High Nature Value farmland: Case study report
Galaţi county, with an area of 4466 km², is located on the south-eastern border of Romania, bounded by the river Prut and Moldova on the east and by the Danube to the south. The county is low lying, and is made up of the floodplains of the Danube and of two of its tributaries, the Prut and the Siret, and by the intervening rolling hills.
Both the dry sandy soils of the hills and, since a huge programme of drainage and reclamation in Communist times, the wet floodplain zones are dominated by arable farming, sometimes in association with intensive indoor livestock rearing. Galati, then, is a county where HNV farmland is limited. Type 1 HNV is made up of pasture land which for some reason has not been improved – patches of grassland on sandy slopes prone to erosion or on small undrained areas of floodplain. Less intensive mosaics (Type 2 HNV farmland) is also found around the villages; production here is destined mostly for household or local consumption.
A major issue in the county was the identification of HNV farmland, since the maps provided at EU level concentrate mostly on grasslands, while Type 2 farmland is also very significant in this area. The anomalous Type 3 was discussed, but the link between some of the bird species of European conservation concern present and the intensive farmland was not clear.
A second issue was the availability of RDP support to the livestock farmers who much of the HNV farmland, and all of the grasslands. Neither the LFA scheme nor agri-environment schemes targeted at HNV farmland were available to them at the time of the workshop. What is the balance to be struck between efficiently targeting at large contiguous areas of HNV farmland on the one hand and ensuring that HNV farmland is not abandoned completely in areas where its extent is more limited?
Some key messages:
- Type 2 farmland should not be the HNV poor relation; the interaction with the difficult issues surrounding the future of small farmers is key but they cannot be ignored for ever
- Farming systems and farm economies work at the farm scale – targeting support at delimited regions miss this point and can weaken HNV farms in the areas where they are least common.
- High Nature Value farmland “Traditional Agriculture for Nature – European Recognition of Southern and Eastern Europe Landscape”: Galati (Romania)
- Case-study of agricultural systems of HNV in the proximity of Lower Prut Natural Park [RO] Conf.dr. ing. Maria Contoman, Lower Danube University Galati (.ppt, 16.936 KB)
- Importance of applying Good Agricultural Practices [RO] Mirela Leonte and Stelian Chivu, experts, Centre for Ecological Consultancy Galati (.ppt, 696KB
- High Nature Value farming – what are we trying to do? Guy Beaufoy & Gwyn Jones, experts, EFNCP (.ppt, 8.828 KB)
- Feedback on HNV Type 3 Gwyn Jones, expert, EFNCP (.ppt, 8.957 KB)
- High Nature Value farming in Galati Koen De Rijck, expert, WWF-DCP (.ppt, 4.169 KB)
- Political background of the HNV farming concept Yanka Kazakova, expert, WWF-DCP (.ppt, 1.784 KB)
- Opportunities for funding under the Rural Development Plan in Romania [RO] Sergiu Didicescu, expert, Ministry of Agriculture (.ppt, 1.596 KB)
- Biodiversity and HNV ecosystems in the Lower Prut Natural Park [RO] Dr.Teodor Glavan, biologist, Romanian Ornithological Society (.pdf, 9.713 KB)
- Threats to HNV farming in Galati county [RO] Raluca Dan, expert, WWF-DCP RO (.ppt, 2.493 KB)
- Feedback on HNV farming in Galaţi county Guy Beaufoy, expert, EFNCP (.pdf, 6.423 KB)