1. bookVolume 14 (2015): Issue 1 (June 2015)
Journal Details
First Published
10 Jul 2007
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
access type Open Access

Combining Approaches to Support High Nature Value Farmland in Southern Transylvania , Romania

Published Online: 27 Aug 2015
Volume & Issue: Volume 14 (2015) - Issue 1 (June 2015)
Page range: 53 - 63
Received: 15 May 2014
Accepted: 22 Feb 2015
Journal Details
First Published
10 Jul 2007
Publication timeframe
2 times per year

The region of Tarnava Mare in Southern Transylvania contains extensive semi-natural open landscapes maintained by predominantly low-intensity farming, which is widespread in Romania and indeed many areas of Eastern Europe. Threats to these species-rich habitats from agricultural intensification and land abandonment have been increasing in recent years, to a large extent linked with Romania’s accession to the EU in 2007. At the same time, however, the opportunities for biodiversity conservation in the area have expanded. In 2008, the region became a Site of Community Importance (SCI) as part of the Natura 2000 network, and farmers have applied agri-environment schemes as part of the EU Common Agricultural Policy since 2006. Furthermore, the Tarnava Mare region has been the location of several EU and nationally funded projects combining research, practical and information measures. In this article, we review these various instruments from the practical perspective of an NGO that has been working since 2004 to support High Nature Value farmland and rural communities in this region. We focus on three major support measures - agri-environment schemes, Natura 2000, and publicly funded conservation projects - and consider their effects individually and collectively. We conclude that the presence of multiple instruments can have synergistic effects on the conservation of semi-natural open habitats such as HNV farmland, and that this overlap provides a certain amount of resilience: if one instrument fails, another may fill the gap. Cross-cutting projects combining research with activities to tackle the “problem” of the socio-economic undesirability of low-intensity farming as well as the “symptom” of the loss of HNV farmland are also particularly important in this context.


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