Projects in Romania
Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos’s home country of Romania is a key test for HNV farming policy. Occurring at landscape scale and characterised by a rich variety of Natura habitats and species, HNV farmland provides part of the living of up to 3 million small farmers whose future provides one of the biggest challenges to rural policy.
We started to look in more detail at the HNV farming concept in a Romanian context and to start to consider its policy implications in a collaborative project with the WWF Danube-Carpathian Programme, funded by the Netherlands Government. Three of the project workshops took place in Romania, taking the counties of Sibiu, Mehedinti and Galati as case study areas, with a seminar reporting conclusions from these and the three complementary Bulgarian workshops being held in Brussels, supported by a final publication.
It was appropriate therefore that in the year of Commissioner Ciolos’s appointment, we were able, in collaboration with our partners Fundatia Adept, to use Romania, and Târnava Mare in particular, to highlight the European importance of semi-natural grasslands through a high profile conference at which we launched a new policy proposal for the support of HNV farmland through direct payments. The conference brochure gives pointers to the type of analytical process which should underline the development of the next Rural Development Plan.
This need to use science and the experience of working alongside farmers and their communities on the ground to inform policy making has been central to our two other main partnerships in Romania, with Pogányhavas Kistérseg in Harghita county and the Mozaic project in the north-west of the Transylvanian basin.
Developing monitoring protocols is an essential part of ensure the efficacy of rural development support in Romania. In 2012, we collaborated with Butterfly Conservation Europe and Leuphana University to raise awareness of standardised butterfly monitoring techniques.
Romania’s challenges have a complexity and scale all their own, but many of the issues are common to other countries. One of these is Spain, with its huge farmed Natura sites; its pastoralist tradition; its artisan food products and so on. EFNCP organised a study tour to north central Spain (2.238 KB) for representatives of all its partners in Romania. Further capacity building work at grassroots level has been carried out through supporting the work of Rural’Est in their Seuca workshop (4.178 KB).
Co-operation between NGOs is very important – EFNCP is supporting the work of a new HNV coalition, bringing together our 3 main collaborators and other partners to discuss proposals for the new RDP.