Research for saving traditional landscape

Traditional landscapes are masterpieces of our bio-cultural heritage – they are beautiful and are critical for supporting biodiversity and sustainably providing us high-quality food. But, these landscapes are in danger of disappearing, as is the traditional ecological knowledge needed to maintain them. In most European countries, these landscapes died out many decades ago. Fortunately, however, in some regions of eastern Europe, they have been largely retained, and many are still in active use. In the video presented here, we show the beauty and diversity of these traditional landscapes, and our contribution to the preservation of these values.


We are a growing group of scientists with many different research focuses, including botanists, ecologists, anthropologists, ethnographers, and geographers. Our goal is to examine traditional agricultural practices and the underlying traditional ecological knowledge that is needed to maintain their relationship to biodiversity in an intact rural environment. The results of our research can be used in practical land care in the future, e.g., in the conservation of species-rich meadows and pastures, in the restoration of degraded habitats, but also in deciding on future directions for agriculture and as a “cookbook of farming recipes” for all farmers who want to manage their land in a sensitive and sustainable way.

We started our research in the Carpathian Mountains four years ago and since then we have studied 31 villages in 7 countries. Over the past years, our research has been supported by the National Geographic Society and several smaller grants. However, financing for future expeditions is not yet ensured. For 2021, expeditions are planned to Romania, Ukraine, Serbia and Slovakia to study further villages with well-maintained traditional farming systems. During each expedition, a team of botanists, ecologists and ethnologists will work together in the field – some to study the vegetation, and others to focus on interviews with local farmers. The funding collected here would cover the costs for the expeditions (travel, food and accommodation), as well as soil analyses.

Detailed photo documentation of the biological and cultural values of the studied rural areas will be accessible to public via the EDGG YouTube channel: http://bit.ly/dry-grassland.

Anyone who donates €100 or more will receive a set of high-resolution landscape photos of the region. Additionally, anyone who donates over €250 will receive an artisan herbal Tea mix, collected by us in the meadows of the Carpathian mountains.

Help us to save the disappearing heritage – the colorful and healthy rural landscape!

We are very grateful for your support!


Scientists involved in field research in 2021:
Monika Janišová, vegetation ecologist, Slovakia (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Monika-Janisova),  Martin Magnes, botanist, Austria (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Martin-Magnes), Anamaria Iuga, cultural anthropologist, Romania (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Anamaria-Iuga-2), Alina Biro, ethnobotanist, Romania (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Alina-Sorina-Biro), Cosmin Ivascu, ecologist, Romania (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Cosmin-Marius-Ivascu),
Anna Kuzemko, plant ecologist, Ukraine (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Anna-Kuzemko), Annemarie Sorescu-Marinković, ethnologist, Serbia (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Annemarie-Sorescu-Marinkovic-2), Pavel Širka, bryologist, Slovakia (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Pavel-Sirka), Katarína Skokanová, plant taxonomist, Slovakia (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Katarina-Skokanova), Barbora Hubáčková, botanist, Czech Republic, Igor Bojko, ethnologist, Ukraine (https://ethnology-lviv.academia.edu/IhorBojko), Ljubov Borsukevych, botanist, Ukraine (https://www.researchgate.net/scientific-contributions/Ljubov-Borsukevych-2081094819), Roman Kish, botanist, Ukraine (https://www.researchgate.net/scientific-contributions/Roman-Kish-2075561997), Svetlana Aćić, botanist, Serbia (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Svetlana-Acic), Zora Dajić Stevanović, ethnobotanist, Serbia (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Zora-Dajic-Stevanovic), Janka Smatanová, nature conservationist, Slovakia, Iveta Škodová, botanist, Slovakia (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Iveta-Skodova-2).

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Organizer

Monika Janišová 
Organizer
Graz