Title: High Nature Value Farmland in Europe - An Estimate of the Distribution Patterns on the Basis of Land Cover and Biodiversity Data
Publisher: OPOCE
Publication Year: 2008
JRC N°: JRC47063
ISBN: 978-92-79-09568-9
ISSN: 1018-5593
Other Identifiers: EUR 23480 EN
URI: http://agrienv.jrc.ec.europa.eu/publications/pdfs/HNV_Final_Report.pdf
DOI: 10.2788/8891
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: Europe's agricultural landscapes provide highly varied living conditions for many plants and animals. Baldock et al. (1993) and Beaufoy et al. (1994) described the general characteristics of low-input farming systems in terms of biodiversity and management practices and introduced the term high nature value farmland. Typical high nature value farmland areas are the extensively grazed uplands in the UK, alpine meadows and pasture, steppic areas in eastern and southern Europe and dehesas and montados in Spain and Portugal. The more intensively farmed areas in lowland western Europe can also host concentrations of species of particular conservation interest, such as migratory waterfowl. The need for measures to prevent the loss of high nature value farmland is widely acknowledged. Conservation of biodiversity on agricultural land is an explicit objective of the pan-European Biodiversity and Landscape Strategy, the Bern Convention, the European Landscape Convention, and, at EU level, the Habitats and Birds Directives and the Rural Development Policy (Community Strategic Guidelines for Rural Development Programming Period 2007-2013). In their 6th Environment Action Programme, the EU committed itself to halting biodiversity decline by 2010. Conserving High Nature Value farmland is key to achieving this 2010 biodiversity target. Pan-European data on distribution and conservation status of HNV farmland, however, were largely lacking. In their 2003 "Kyiv" declaration, the European Environment Ministers have therefore set the goal to fill this data gap and take adequate conservation measures. In support of this policy process, EEA and UNEP published a Joint Message (EEA 2004), presenting a preliminary map of HNV farmland and analysing the targeting of agricultural policy instruments. The Joint Message used the concept as developed by Andersen et al. (2003) that describes HNV farmland as: "Those areas in Europe where agriculture is a major (usually the dominant) land use and where that agriculture supports, or is associated with, either a high species and habitat diversity or the presence of species of European conservation concern, or both". The aim of estimating HNV farmland distribution at European level according to a standardised method is primarily to gain insight in the current status, as well as enabling analysis of European trends and targeting of relevant policy instruments, such as Less Favoured Area (LFA) support. In order to increase accuracy, JRC and the EEA have been preparing the first EU27 map of High Nature Value farmland, on the basis of new land cover data, refined and regionally differentiated selection criteria, and additional biodiversity datasets.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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