Critical to success is learning from landowners across the EU: 14 International Focus Group discussions

A bottom-up approach to policy development makes this project unique.

Most EU Member States have created voluntary programmes whereby landowners and land managers can receive financial and other benefits for participating in nature conservation activities. However, many of these conservation programmes are relatively new and awareness of them is low amongst many landowners and managers.

During 14 Focus Group discussions in 14 EU member States, input was collected from private land managers. Unlike interviews or public polling, a focus group discussion allows for participants to learn, interact and share their opinions. For each group, participants were brought together by a local organisation and represented the variety of land uses in this area/country. All meetings were guided by an independent, unbiased research expert from the Global Conservation Campaign team of The Nature Conservancy.

Discussion topics will included the restrains from adding conservation practices on private land, what they want policy makers to know about current barriers and opportunities to better incentivize private land conservation, the programs they are using today and how they would adapt them to their specific needs…

The outcomes of all 14 discussion groups together gave a very interesting view on the challenges European individual owners are facing today besides their great willingness for engagement and the room they see for opportunities. We could extract some very specific and important key findings that will be presented as important themes for a sustainable private land conservation framework in Europe. Before sharing those key findings, we want to reinforce the outcomes of this qualitative research first with the opinion of a broad public of landowners and managers in all EU Member States. Therefore an online survey will be launched, based on the outcomes of the focus groups. 

Results are expected Autumn 2019