On January 31st, it was the deadline for submissions to the draft, National Framework for Rural Development. This document, prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture, states that rural development measures that all regional governments have to implement mandatory. WWF / Adena warned earlier that the document has serious shortcomings in terms of actions to conserve the environment, contrary to the established European guidelines on rural development.
Ministry of Agriculture continues to gamble, so, for a continuation of rural development, where again irrigation and rural roads and agribusiness were priority. By contrast, farmers in Natura 2000 or organic producers outside this framework. Full responsibility now rests on the autonomous communities, which must decide in their rural development programs if they want to support these operations, in which agriculture and environmental conservation can be compatible.
Case of farmers with land located in protected areas of Natura 2000 is even more poignant, since the logging in the same position it will support rural development in all the Autonomous Communities. This type of traditional farms, usually characterized by low productivity, has habitats or species of high value again being marginalized within the agricultural policies, receiving little support in comparison with other systems that has more intensive production.
The Autonomous Communities are not required to provide support to organic products. While the Agriculture Ministry launches campaign to promote consumption of such foods, being sure to include in a national framework to encourage this excellent form of agriculture with rural development measures.
Celsa Peito, Head of Agrarian Policy of WWF / Adena, warned: "The Ministry of Agriculture will continue to promote an outdated model of agriculture until 2013. We will come back again to ask for inclusion in the National Framework for the farmers in Natura 2000." Moreover, given the limited funding, WWF / Adena has sought to establish environmental priorities (and there are social in nature) to improve access to aid for rural development. In this way, should discriminate positively in the rangelands, dry cereal or ranching in the high mountain meadows, organic producers or farms in areas of forest with high fire risk.
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