At the 62nd General Assembly in Pravets, Bulgaria, the CIC handed over the Edmond Blanc Prize to the project « Energie aus Wildpflanzen“ (Energy from wild plants) of the “Netzwerk Lebensraum Feldflur” (Network Living Landcapes).
The aim of this project is to find alternatives for the increasing cultivation of maize as material for biogas-production. The multiannual crops cover the fields already, when the maize is just sown, offer nesting places and food for ground-nesting birds, mammals, and insects– not only in spring but year-round. The project was initiated in Germany, but the problem it is trying to solve occurs all over Europe. Therefore, it is necessary to lift the cultivation of wild plants for biogas-production to the level of European agricultural policy-making. Farmers who use wild plants instead of maize should be recognized and rewarded for the benefits they are bringing to wildlife conservation in the agricultural landscape.