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Intermediaries to foster the implementation of innovative land management practice for ecosystem service provision – A new role for researchers


  • Schröter, Barbara
  • Matzdorf, Bettina
  • Sattler, Claudia
  • Garcia Alarcon, Gisele


Technological innovations in agricultural land use management can provide economic benefits and an important contribution to the provision of ecosystem services. However, the active implementation of management approaches regarding the provision of ecosystem services is not in the focus of economic actors because of the public good characteristic of most of these ecosystem services. Without economic intervention through additional payments to local land users or governmental regulation through certain rules it is challenging to develop and disseminate management innovations providing both economic benefits for local land users and environmental goals. In this paper, we examine a special case where technological innovation meets the provision of ecosystem services. We hypothesize that in such a case classical extension work is not enough and a new actor and governance form is needed. Therefore, we use a successful sustainable intensification example from Brazil to analyze the innovation intermediary of such kind of land management innovation. What type of organization is able to take over the responsibility of an innovation intermediary and what are the motivations of involved actors? What is the role of this actor during the whole innovation process, specifically regarding the implementation of an innovative land management practice? Based on interviews and participatory observations, we examined the role of a university based actor called Voisin Group (GPVoisin) in Southern Brazil's Encostas da Serra Geral Region during the innovation process. We found that this actor has some special features as it combines scientific knowledge skills to foster the innovation and its implementation with social skills and high intrinsic motivation that support the persuasion and decision making on the ground. GPVoisin combines the roles of a collection of agricultural researchers with that of knowledge facilitators. Thanks to this combination skills GPVoisin has earned a high reputation and could obtain acceptance for the introduction of an innovative land management approach, based on the idea of improving the ecosystem service provision by a technological innovation.

Suggested Citation

  • Schröter, Barbara & Matzdorf, Bettina & Sattler, Claudia & Garcia Alarcon, Gisele, 2015. "Intermediaries to foster the implementation of innovative land management practice for ecosystem service provision – A new role for researchers," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 16(C), pages 192-200.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoser:v:16:y:2015:i:c:p:192-200
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoser.2015.10.007

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Busse, Maria & Siebert, Rosemarie, 2018. "Acceptance studies in the field of land use—A critical and systematic review to advance the conceptualization of acceptance and acceptability," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 235-245.
    2. Andrieu, N. & Sogoba, B. & Zougmore, R. & Howland, F. & Samake, O. & Bonilla-Findji, O. & Lizarazo, M. & Nowak, A. & Dembele, C. & Corner-Dolloff, C., 2017. "Prioritizing investments for climate-smart agriculture: Lessons learned from Mali," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 13-24.

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