Since activities of farmers, gardeners, fishers and hunters have an impact on local biodiversity, TESS consortium developed Naturalliance, a web portal for providing them support tolls for land management.
For example, the portal offers a software tool for mapping habitats and species in a local environment. Users can draw habitat and species information from an initial map or aerial photo in their tablets PC. These data can be recorded in the portal in order to share the information with other portal users. In this way, users can know if a concrete type of plant or animal is present in a forest, a field or a garden. Furthermore, this freely provided biodiversity monitoring database give to policy makers a real scope of the biodiversity situation in these places. As a consequence, through this portal, political decisions can take into account biodiversity impact. The portal has been developed in 20 language versions in order to ensure accessibility and facilitate its usage.
The portal is organised around sixteen different topics:
- Farming: how to increase nature richness without additional cultivation costs is one of the main objectives of this topic. Information of different countries and institutes is put together with data on regulations, subsidies, and weather. Best practice examples and opportunities are also provided.
- Forestry: management of woodland involves a longer time scale than farming, making it more important to have good predictions on the weather and pesticides effect. Moreover, local communities can depend on forests in several ways (fungi, berries, leisure, etc.). Some ideas and concepts for encouraging older woods and making them more productive for owners and local people are proposed, as well as some ideas to help manage species that damage woodland.
- Gardening: some solutions and examples for juggling productive gardening and protection of species (bees, butterflies, birds, etc) are provided. Avoiding pests is one of the main objectives.
- Aquaculture: creating small-wetlands or enclosing small areas of sea are activities that can not only give an economical profit, but also provide a new habitat for other species than the intended food crop. This topic shows a best practice example in Sweden, reports about economic incentives and techniques for restoring wetlands.
- Fishing: sharing the anglers’ knowledge about water bodies’ conservation is one of the main objectives of this topic. Cooperation between anglers and the government of the Netherlands is shown as best practice example. A Fishing Management Guide is also provided.
- Hunting: through this topic, the portal tries to enhance cooperation between local authorities and hunters to achieve sustainable hunting. Methods of game production that benefit other species are provided, as well as links to organisations which conserve biodiversity through hunting.
- Foraging: re-establishing resources after gathering is one of the addressed issues, as well as taking advantages of some species to encourage the development of others (for example, the benefit of introducing fungi for improving trees growth). Best practice examples, links to specialized organisations, and didactic materials are provided.
- Nature Watching: the conservation of most attractive species is the matter of this topic.
- Reserves managing: A careful strategic planning is needed in order to both encourage nature conservation and benefit from natural resources. Handling protected areas and invasive species are some issues addressed within this topic.
- Horse management: Management of horse health and grassland are considered. Moreover, a best practice example located in Hungary is provided as some advises about veterinary routines.
- Dog management: some proposals for benefiting dogs, hounds, wildlife and society are presented. For example, the use of dogs guarding livestock can reduce the pressure on wolves, and an appropriate training of dogs can help to protect some species.
- Bee keeping: this topic aims to provide information about the most recent findings for solving problems that affect bees and promoting bees forpollination.
- Exercise: the portal provides guidelines for local landowners and communities to enjoy countryside while they maintain and keep natural habitats.
- Community: this topic focuses on local communities, and tries to build a system for bringing information towards administrations and other local users. the portal provides information and ideas to motivate people and local administration staff in protecting the environment.
- Government: guidance on adaptive management at local level is provided to administrations, in order to balance citizens’ interest and sustainable use of biodiversity.
- Science: The portal supports environmental scientists to make their models more accessible to community by linking science, economics and social benefits.