NGOs make a strong call to reform the CAP via HNV
NGOs make a strong call to reform the CAP by shifting substantial financial support to High Nature Value (HNV) farming. Launching views on how support could be directed towards low intensity farming in the EU, BirdLife International, Butterfly Conservation Europe, the European Forum on Nature Conservation and Pastoralism and WWF turn the spotlight on the urgent need to maintain specific farming systems, essential for preserving biodiversity and other environmental goods in many European rural areas. The discussion document builds on proposals for HNV support in the Environmental NGO Proposal for a New Common Agricultural Policy launched last year.
The term HNV is used to describe broad types of farming that, because of their characteristics, are inherently high in biodiversity. These farms often are small-scale and sustained by family labour valued below the minimum wage. HNV farmers mostly have lower incomes than conventional farmers because their low production levels mean they cannot produce for the market at such low costs, and because the support provided by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is weighted against them.
The new strategy proposed provides the EU with concrete Europe-wide tools to maintain HNV farming as a vital element to halt biodiversity decline by 2020 and help prevent rural areas in Europe from being abandoned.
BirdLife International, EFNCP, WWF and BCE launched the document during an international conference in Romania, on 7-9 September 2010, and the full version can be downloaded here.
16 Sep 2010
Katrina Marsden is an Agriculture and Rural Development Policy Officer at BirdLife International, a global Partnership of conservation organisations that strives to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity.