The identification of High Nature Value grasslands, identification of useful indicator species to judge condition of grasslands, and creation of innovative mapping systems that will assist both conservation management and agricultural management.
The creation of guidelines for their continued traditional management, for example: mowing of hay meadows at least once per year, but after 1 July; low stocking rates on pastureland; rotational grazing to prevent damage; not using artificial fertizer; optional higher payments for hand mowing.
The promotion of financial incentives for traditional management. Agri-environment measures have a cost to the farmer, in terms of increased labour and reduced production, and it is essential to give reasonable economic incentives in the form of compensatory payments.
ADEPT has provided technical support to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forests and Rural Development (MAFRD) to assist with the preparation of the NRDP, which establishes the framework for financial assistance available for rural development after Romania’s EU accession. A key issue was ensuring that economic and social development measures for rural areas are fully integrated with measures to ensure sustainable natural resource use. ADEPT has successfully piloted agri-environment schemes (SAPARD 3.3) in the Tarnava Mare, which significantly helped with the design of Romanian agri-environment measures under PNDR (Measure 214).
The work of ADEPT has contributed useful pilot experience that has fed back into policy in Bucharest. Fundaţia ADEPT is a member of the NRDP Consultative Committee.
ADEPT Farm Advisory Service has shown value of local extension services: 7 times the number of farmers and 5 times the area in agri-environment schemes compared to neighbouring areas without Farm Advisory Service .
Comparative take-up of agri-environment in communes in which ADEPT was active, compared to other communes in Mures county, 2009 (official data):
The shepherds in our area get €124 /ha basic grassland agri-environment payments + €58 ha non-mechanization + €100/ha direct payments = total €282 per ha per year. They are not changing their behavior. But without agri-environment payments they would not continue. Thus we can identify multiple biodiversity and other ecosystem service benefits.
Measure 214 is also supporting community grazing. Agri-environment payments, when used by common grazing associations, are reversing the decline in cattle numbers. This is important for maintaining hay meadow management: common grazing helps small herd owners. Each farmer with 2-3 cows mows at different times creating an ideal mosaic for biodiversity
Scrub clearance is strictly enforced under measure 214.