Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Key policy messages from EU CLAIM project

The CLAIM project aims to provide the knowledge base to support an effective CAP policy design in the direction of improved landscape management, particularly providing insights into the ability of landscape to contribute to the production of added value for society in rural areas.

 The CLAIM project is particularly focused on understanding and enhancing the contribution of landscapes management to socio-economic development and agricultural competitiveness in rural areas.

The main policy messages arising from the CLAIM project (with a special focus on the CAP) are the following:

·         Improving the management of agricultural landscapes requires consistent policy action on three scales: (1) the management of landscape features at farm level; (2) the management of landscape structures and the integration of farming into rural landscape management entities at landscape level; and (3) the conservation of the diversity of agricultural landscapes in the EU as a global public good.

·         Policies need to take into account that pathways for landscape valorisation are extremely heterogeneous and linked to landscape characteristics and the local context, including attitudes toward entrepreneurship, networks of local people, global market potential (e.g. tourism, food exports) and residents’ needs.

·         Awareness raising and information are important, but need to be connected to policy actions and the provision of services to land managers to support a better understanding of landscape values.

·         The local population may not be particularly aware of landscape functions as compared to other actors (e.g. tourists). Yet citizens play an important role in landscape valorisation. Consequently, building identity, sense of place and making explicit the connection between landscapes and residential services are important.

·         Within Rural Development Programmes, the connection between incentives to landscape improvement, innovation and agriculture product chain measures needs to be improved, in order to enhance the valorisation of the multiple services provided by agricultural landscapes.

·         In addition, successful landscape management and valorisation requires better coordination between agriculture and the other sectors of the economy.

·         Successful implementation of landscape management policies and their valorisation requires acknowledgement of the regional framework context, including agro-climatic and socio-economics conditions, the structure of agricultural holdings, local governance, intra-linkages (i.e. strong farmers’ cooperatives) and inter-linkages (i.e. interaction among multi-stake-holder platforms).

·         Landscape management policies need to go beyond conservation and consider landscape changes more openly. Efforts should also be made to use innovative indicators to evaluate the effects of landscape policies, in terms of competitiveness and development.

·         New ways of characterising the interactions between rural and urban territories may also be necessary for planning, policy design and monitoring (in particular beyond rurality and beyond the contrast between protected and non-protected areas).


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