Developing National Agri-environment Programme for Serbia

22 December 2010 | News story

Belgrade, Serbia – One of results of the project Support for Agri-environment Policies and Programming in Serbia is the publication “Agri-environment Programme for Serbia”, launched today during the conference organized by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), in cooperation with Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of the Republic of Serbia, Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia and Serbian Environmental Protection Agency.

The publication is produced in both Serbian and English and is intended to serve as a reference document to support the future programming of agri-environment measures in Serbia, that is foreseen to be done as part of the EU accesion of Serbia. Special attention is given to introducing the concept of high nature value (HNV) farming and agricultural practices that support biodiversity conservation, and to the definition of concrete agricultural measures for biodiversity conservation. The Publication begins with an introduction to the main changes in Serbian agriculture over the past half century and the resulting environmental impacts. It presents the principles of the HNV Farming and agri-environment concepts, their development over the time, and the lessons to be learnt from EU Member States with regard to their application and implementation. The publication includes indicative map of high nature value farming areas in Serbia.

“Agri-environment Programme for Serbia” presents proposals for agri-environment policies and measures for Serbia, with a particular focus on those targeted at supporting low-intensity farming systems that help to maintain high levels of biodiversity. The final chapter identifies the social, economic and environmental benefits that arise from implementing agri-environment measures. Development of agri-environment programme is an integral part of the EU accession process, which defines it within the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and as such is mandatory for all EU Member States. In addition to contributing to protection of biodiversity and traditional agricultural practices, agro-environmental programme encourages rural development.

As publication’s authors stress out, with properly targeted support, HNV farming could yield a viable economic future and modern quality of life for rural communities. Low intensity farming methods, quality food products, traditional crafts and rural tourism could be at the heart of sustainable rural development in Republic of Serbia.

This publication is the result of the project Support for Agri-environment Policies and Programming in Serbia implemented in the period 2009-2010. One of the main objectives of the Project was to formulate potential agro-environment mechanisms that will ensure the conservation of high nature value farming areas. The project was implemented through the cooperation of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Natura Balkanika, supported by the Dutch NGO Avalon and the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP). Financial support was provided by the Dutch BBI-Matra programme.
 

For further information please contact Tomasz Pezold, IUCN SEE.