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First international stakeholder meeting

First international stakeholder meeting
© C. Huyghe, 2010
Multisward organised an international stakeholder workshop on functions of grasslands, on 2 September, 2010, in Kiel, Germany.
The aim of Multisward is to improve the use of grasslands in Europe. To achieve this, the project focusses on:
  • increasing reliance on grasslands and on multi-species swards for ruminant production

  • contributing to increased sustainability and competitiveness of ruminant production systems

  • increasing food security

  • enhancing ecosystem services (e.g. biodiversity, water and soil quality)

In order to achieve these objectives, Multisward will conceive, evaluate and promote sustainable ruminant production systems based on the use of grasslands, and provide adequate evaluation tools to assess the best means of combining high production efficiency with optimal provision of regulating and supporting services from grasslands at farm and regional levels. MULTISWARD also aims to identify and analyze the effects of socio-economic and policy scenarios supporting or constricting grassland development or inducing grassland replacement by annual crops in order to support the design of future policies.

The stakeholders of grasslands in Europe can make the most of Multisward by getting involved!

Their active involvement ensures that we know what their requirements are and that they can implement the results in their daily operations. Their involvement in this project will require the attendance at two international meetings (one at the beginning and one at the end of the project), attendance at two national meetings and completion of a number of surveys. Participating stakeholders will be the first to know about the results of our work, and throughout the project they will be able to work with us to achieve the largest possible impact.

The initial questions we are putting forward and hope they can help answering are:
  • what functions do stackholders want grasslands to fulfil, now and in the future

  • which socio-economic and political driving forces do stackholders think influence the existence and use of grasslands and how will this change in the near future

This first meeting took place on 2nd September, following the 23rd General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation, in Kiel Germany (


14:30 Introduction
- Introduction of the program of today and its participants (Dr. Agnes van den Pol-van Dasselaar, Wageningen UR Livestock Research, Netherlands. Chair for the afternoon)

- Introduction to MULTISWARD. Why do we want stakeholder participation? What do we expect? What’s in it for the participants? (Dr. Jean-Louis Peyraud, INRA, France; project leader MULTISWARD) (presentation in pdf file)

15:15 Preliminary results of a literature review on functions of grasslands in Europe (Dr. Alex de Vliegher, ILVO, Belgium) (presentation in pdf file)

15:30 Group discussion on functions of grassland
- Introduction of participants

- Feedback on introduction of MULTISWARD

- Discussion on functions of grasslands. What is required in 15 years time? How does the group prioritize these functions? Which criteria does the group use to assess importance?

Result: list of functions of grassland, prioritization of functions
16:30 Introduction on future scenarios of grassland use in Europe (Prof. Dr. Alain Peeters, RHEA, Belgium). (presentation in pdf file)

16:45 Continuation of group discussion
- Feedback on introduction of future scenarios

- Discussion on socio-economic and political trends affecting the future existence and use of grasslands in Europe

Result: list of expected trends and socio-economic or political driving forces affecting grasslands in Europe
17:45 Break

18:15 Plenary presentation and reflection on results of the group discussions (chaired by Dr. Ina Pinxterhuis, Wageningen UR Livestock Research, Netherlands)

18:35 Introduction of methods of communication in MULTISWARD, how do we proceed with stakeholder participation (Dr. Christian Huyghe, INRA, France) (presentation in pdf file)

18:55 Plenary closing of the meeting

19:00 Dinner