On the side of the Natureplus-Standards you will find the first relevant methods.
Very different project types are relevant here. With the Orchard meadows and others Woody plants it should be mapped at the end of the project that the relevant woody plants on the site have been successfully planted / maintained and what condition they are in. This includes, if applicable, that distances to neighbouring trees are maintained and that fencing has been successful.
Is it about the Development of flowering areas you will find on the page of the Natureplus-Standards important information on the use of native seeds for wild plants. For the monitoring of results, it is of course interesting to find out whether the sown, transferred plant species develop well.
All observations must be made by an experienced person. Document your observation with images. Use the location recognition (GPS) and date display. Uniquely mark mapping sheets with the project ID.
This is a valuable habitat for pollinating insects.
The first projects are about habitat for wild and honey bees. This includes a high proportion of flowering pollen and nectar plants and suitable habitats for wild bees to nest and overwinter. Take a look at the page of the Natureplus-Standards. There you will find more information.
In principle, the following applies: at least 30 percent cover with nectar and pollen plants and the renunciation of insecticides.
- No monotonous plant population, easy detection by the number of dominant flower colours, with a flowering period of at least two months
- In the case of very high cover (> 50%), a monotonous plant stand is also accepted with a flowering period of at least two months.
- Diverse plant population, easy detection by at least two dominant flower colours, in addition nectar and pollen plants for wild bees (wild plants) and a flowering period of at least three months with suitable habitats for nesting and overwintering for wild bees
- Increase e.g. due to very diverse plant stock, very long flowering period, very high proportion of wild species, ... taking into account the total proportion of the area.
In the form, use the fields to specify in your project representation interesting details for your project area to be highlighted.
On the side of the Natureplus-Standards you will find a mapping sheet that you can use.
Here you can usually work with pictures. So you get at the same time Highly attractive material for the investing individuals. Please use a camera with display of your location (GPS recognition) and date display. Document the diverse flowering aspects and, if applicable, special individual species.
Create a flowering area, Document the created area over one or more pictures. Confirm the promised dimensions of the area and check the development of the sown species. Please with date and unique project ID on the mapping sheet / species list of the seed. Provide evidence of the seeds used.
This is about the ability of ecosystems to absorb CO2 or to release really few greenhouse-damaging gases compared to normal use.
Our first project types focus on peatlands. For the calculation we use the GEST approach (Greenhouse Gas Emission Site Type).
- Bogs with a high water level, about water level 4+,
- Water level below the surface at about
- in winter: -15 to -5 / in summer: -20 to -10
- wet bogs with peat growth
In the online form you enter the Results of your calculation and explain your procedure, if applicable. download an extra document explaining the certification hoch. Via the fields "Qualitative factors" you can communicate e.g. the mean water level or the peat thickness on your project area.
Reach with your project no additional climate performance, please do not allocate figures off. However, if you want to refer to a climate performance of your area that exists due to already existing obligations, use the fields "Qualitative factors" to communicate the relevant arguments and justify the classification of your area in the flower.
Are you familiar with the Effort for calculation before project start too great, look for easily measurable indicators of the expectation of climate performance by your project and indicate that you are doing the calculation as part of the project.
This is about an ecosystem providing clean groundwater and thus lakes and rivers maintaining good water quality. In intensively used cultivated landscapes, this arises, for example, through the renunciation of "normal" fertilisation and the resulting reduced N load for groundwater bodies.
Our first project types are about agricultural land. On this side of the Natureplus-Standards you will find initial methods for quantifying reduced nutrient input through extensive management.
- Use without mineral N fertilisation. Use should be directed in such a way that even in extreme years no high N output is to be expected.
- Limited animal stocking and limited organic fertilisation are important. Permanent ground cover is also favourable.
- Expected value: up to 50 kg/hectare/year less N load
- Compliance with the conditions of use of the lowest category on a site close to water bodies:
If literature values are used, the expected value does not change. Nevertheless, we assign an additional value point to honour a change of use on these most sensitive sites.
- If a very high reduced N discharge is already achieved by the change of use, the medium category is also achieved without the site near the watercourse.
- Expected value: up to 100 kg/hectare/year less N load
- Extremely high reduced N outputs can be achieved, for example, through adapted peatland use.
- Expected value: > 100 kg/hectare/year less N load
Achieve with your project a additional effect, enter your calculated water output. Since we want to record different water outputs in perspective, you must define the unit of measurement and substance yourself. Simply use the tool tips in the form.
We would also like to Information on the condition of your target water identify yourself. If you do not have any information on this, simply leave the fields blank.
Via the fields "Qualitative factors"you can communicate, for example, your animal stocking rate or your renunciation of mineral N fertilisation.
Reach with your project no additional effect, please do not assign figures off. Describe why there is a water benefit on your project site and use the factor fields to communicate what is relevant.
At Showing a reduced N load observation is hardly possible. If you show a valuable plant population, this can be taken as an indirect indicator to a certain extent, especially if the project has been running for a long time.
If water performance is considered very important, N-min analyses are possible for some project types as evidence that the value is indeed low.
Let people participate in the diversity, uniqueness and beauty of nature through your project.
Special offer for investors
Do you want to and can you offer your investors a special experience? Then invite them to a guided On-site visit or offer a special digital experience an. You can distinguish between these two categories in the online form. If you choose the option, a star will appear in the middle of the AgoraNatura flower of your project.
In doing so, also think about which Observation results to be expected in the course of your project. For example, invite them to be present during a mapping exercise or entice them with the expected pictures from your planned monitoring. You can also offer material exclusively by sending your investors a message with an attachment or a link via "My AgoraNatura". Highlight something like this when describing your experience.
Consider whether it might be useful to make a special experience offer to the purchase of a certain number of certificates. If a product is created that can be sold normally, there is the option of linking this product to the purchase of certificates.
Generally possible experience
In addition, you will find a selection of easy-to-tick options in the online form. This is about the General accessibility of your project area via a public path, the possible location on a designated hiking trail and more. This can also be interesting for investors.
If disclosure of the specific location is not possible for species protection reasons, Advertise with visuals or even sounds. By regularly publishing the progress of the project via "My AgoraNatura", you are already creating a general experience.
Use the possibility in the online form, extraordinary highlight your area, e.g. something about the historical significance or generally visitable experience offers around your area. As always, use visuals. Show what your project has to offer!
Imagine a particularly species-rich field on an organic farm. There are a lot of field wild herbs, including endangered segetal species such as field knapweed, field campion and small spurge. This diversity is to be preserved through an AgoraNatura project, because funding is needed for this. Without funding, the farmer cannot and will not continue to use the land in the same way as before. It is quite true that he would like to continue "producing" the biodiversity, but he would also like an appropriate wage for it.
In this example, some nature services are achieved even without the AgoraNatura project. To visualise this, there are the hatched areas in addition to the full-colour areas in the flower. Read below about the considerations behind this.
Plant diversity: During the mapping of the arable land, 7 identification species for highly valuable arable land are found. The aim is to preserve the existing diversity. The use of the project area is therefore planned accordingly. With the 7 species identified in the area of "plant diversity", the project area can be classified in the medium value category: "very valuable".
For the reference scenario, it should be noted that the farmer works according to the guidelines for organic farming. It can be assumed that with more intensive use, the particular diversity will be lost. However, organic farming does not necessarily mean that the entire diversity of arable wild herbs is lost. When classifying the project area in the value categories, we would therefore define the lowest value category as "already present" (shown hatched), and value the middle value category as additional (shown in full colour).
Diversity animals: If the use is converted to valuable farmland as in our project type, a patchy, herb-rich cereal stand is created. It offers accessible food for diverse species of the agricultural landscape and also good breeding opportunities for ground-nesting bird species, such as the skylark, which is declining in population throughout Germany. In the area of "animal diversity", the project area can thus be classified at least in the lowest value category. However, since it is known that ecological use generally creates better conditions for wild animal species to find a habitat on farmland, we tend to define this lowest value category as existing (shown hatched), not least in order to adequately represent the already existing benefits of organic farming.
Water performance: Here, too, we see the first value category as given, since ecological use is already assessed as very positive for good groundwater quality. - To also address the implementation in the online form: In the description in the online form, we click on the category "valuable" in such a case but with the statement: "is maintained or achieved with the reference use (shown hatched)".
Conclusion: We have classified relatively much in this example as already existing. It is certainly possible to argue otherwise. It is important that the flower makes it clear when relevant effects cannot be credited to the project. For this purpose, you have the different options for classifying the natural services in the form.
Also, when filling in, remember that the choice of value category is a promise. Estimate your expected results conservatively.