Ângela Lomba, CIBIO-InBIO (The Research Network in Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology), firstname.lastname@example.org
David I. McCracken, Hill & Mountain Research Centre, Scotland’s Rural College, email@example.com
Teresa Pinto Correia, CAAM (Instituto Ciências Agrárias e Ambientais Mediterrânicas) – Universidade de Évora, firstname.lastname@example.org
Agriculture is among the major drivers of change in the Anthropocene. Designing and supporting sustainable farming practices, by combining the efficient use of production factors whilst preserving the natural capital, is thus a pressing challenge. This symposium focusses on the pivotal role of High Nature Value farmlands (HNVf), for reconciling agriculture and nature conservation in the EU countryside. Main challenges and key opportunities will be highlighted and discussed in the context of environment and rural development policies towards future social-ecological sustainability of HNV farmlands.
Agriculture is a major driver of environmental change in the Anthropocene. Covering ca. 40 % of the terrestrial area, agricultural landscapes are known as essential habitats for several species, and as providers of essential ecosystem services. Increasing demand for agricultural expansion and intensification has led to relevant losses of global natural capital, and the need to reconcile agriculture production and nature conservation has been highlighted. Designing and supporting farming practices that respect the integrity of natural resources, combining the efficient use of production factors whilst preserving the natural capital, is thus a pressing challenge.
Recently, ongoing research has been focussing the potential of HNV farmlands as providers of multiple goods and ecosystem services, beyond biodiversity, and specifically investing in the development of methodological approaches that can assess their intrinsic nature value in space and time. Supporting the social-ecological and economic sustainability of High Nature Value farmlands in the future have also been targeted in scientific and political arenas. Tools and guidelines for innovating HNV farmlands are also being discussed and scrutinized. This symposium will jointly deliver results from ongoing projects, such as FARSYD – FARming SYstems as tool to support policies for effective conservation and management of high nature value farmlanDs (FARSYD-2011–2016—POCI-01-0145-FEDER-016664|PTDC/AAG-EC/5007/2014). Goals and results from such projects will be presented and discussed within this symposium, and a discussion regarding perspectives to address main challenges regarding HNV farmlands future viability will also be tackled.
Overall, this symposium focusses on the pivotal role of High Nature Value farmlands (HNVf), for reconciling agriculture and nature conservation in the EU countryside. Specifically, this symposium aims to tackle:
- HNV farming systems as complex social-ecological systems, which intertwined relationships result on nature and /or conservation value?
- Methodological approaches under development and testing for HNV farmlands mapping and monitoring;
- Links between High Nature Value (HNV) farming systems and biodiversity across scales;
- Relation between multifunctional HNV farmlands and their potential for the provision of multiple ecosystem services and goods, focussing specifically on approaches and tools to quantify such potential;
- Challenges and opportunities for High Nature Value farmlands maintenance in the future, specifically targeting paths for social-ecological sustainability, including innovation and multifunctionality;
Finally, this symposium will include a short workshop, in which the focus will be main challenges and key opportunities for increasing and promoting High Nature Value farmlands competitiveness and sustainability in the context of environment and rural development policies.
What can participants expect to learn?
This symposium will tackle the complex relationships between farming systems and biodiversity and ecosystem services, specifically focusing on High Nature value farmlands. Participants will learn about state-of-the-art approaches targeting HNVf being developed and tested across different scales in the EU. Also, the complexity of the social-ecological systems underlying HNVf will be tackled, specifically the role of farmers in shaping such farmlands in space and time, and at different scales. Further, perspectives for maintenance of such farmlands in the future will also be scrutinized.
Outcomes of the symposium will be communicated as follow:
- Press release with main achievements from symposium discussion, published by the European Forum of Nature Conservation and Pastoralism (http://www.efncp.org/);
- Publication within FARSYD webpage (https://www.researchgate.net/project/FARSYD-FARming-SYstems-as-tool-to-support-policies-for-effective-conservation-and-management-of-high-nature-value-farmlands);
- Submission of a Special Issue targeting High Nature Value farmlands is also being analysed