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Defining the HNV farming concept at EU and local levels Guy Beaufoy EFNCP Spain.

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Presentation on theme: "Defining the HNV farming concept at EU and local levels Guy Beaufoy EFNCP Spain."— Presentation transcript:

1 Defining the HNV farming concept at EU and local levels Guy Beaufoy EFNCP Spain

2 What is High Nature Value (HNV) farming?  Farming that creates conditions of high biodiversity (diversity of wild fauna and flora);  and/or maintains particular wildlife species of conservation concern.

3 What is High Nature Value (HNV) farming?  The term “HNV farming” dates from 1993 - Nature Conservation and New Directions in the CAP  This report found the common characteristic of HNV farming to be a low intensity use of: Livestock densities per ha. Nutrient inputs (nitrogen) Biocides Land exploitation with “space for nature”

4 Identifying HNV farming at EU level  In 2003 the European Environment Agency began developing indicators and maps of HNV farming (Andersen et al).  Two main types were identified: 1)Low-intensity livestock systems using mainly semi-natural vegetation. 2)Low-intensity arable and tree cropping systems in a mosaic, with presence of semi-natural elements

5 Low intensity management Livestock Nitrogen Biocides % of semi-natural vegetation Grass, scrub Trees Field margins Diversity of land cover Crops Fallows Grass Type 1 Type 2 HNV

6 Presence of High Nature Value farmland using mainly semi-natural vegetation, CORINE land cover Source: EEA Extremadura, Spain Western Isles, Scotland

7 Proportion of UAA under low-intensity farming systems, using FADN data on farm inputs Source: EEA, unpublished Extremadura

8 Type 1: semi-natural grazing land (Extremadura)

9 Black vulture Nardus grasslands “Cambrionales” Cytisus purgans formations Hay meadows Natural values maintained by mountain grazing


11 Typcial mixed dryland landscape of Spanish interior (HNV type 2),

12 Natura 2000 habitats: zWet and dry heathland zBlanket bog zAlpine and coastal grasslands Type 1: semi-natural grazing (Western Isles)

13 Type 2: low-intensity crop mosaics with semi-natural elements Crex crex

14 Crucial actors for nature conservation

15 How is HNV farming important for nature conservation?  Many of Europe’s most valued natural areas are maintained by HNV farming.  HNV farming is thus essential to the success of policies such as Natura 2000.  HNV farming is also crucial to biodiversity outside protected areas.  It is thus essential to achieving the EU’s aim of halting biodiversity decline by 2010.

16 How secure is the future for HNV farming?  HNV farming is widespread in marginal areas where physical conditions have prevented intensification.  But it faces fundamental problems of economic survival due to various factors:  The marginal physical conditions and location.  Specific labour requirements (e.g. shepherding).  Competition from other labour opportunities.  Competing landuses, such as afforestation and irrigation (CAP funded?).  Increasing rules and regulations

17 What needs to be done?  Need a common understanding of: what is HNV farming? how to identify it? and how to target policies to support it?  New EU study starting now on these questions  But Member States need to take up the challenge for themselves.  Local case-studies should be helpful in building a national picture.

18 Ensuring sustainability of HNV farms  For basic economic viability, farms need support payments (for example, Less Favoured Areas payments).  For long-term sustainability, farms need investment aid and advice.  Farming practices can be made better for the environment through agri-environment payments.  Policies for rural development, nature conservation, forestry, food labelling, should all take account of HNV farming.

19 Conclusions  Supporting HNV farming is not just a legal obligation …  For some countries it can also be seen as an important resource for rural areas.  HNV farming is an opportunity for combining nature conservation with the maintenance of employment and cultural values...  And for the development of new economies, such as “green” tourism.

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