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High Nature Value Farming: Learning, Innovation and Knowledge. (HNV-Link)
Start date: 01 Apr 2016, End date: 31 Mar 2019 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"High nature value (HNV) farmland designates “those areas in Europe where agriculture is a major land use and where that agriculture supports, or is associated with, either a high species and habitat diversity or the presence of species of European conservation concern, or both”. They are an important component of European agriculture, notably in terms of biodiversity, cultural landscape, territorial cohesion, quality products and employment. However, abandonment, degradation, economic and social marginalisation are long-standing challenges for the associated farming systems which are still under considerable pressure. For national and local authorities, the European Union and the Common Agricultural Policy, and for stakeholders, the challenge is twofold: • to avoid further degradation and disappearance of HNV farming and increase their socio-economic viability: this could be done by collating, evaluating and disseminating innovations as tools for their development; • to maintain their “natural value”, i.e the environmental services they provide to the society. For these reasons, our consortium, an EIP Agri Focus Group and new partners, propose a network dedicated to supporting HNV farming, networking HNV areas covering a range of different farming systems across the EU, and to focussing on innovations improving simultaneously “socio-economic viability” and “environmental efficiency”. Conceived as a “support service” for knowledge and innovation exchanges, the HNV-Link network will give a decisive new impetus to this sector, and will provide tools to organisations, actors and networks supporting HNV farmlands. The marginality of HNV areas in conventional research and development means that HNV farming-related innovation is rarely discussed in academic exchanges. Our thematic network, both grassroots-based and transnational, can really make a difference, by connecting farmers and innovation actors in line with the vision of the EIP-Agri "operational groups"."
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