Guidance on how to support Natura 2000 farming systems to achieve conservation objectives, based on Member States good practice experiences
This guidance document has been prepared to assist Member State administrations and key stakeholder groups, who are responsible for agriculture and nature conservation, in developing and promoting farming systems and practices within Natura 2000 areas that will help maintain and improve the conservation status of rare and threatened habitats and species of EU importance. The guidelines have been prepared through an active dialogue with relevant stakeholders (agricultural and environmental authorities, farmers’ organisations, environmental NGOs) in order to find ways to encourage a more... integrated approach to the management of farmland in Natura 2000 areas, and to strengthen in particular the partnership approach. The guide provides an overview of the main issues to consider as regards the relationship between farming and Natura 2000 and offers a range of practical ideas, examples and recommendations on managing farmland in Natura 2000 sites, based on good practice experiences from across the EU. Different approaches are presented as regards the design, coordination and implementation of appropriate measures for maintaining habitats and species of EU interest through various types of farming systems and agricultural practices. Particular attention is given in this respect to the integration of Natura 2000 management measures into the Rural Development Programmes. The document is intended to provide a useful source of advice and ideas for Member States and stakeholders. As such it reflects only the views of the European Commission and is not of a legally binding nature. The Habitats and Birds Directives are enshrined in the principle of subsidiarity and it is for Member States to determine the measures to be taken to manage their Natura 2000 sites in accordance with Article 6.1 and 6.2 of the Habitats Directive. The present guidance is therefore not prescriptive in its intent, but rather aims to offer a useful source of information and advice to help Member States implement their obligations under the Habitats and Birds Directives.