Rare bird species a source of additional subsidies for farmers


The subsidy for arable land transformation of into pastures and its subsequent maintenance in areas with a rich biodiversity will be 324 euro per hectare (2.47 acres). The subsidy is paid within the newly launched agro-ecological actions for habitat management for the Egyptian vulture, the imperial eagle and the wintering species of geese in accordance with Measure 214 ‘Agro-ecological payments’ of the Rural Development Programme at the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, for the period 2007-2013.
The team of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) worked hard for two years to provide compensatory payments for expenses and unrealized uses to farmers who take actions for habitat conservation of the fore-mentioned species. Through the measure the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, together with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food provided a valuable financial resource for the conservation of these three rare bird species, while encouraging the development of local economies and the support of good agricultural practices on a national level.
Unfortunately the changes in the act were published with a delay on 20 March this year; however, the deadline for application for the agro-ecological payments: ‘Protected species habitat conservation in arable lands located in important bird areas’ was prolonged until 12 April 2012, so the farmers interested in the subsidy can apply for this year too.
Last week BSPB agro-ecological experts took part in information meetings in nine of the key regions for the species: Svilengrad, Topolovgrad, Yambol, Stambolovo, Madjarovo, Kardjali, Krumovgrad, Shabla and Burgas. The new agro-ecological actions were presented to the local communities to encourage their benefit from this financial tool.
The new action facilitates the arable land transformation into pastures in Natura 2000 sites with a presence of imperial eagles and Egyptian vultures, as well as its subsequent maintenance. For some species of migrating geese the requirement includes sowing under autumn cereals to at least 50% of the whole cultivated area. The requirement that the land of the applicant was arable as of 2011 according to the Agricultural Plots Identification System represents an important condition to prevent pasture ploughing for compensatory payment.
The 7 basic requirements for application for the new agro-ecological actions can be seen on the following website: www.saveraptors.org.
The concept of Measure 214 and the payments to it is to create a financial instrument which facilitates the conservation and the sustainable management of areas under protection within the national ecological network Natura 2000: Sakar, Most Arda, Madjarovo, Yazovir Ivaylovgrad, Krumovitsa, Studen Kladenets.

For further information:
Edita Difova,
Agro-ecological Expert, BSPB
mob.: +359 878 599 385

Useful information
Where is B14?

Where is B14?

The breeding performance of the Egyptian Vulture population in Bulgaria is among the highest in Europe

The breeding performance of the Egyptian Vulture population in Bulgaria is among the highest in Europe