EU accession process in Central Europe was the main engine for changes in agriculture. There is a need to support farmers and their communities to apply farming practices which are beneficial for landscapes and biodiversity.
Policies of the European Union impact on biodiversity both within the Union’s borders and beyond them. In Western Europe the intensification of agricultural practices, promoted by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), has led to widespread habitat loss and fragmentation. CAP is facing reforms and more funds are being allocated to rural development, however, there is still a need to further integrate biodiversity conservation into agriculture policy and practice. Countries of Eastern Europe went through a period of dramatic political changes and use of chemical inputs and irrigation declined dramatically. However, new problems are notable: land abandonment, under grazing and rural communities’ poverty. Farmers and their communities lack alternative income sources connected to farming practices which benefit landscapes and biodiversity.
Project focuses on high-nature-value areas of Ukraine and Moldova, and aims to help local communities, farmers and their associations to diversify production methods and identify alternative markets. It includes training on organic agriculture, agri-tourism, on markets for local products and production of organic high-quality products for national and international markets. Seminars and public awareness activities will bring this information to target groups.
Project title: Agri-environment measures for conservation in the wider Europe