HNV Farmland in Maramures (Romania)
Projects

Strandzha (Bulgaria)

High Nature Value farmland: Case study report

Strandzha (Bulgaria)

The Strandzha Natural Park covers 116000 ha of south-eastern Bulgaria next to the Turkish border. Although it extends as far as the Black Sea coast, most of the park is made up of a series of high hills and deep valleys. Its geographic position at the border of Europe, Asia Minor and the Mediterranean is exceptional, resulting in unique values in terms of biodiversity, for example habitats of relict, endemic and threatened species of natural and semi-natural character.

Although forests now cover 80% of the Park’s territory, the area had a very significant pastoral tradition prior to the closing of the borders during the Cold War. However since the fall of Communism livestock numbers have decreased massively once more, with the result that scrub encroachment and eventual reversion to forest threaten the remaining open areas, mostly HNV pastures at present.

One major focus, and one to which we returned in other workshops, was the issue of the implementation and interpretation of the cross-compliance rules on the ‘encroachment of unwanted vegetation’. An active group of bee-keepers illustrated how HNV grasslands can have economic value beyond that for graziers. The growing issue of the availability and cost of skilled labour for shepherding duties was also discussed.

Some key messages:

  • There needs to be a fundamental re-examination at EU level of the implications of cross-compliance rules for land on the verge of abandonment and, in the meantime, the rules need to be applied with a very sensitive and light touch at local level
  • Small farmers need to be encouraged and helped to network and co-operate, even to lobby
  • Agriculture needs to be fully integrated and considered in the management plans for designated areas, even if they are prepared by environmental authorities
  • Minimum size rules for parcels used to claim CAP support cause difficulties; there may be ways round the problem, but they require a proactive and innovative approach on the part of the authorities

Download

Workshop agenda

Workshop presentations


 
Logo Printversion EFNCP
European Forum on Nature Conservation and Pastoralism
Online: http://www.efncp.org/projects/hnv-bulgaria-romania/strandzha/
Date: 2014/11/22
© 2014 EFNCP – All rights reserved.