Employing narratives and ethnographic studies to inform policy options for nutrient reductions

Grit Martinez


Ecologic Institute, Berlin, Germany


Ethnographic studies were an ongoing activity feeding into the development of governance concepts and policy options in the BONUS Soils2Sea project. The studies – which consisted of interviews and oberservations – provided insights into the history and socio-economic culture of institutional and non-institutional stakeholders in the three Soils2Sea case study sites in Denmark, Poland and Sweden. This insights are the subject of the presentation.

It was found that the perceptions, values, beliefs, thoughts about nature, the environment and hence needs, acceptance and uptake of measures and regulations are in many ways opposed which in turn demands different policy approaches.

In general it can be stated that – in the same way as the geo-morphological soil conditions differ across the three case study areas – the socio-cultural-political and economic contexts of the people living and working on the different soils are very different and hence lead to diverse decision making with respect to farming practices, nutrient inputs and outputs, collaboration amongst farmers, monitoring and reactions towards measures, regulations and policy options.

The information gained was used in BONUS SOILS2SEA project to assist the co-development of measures and provide reality checks regarding acceptability and socio-cultural fit of the policy options.