LEADER Project “CO2 Recycling – Climate Protection through Soil, Humus and Biotope Management” Regional Development Society, Southern Carinthia

Topic area
Environment, biodiversity, nature conservation
Climate protection and climate change

Disaggregation level
Climate protection

Project region

LE– Programming Period
LE 07–13

Project period

LE 07-13 information

Themenbereich (Untergliederung): ÖPUL und Umwelt (Biodiversität, Boden, Klima)
Maßnahme: M999

Short description

The project objectives comprise the utilisation of biogenic residues, targeted soil, humus and biotope management and the implementation of regional recycling management measures. The most important regional objective is CO2 reduction within the region, which contributes considerably towards climate protection.

Transnationalesproject between: Marion Ebster, Regional Development Vorarlberg/Austria; Wolfgang Pfefferkorn, CIPRA International, Schaan/Principality of Liechtenstein; Dionys Hallenbarter, unternehmenGOMS, Münster-Geschinen/Switzerland

Point of departure

As well as pursuing and meeting the Europe 2020 climate targets in an exemplary way, this project is also impressive in that it involves collaboration at a regional and international level by including the cooperation of many networking partners; in the region, a debate was initiated on decentralised composting, which can only be solved at the level of municipalities and mayors; the project is an important measure for implementing the regional development strategy and achieving the development targets as laid down in the LEADER Development Strategy 2007 to 2013;

Project implementation and measures

Cooperation with schools – in their biology lessons, students are taught how to compost the green waste of their playing fields and to plant trees with their own compost-based fertiliser;
creation of a master plan for decentralised and regional composting based on organic waste and green waste
Field test conducted by the Agricultural School Goldbrunnhof – comparison between chemical fertilisers and fertilisers made of compost and green waste.
Natural regenerative restoration of wetlands – drained marsh areas are allowed to be re-flooded, hedges and pollard willows are planted along borders between fields, protecting against erosion and providing new habitats for plants and wildlife.

Results and effects

The use of chemical fertiliser, which is known to damage the climate, is reduced by composting organic matter and using it as fertiliser. Humification provides for natural CO2 storage in the soil, contributing towards CO2 reduction in the region.
Soil life in arable land is significantly increased after as little as one year;
the concept for decentralised composting for the entire region was completed and presented; agreements were concluded with five agricultural operations, where the composting facilities are to be located; 600 metres of new hedgerows were planted with deciduous bushes and trees; a willow plantation for pollard willow cuttings and a humid biotope were established; awareness-raising measures took place with students, which involved first building their own compost heaps and then planting trees;
this project also resulted in a soil protection course being conducted in the region in cooperation with Eco-Region Kaindorf and Climate Alliance Austria. During the course, a hands-on example involved the analysis of the initial results of the field test. Besides the project-related international network, further collaboration efforts involved a number of regional network partners: Arge Naturschutz, Bio Austria Kärnten, Climate Alliance Carinthia and the specialised departments of the Carinthian Government.


Cooperation with schools was a significant success factor – the sustainability of the soil test is secured over the next five years; the collaboration with the teaching staff does, however, require close external project assistance.
The soil’s ability for regeneration was astounding; the use of resources for conventional and organic arable farming (use of machinery, working hours, applied quantities, yield, soil tests) was documented in great detail; of course, no economic profit can be ensured by the agricultural output in the first few years – which confirms it once again: nature conservation is something you have to be able to afford;
the youngsters’ commitment and the farms’ willingness to cooperate were very pleasing.
Whether organic waste collection in domestic households is organised in rural areas is primarily a matter of political will. With regard to the local charges budget, the cost of the organic waste bin must be compensated by residual waste disposal, otherwise the organic waste bin would be too expensive for private households; checking organic waste disposal (whether composting is done properly in each garden) including green waste is practically not done in rural areas; visits between the project partners were mutually productive and beneficial and have helped to sharpen one’s own perspective on the project;
schools are grateful for being invited to cooperate in projects, yet they require intensive support during the implementation stage;