23 Sep 2022 Conservation schemes for farmland birds in Europe – closing conference of the Birds@Farmland initiative
The Birds@Farmland initiative of the European Commission aims to support the EU Member States in conserving wild birds in agricultural landscapes. The initiative will develop twenty farmland bird conservation schemes in ten Member States (Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, and Portugal) based on sound scientific knowledge and proven agricultural and land management practices.
The Birds@Farmland Initiative developed 22 conservation schemes for birds inhabiting European farmland. These conservation schemes – among others – introduce bird-friendly management of rice fields in Bulgaria, Portugal and Spain, aim at creating grassy field margins in Italian arable land, Corncrake habitat in France, Grey Partridge habitat in Germany, and habitat for a number of species, including Turtle Dove, in Austria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. They also contribute to combating the abandonment of cultivated pastures in Finland. In total the Initiative developed farmland bird conservation schemes for 10 European countries in cooperation with national and regional public authorities, NGOs, farmers’ unions, farm advisory services, hunting associations and other relevant actors. (1)
During the fully online conference, the European Commission and the consortium implementing the initiative (2) will inform on the conservation schemes developed by the initiative as well as priority agricultural systems and flagship species identified for the conservation of farmland birds in Europe, and their practical applications in the years ahead. There will also be an opportunity to learn from and discuss a number of case studies illustrating key lessons learned in developing conservation schemes that are effective for birds and attractive to farmers. Ultimately, the success of conservation schemes depends on the availability of funding as well as the acceptance of the schemes by farmers. The conference will thus present an overview of the measures benefiting farmland birds in the national CAP Strategic Plans. It will also explore potential funding sources beyond the CAP and suitable measures to enhance the uptake of conservation schemes by farmers and landowners. Finally, the European Commission will inform about the ‘Task Force for the Recovery of Birds’ which aims at addressing conservation and management challenges for birds in the EU.
The conference will take place on Tuesday, 11 October 2022 | 09:30 – 15:45 (online). We invite representatives of competent authorities, as well as NGOs, Farm advisory services, farming, hunting, and landowners associations, and other relevant actors to participate in the workshop. Please note that participation is limited. Therefore participation is only granted upon receipt of confirmation on the side of the organisers, which will be sent to you in due time before the conference.
(1) The ten countries targeted by the Birds@Farmland Initiative are: Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, and Portugal.
(2) The consortium consists of Environment Agency Austria (lead) and Pensoft Publishers.