Wildlife-friendly Use of Set-Asides: A Successful Workshop in Bonn
Bonn, 13 November 2001
The objective of the workshop ‘Wildlife-friendly Use of Set-Asides’ was to find an international and European common ground, which serves the aim of improving habitats in the agricultural landscape of the European Union.
Taking a look at the list of participants, and finding members from important institutes and association from France, Portugal, Ireland, Hungary, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, United Kingdom and Italy surprised you on the scale of interest, which was at the same time a significant sign for a need for more communication, more coordination and more attention for the topic, but especially formulated the objective to improve habitat in the agricultural landscape of the EU.
Dr. K.W. Schopen opened the workshop, which was held in the building of the Federal Ministry for Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture (BMVEL), for which we are very grateful, and forwarded the best wishes of his minister Renate Künast. Welcome addresses were given by the vice-president of the German Hunting Association (DJV) Kurt Alexander Michael, by Count Colloredo-Mannsfeld, by the President of CIC and by Dr. Yves Lecocq, Secretary General of FACE.
An introductory presentation was given about the complexity of life communities in habitats and the question connected with this for a broader definition of the term “game management” (Hege), which binds landowners as well as hunters.
The main attraction of the morning presentations was by Dr. Balthasar Huber from the General Directorate 6 “Agriculture” from Brussels. Dr. Huber explained the range of agricultural measures, their effects and costs. He talked about the basic principles of set-asides, explained reasons leading to a loss of the set-aside premium and drafted perspectives for the area of set-asides as well as for agricultural environmental programs.
The following highly interesting presentation of Kai-Uwe Wollscheid – FACE Brussels – about “Practice of set-asides in the EU member states” made clear the existing differences between the national laws of each country. This was made very clear by the following presentations from France, United Kingdom, Ireland and Italy. From the German point of view there are more advantageous regulations in the above listed countries than in Germany.
At the mid point of the afternoon presentations was a paper from H. v. Muenchhausen – WWF Germany – that put the agricultural environmental programs of the EU in main focus. Half the cost of these programs is usually supported by the national governments. Financial force and political willingness is necessary for the implementation of these programs. An overview showed the placement of financial supports in Germany. There is an obvious North-South decrease. In the next block the German models were introduced. Special attention was given to the Franconian model presented by Werner Kuhn. This model shows, what engagement the hunting cooperatives have with the task of bringing back functional habitats into the landscape. The slides, shown for documentation purposes, emphasized this matter and the already presentable success.
The Hessian project, introduced by Wilfried Graf, stressed the importance of building alliances such as “community – farmers” and “hunting cooperatives – hunters – nature conservation” and presented surprising numbers from the avifaunistic success report.
On the 2nd day, concepts which were connected with a clear date plan and which should fix discussed statements under the main objective “Improvement of the habitats in the agricultural landscape of the EU” were elaborated in two Working Groups. Working Group 1 elaborated an analysis of the agricultural and environmental strategies in the sectors set-aside and agricultural environmental programs with the aim to submit a paper, which is oriented to the objective in a constructive way. Working Group 2 was called upon to collect and analyse the national models and from those to develop Europe-wide model proposals from those.
Read the other press release on the workshop or more about the set-aside project on the page of the Working Group Agri-Environmental Measures