Pogány-havas, eastern Transylvania
The basins of the eastern Carpathians, home to Hungarian speaking farmers for the last thousand years, have some of the finest HNV farmland in Romania. EFNCP’s initial collaboration with the Pogány-havas association was orientated to raising awareness of the ara’s European significance, supporting a conference on hay meadows and a DVD following the life of a meadow through the year (available from Pogány-havas).
Awareness-raising remains an important element in our collaboration, from collecting stories about nature with schoolchildren in the area (more details from firstname.lastname@example.org) to a seminar for MEPs in Brussels.
A key task in the period leading up to 2014 is to gather quantified data from the fields of applied ecology and sociology to reinforce qualitative findings from Pogány-havas’s work in and with the local community, leading to the formulation of proposals for improvements to policy.
- The grasslands are very species-rich – of European importance, with meadows particularly significant. Continuity of management is a notable feature of the area.
- Abandonment is a significant issue, with conversion to sheep pasture a secondary concern, both posing a serious and immediate danger to the conservation status of the meadows.
- Agri-environment has failed so far to have a significant impact on safeguarding the remaining meadows, let alone reversing this trend; the lack of a distinction in payment levels between meadows and pastures appears to be one of the factors involved.
In 2012, the 2011 socio-economic researched was published in a condensed report. Work by the ecological team continued apace; interim results on habitat mapping, the relationship between biomass and diversity and on the ecosystem services of semi-natural grasslands can be downloaded here.
A second event was held in the European Parliament, this time focussing specifically on the importance and fate of hay meadows.
- Anna Mária Csergõ, László Demeter and Roy Turkington:
Losing diversity with abandonment: does identity of dominant species matter?
Evidence from species-rich hay meadows of the Carpathian Mountains