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New guidance for farmland management in Natura 2000

AUTHORS: Concha Olmeda – Clunie Keenleyside – Graham Tucker – Evelyn Underwood

The Natura 2000 network aims to protect Europe’s most threatened and valued species and habitats across their entire natural range within the EU. Nearly half of the terrestrial part of this network depends on the continuation of low-intensity farming to maintain its characteristic biodiversity, for example by grazing semi-natural pastures and mowing hay meadows. An important part of Natura 2000 therefore relies on the activities of many farmers and shepherds, often in economically marginal farming areas. This calls for a strong partnership approach between the farmers concerned, the public authorities responsible for both agricultural and nature policies, and civil society.

IEEP has collaborated with the N2K Group to produce detailed guidance for farmland management in Natura 2000 sites. Agricultural authorities and Rural Development Programme managers will find a clear overview of the obligations arising from the EU Habitats and Birds Directives and their relevance to agriculture. They will also find a wealth of practical advice and ideas on how to develop and promote appropriate farming measures and programmes that contribute to the conservation of Natura 2000 sites under a range of social, economic and physical or geographical conditions. Conservation authorities and Natura 2000 managers will find practical guidance on the day-to-day management of key farmland habitats and species and a step-by step guide to using the full range of CAP support measures and other innovative sources of funding for Natura 2000 farmland conservation.

Illustrated and referenced case studies from all over the EU demonstrate good practice examples of Natura 2000 farmland management. The annexes offer detailed information about the farmland habitats and species protected by the Natura 2000 network and clear management guidance for each habitat.

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