The overall objective of the SUPER-G project is to co-develop sustainable permanent grassland systems and policies to optimize productivity, while supporting biodiversity and broader ecosystem provisioning. SUPER-G is applying a multi-actor approach, working with practitioners, civil society groups, researchers, policy and business communities to achieve: 1) a better understanding of the importance and functioning of permanent grasslands; 2) benchmarking of permanent grassland performance across Europe; 3) co-development of approaches for profitable and sustainable permanent grassland management; and 4) co-development of tools and policy mechanisms, which are inclusive of stakeholder and citizen priorities, to support the maintenance and sustainable management of permanent grasslands.
The project has developed a European permanent grassland typology and a classification of farming systems, characterised in terms of livestock species, stocking rate, permanent grassland share and exploitation regime. The potential of permanent grasslands to deliver multiple ecosystem services has been assessed through systematic review, benchmarking and data gathering from a network of farms, as well as field experiments, trials and demonstrations on commercial farms and experimental platforms across six biogeographic regions. The detailed integrated assessments focused on the synergies and trade-offs between productivity, biodiversity and delivery of other selected ecosystem services. Following a review of existing tools available for use on permanent grasslands and with input from farmer workshops, dedicated decision-support tools will be developed for farm-level and policy support.
The project has also investigated the socio-economic factors influencing farmer decision-making and citizens attitudes towards grassland landscapes and has produced a review of European policies that influence permanent grassland management.