Unravelling the importance of High Nature Value farmlands for biodiversity conservation and provision of ecosystem services in the Mediterranean regions
Lomba, A. (2018). Unravelling the importance of High Nature Value farmlands for biodiversity conservation and provision of ecosystem services in the Mediterranean regions. 5th European Congress of Conservation Biology. doi: 10.17011/conference/eccb2018/107264
© the Authors, 2018
Through centuries, the intertwined relation between farmers and nature shaped a rich and diverse cultural and natural heritage, reflected as a wide range of agricultural landscapes, where low-intensity farming practices are known to support high levels of biodiversity and the wide provision of ecosystem services. The concept of High Nature Value farmlands (HNVf) was devised in the 90’s as a tool to characterize and direct financial support to such agricultural landscapes. The nature value of HNVf stems from a high proportion of natural/semi-natural vegetation e.g. pastures and meadows, the presence of small-scale elements in the agricultural landscapes, (e.g. field margins, hedgerows), or the occurrence of agriculture-dependent species with conservation interest (e.g. farmland birds). HNVf are multifunctional landscapes, therefore contributing for the delivery of ecosystem services, namely provisioning (e.g. high-quality food, fibre and maintenance of genetic resources), cultural (e.g. recreation and agro- and ecotourism, maintenance of cultural heritage) and regulating services (e.g. climate regulation, pollination), sustained by key ecological supporting functions (e.g. primary production, nutrient cycling, soil formation). Bridging agro-biodiversity conservation with rural development policies, the HNV farmland concept goes beyond the classical approaches to conservation, acknowledging the importance of considering the social-ecological systems underlying HNV farming systems for as critical to protection of the rural environment by enhancing resilience and providing essential ecosystem services. Recent estimates report that over 30% of EU farmlands are High Nature Value farmlands. Moreover, it is also estimated that ca. 50% off all species and 63 out of 231 habitat types of European conservation interest rely on the persistence of specific agricultural practices, namely those associated with HNV farming systems. However, social-ecological changes such as e.g. climate and land-use change (agricultural intensification or abandonment), rural-urban migration, market pressures and public policies, are currently threatening HNV farmlands, putting the persistence of the biodiversity supported by such farmlands at risk. This presentation will focus on the importance of High Nature Value farmlands for the conservation of biodiversity and the wide provision of ecosystem services in Mediterranean regions. Specifically, opportunities and challenges related to the future persistence of the social-ecological systems underlying HNVf will be discussed and illustrated, in the context of the conservation of biodiversity and the maintenance of ecosystem services delivered by such farmlands in the Mediterranean regions. This research is being developed within the FARSYD project – ‘FARming SYstems as tool to support policies for effective conservation and management of high nature value farmlanDs’ (POCI-01-0145-FEDER-016664- PTDC/AAG-EC/5007/2014). ...
PublisherOpen Science Centre, University of Jyväskylä
ConferenceECCB2018: 5th European Congress of Conservation Biology. 12th - 15th of June 2018, Jyväskylä, Finland
MetadataShow full item record
- ECCB 2018 
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