Presentation on theme: "Agricultural and nature preserving land use The EU accession and sustainable (value preserving) agriculture provides very strict requirements towards."— Presentation transcript:
Agricultural and nature preserving land use The EU accession and sustainable (value preserving) agriculture provides very strict requirements towards the Hungarian agriculture. As a result of the Common Agricultural Policy of the EU (launched in 1992), similarly to Western Europe it is necesarry also in Hungary to analyse the non-productive functions of agricultural areas. It became clear, that agricultural production and nature preservation cannot be separated spatially.
Agricultural and nature preserving land use Essence of the developed models: Revival of the biotope network which became a victim of large-scale farming, as well as the so-called green passages greean areas, protective belts, riverside strips, living hedges, forest belts, treelines, etc.
Agricultural and nature preserving land use In Hungary three types of land use is reasonable: 1. Protective (water, soil, nature and landscape protecting) land use. 2. Extensive, production aimed land use in areas that have relatively disadvantageous properties. 3. Intensive, production aimed land use considering the advantageous agroecological potential, land use potential and the aspects of landscape management.
Land use zone system Area/ function Other land use StatusNature protection objectivesobjects 1. PROTECTIVE None Total reserve (preferably state owned) Protection of species, biocenosises, biotopes, and the natural balance. Plant and animal species and habitats on the list of the protected 2. UTILIZATION LIMITED BY PROTECTION PRIORITIES Limited Water protection, Landscape protection, Protected landscape elements Protection of natural resources (soil, water, plant and animal species). Surface waters and their side areas, ground waters, soils, swamps, wetlands, dry grasslands, natural forests. 3. UTILIZATION Functional and considering nature protection objectives Agricultural landscape Maintenance of the landscape character and preservation of its ecological functions. Living hedges, forest belts, treelines, plot borders fine structures.
Land use zone system (land use pyramid) Categories of the nature preserving and agricultural zonation: I. Nature protecting core zones: Exclusiveness of the nature protecting function, total prohibition of other land use activities, or their total subordination to the protective purpose. II. Protective zones, puffer zones: Landscape fostering, nature and enviroment protecting farming, with environmental, employment, cultural and recreational functions. III. Transitional zones Ecological and other extensive farming methods with the stronger enforcement of agricultural production + protective and other functions with unharmed biotope network systems.
IV. Agricultural zones: Agricultural production functions are primary, but only with the enforcement of the principles of the integrated, environment friendly farming. Areas withdrawn from cultivation: Urbanization, consumption-servicing, infrastructural and industrial functions. Land use zone system (land use pyramid)
Land use zone system (land use pyramid) The first three category of the zone system is the target field of suports. The fourth zone is in the market competition category and includes the areas with the best productive potential.
Land use zone system (land use pyramid) The aim of the strategy is to integrate land use and nature preservation, to determine the intensity of use and protection and their proportion in conformity with the properties of the given landscape. Industrial farming moved the category borders of the land use pyramid drastically upwards, concentrating almost exclusively to the production- aimed functions. Our task is to move these borders downwards, reducing the area of intensive land use, and insisting proper land use intensity and farming system in every category.
Lands suitable for agricultural production in Hungary
Principles of practical implementation 0.5-1.5 million ha could be withdrawn according to the drawn up land use concept; forestation and grass covering are necessary as well as the transformation towards an extensive, ecological direction. These are usually production sites which have not belong originally to the plough land use type either. Therefore, maintaining the plough-land land use type is not reasonable. As a result of this step, the area of plough-land decreases and part of it – primarily on protected areas – switches to ecological (biological) farming. Areas withdrawn from field cultivation might serve the formation of the biotope network system, they have to end up partly in grass, garden and forest land use types.
Agricultural suitability For judging the suitability for agricultural production 15 indexes (terrain, soil and climate parameters) are used, Environmental sensitivity was assessed based on 13 indexes (soil, water, etc.).
Environmental characteristics and environmental sensitivity values 1. Slope angle 2. Soil value number 3. Golden crown value (Gc/ha) 4. Soil type and sub-type 5. Physical type 6. Water management characteristics of the soil 7. pH and lime condition of the soil 8. Organic matter content (t/ha) 9. Thickness of the productive layer (stone, gravel, ground water) (cm) 10. Energetical agricultural potential (t/ha) 11. Climatic agricultural potential (t/ha) 12. Maize production climate suitability value 13. Wheat production quality climate value 14. Wheat production quantity climate value 15. Barley production climate suitability value
Environmental characteristics and environmental sensitivity values 1. Areas under natural protection in Hungary 2. Planned areas of ECONET 3. Suggested sensitive natural areas 4. Ramsari areas 5. Internationally significant bird habitats 6. Important areas for endangered bird species (pcs. species) 7. Degree of erosion 8. Physical soil type 9. Clay mineral quality 10. pH and lime condition of the soil 11. Organic matter content (t/ha) 12. Subsurface water protection areas 13. Surface water protection areas
Agricultural suitability Soil sections of Hungary can be put on a scale of 0-99 indicating agricultural suitability and a scale of 0-99 indicating environmental sensitivity. The creators of the study elaborated a land use zone system, where: areas under 100 value are suggested to be in the protective zones, Areas between 100 and 125 in the extensive agricultural zones, Areas above 125 in the intensive agricultural zones.
Characterization of arable-lands within the new land use system Most of the areas withdrawn from the arable-land soil use type is transferred into grassland it is reversible in case of changing conditions, demands 50% of the current 4.5 million ha plough-land has outstanding agricultural potential, 10% is situated in environmentally sensitive areas. There are intensive plough-lands on the 3.2 million ha area with highest agricultural potential and lowest environmental sensitivity.
Distribution of extensive and intensive arable lands in the new land use zone system
Characterization of forests within the new land use system Currently: 1.8 million ha forest (19.1% proportion) long term plans: 2.6 million ha (28%) 80% of the forest area is economic 15% is protective and 2% is public welfare aimed
Distribution of forest in the new land use zone system
Characterization and utilization of grasslands within the new land use system 20% of the grasslands is situated in hills and mountains, most of the grassland in Hungary is on the Great Plain (1.1 million ha, 12%) High-quality, intensive grassland: 50,000 ha, extensive, weak potential grassland 550,000 ha, 350,000 ha of this has soil protection function there is no economically utilizable grass yield.
Characterization and utilization of grasslands within the new land use system Production-aimed grassland use: approx. 1 million ha, 25% of that is intensive (livestock sites), 40-45% is semi-intensive, 30-35% is extensive (transition protective grassland, puffer area) Grasslands surrounded by forests (size: below 50 ha, total area: couple of thousand ha, in hills and mountains) Grasslands situated in the valleys of mountains and hills (hundreds of ha of pastures)
Characterization and utilization of grasslands within the new land use system Decrease of the livestock grasslands and pastures are hard to sustain (changes in agricultural subsidies concerning grazing livestock, rural development) Under-grazing: decrease in the number of grazing animals migration of plant species not characteristic in pastures Approx. 550,000 ha grassland is resown, and treated with artificial fertilizers flora is poor Extensive bio livestock farming on protected areas (guaranteed chemical free pastures) (Hungarian grey cattle)
Characterization and utilization of grasslands within the new land use system Establishment of transitional grasslands: forestation max. 15,000 ha/year protection against erosion, deflation Areas of new grasslands: areas with the lowest agricultural potential and the highest environmental sensitivity (788,000 ha plough-land, but the forestation of the current 533,000 ha grassland is expected)
Distribution of grassland in the new land use zone system
Nature protection land use characteristics of the mountain and hill areas, wetlands and swamps The survival of grasslands surrounded by forests can be ensured by the regional organizations of nature protection. The regionally differentiated funding of grazing would highly contribute to the preservation of the current landscape structure of the country (including the natural values). As a result of the continuous decrease of grazing animals since the change of regime, the signs of under-grazing are showing on increasing areas.
Nature protection land use characteristics of the mountain and hill areas, wetlands and swamps This process leads to the forestation of the pasture on the long run. Preservation of the hungarian natural grasslands would not only ensure the subsistence of a certain part of the population and the maintenance of the landscape, but also the very rich animal and plant population as well. Preservation of large grasslands in the vicinity of protected areas is an important objective. The natural link (green passages) between these areas should be maintained.
Nature protection land use characteristics of the mountain and hill areas, wetlands and swamps Forestation of hill and mountain plough-lands is desirable, because it would increase the area of forests in territories where they are the most determining plants of the landscape. Because of the relatively good yield potential, it will be difficult for the owners to agree with changing the land use type. Positive regulators might have an important role (funding of plough-lands exposed to erosion should be terminated and high forestation fundings should be provided).
Nature protection land use characteristics of the mountain and hill areas, wetlands and swamps In the majority of the changed plough-lands forests and tree plantations should be established. This is a long process (15,000 ha/year). Forestation. Biologically, tree plantations are not the same as forests. Tree plantations should be established where the conditions of forestation are not present (e.g. too deep ground water). In such areas mostly not local but adaptive tree species can be planted (e.g. acacia, or black pine).
Reform possibilities of the land use of flood basins The current land use of flood basins is equally distributed amongst plough-lands, forests and grasslands (meadows, pastures). Most of the plough-lands are privately owned. Plough-land cultivation should be terminated as soon as possible, because these areas are suitable for the establishment of willow-poplar or oak-ash-elm gallery forests.
Reform possibilities of the land use of flood basins The decrease of plough-lands shpuld be started in flood basins. Economically the maintenance of some of the grasslands in flood basins is justified. After starting the elimination of flood basin plough-lands the forest coverage of these areas could be doubled as a result of the newly plant forests, It is worth to look for new, sustainable solutions. This objective is served by the follow-up programme of vásárhelyi-plan, which includes: the improvement of the current embankments and the increase of the draining capability of flood basins.
Land use and ownership redistribution possibilities related to water management (flood and internal water threat) Hungary is situated in the deepest part of the Carpathian basin. 52% of the Hungary’s territory and two-third of its cultivated land is threatened by flood and internal water. During the last decades intensive utilization methods overcame traditional farming and they were unable to adapt to the hectic water management conditions on the long run. The risk of flood and intenal water significnatly decreased yield security. Unsettled ownership conditions and the significant separation of land use and land ownership result in improper utilization.
Land use and ownership redistribution possibilities related to water management (flood and internal water threat) In flood basin areas the interests of nature protection and flood prevention and the interests of the agricultural producers are conflicting. Harmonization of the flood prevention and nature protection interests is the primary goal, the interest of producers should be adjusted to that. The best way of utilizing the flood basin areas is extensive grass management and the establishment of woody pastures and wetlend habitats. In areas that are involved in floods the primary objective is the maintenance of natural plants and indigenous forests.