High Nature Value farmland - recognising its importance in Bulgaria and Romania
Romania and Bulgaria both have substantial areas of HNV farmland and at the time when this project was conceived were well into the process of acceding to EU and thus to conforming with the Acquis Communautaire. The future of HNV farmland thus seemed at first sight to be assured. However, even assuming full political will to act, at least 3 major impediments stood in the way of a positive and sustainable future for HNV farmland.
- that understanding of the HNV farmland itself, and in particular of ‘Type 2’ low-intensity mosaics, was still developing, making its integration into policy more difficult.
- that HNV farmland areas faced severe and rapid socio-economic and agronomic change, making integrating a wide range of policies both more urgent and more difficult. The issue is not one of agri-environment only, for example.
- that many more and more HNV areas were being abandoned by agriculture and thus are in a policy “no-man’s-land”.
The Project, a co-operation between EFNCP and the WWF Danube-Carpathian Programme paid for by the BBI Matra fund of the Netherlands Government, aimed to address all three issues by bringing policy makers (and NGOs who attempt to influence policy) face to face with them in a series of contrasting HNV farmland areas.
Six seminars were organised in areas of Bulgaria and Romania which are considered to have significant concentrations of HNV farmland MAP. The seminars were to have the overall goals of
- illustrating at a local level, for the benefit of both policy makers, farmers and NGOs, what can be a rather complicated HNV farmland concept, and what it means on the ground in these countries and
- drawing a series of lessons and questions for the currently evolving policy matrix.
We aimed to make HNV farmland a familiar and comfortable concept in the target countries, and a focus around which farmers in marginal areas, Governments and wider civil society can unite to promote truly sustainable development. Second, we tried to reflect on the actual problems of HNV areas and on the appropriateness or otherwise of both the proposed implementation of CAP and rural policy in the areas.
Finally, to report on the work and to enable EU policy makers to benefit directly and at first hand from the experience gained in the workshops, a final seminar was held in Brussels at which a representative cross-section of workshop participants were present.
- Final report: "High Nature Value farmlands: recognising the importance of South East European landscapes" (.pdf, 7.389 KB)
Case study reports
- Rusenski Lom (Bulgaria)
- Strandzha (Bulgaria)
- Western Stara Plania (Bulgaria)
- Galati (Romania)
- Mehedinti (Romania)
- Sibiu (Romania)
A final seminar took place in Brussel in May 2008. Read more about Recognizing the European Importance of South-East European landscapes, Brussels, 15th May 2008