Glastir, an agri-environmental
scheme financed by the Assembly, will pay farmers to manage marshlands in a way that should help the species flourish.
The report shows that "substantial progress" has been made in the development of agri-environmental
indicators at EU-15 level but that there are "a number of remaining challenges" to fully realise the potential of the indicators in support of the policy process.
Intended to go beyond the scope of the current agri-environmental
scheme, the new deal aims to widen its coverage and increase its impact and appeal," she added.
Most farmers want to farm themselves back into profit - but it is their agri-environmental
contribution that will become the yardstick by which the industry will be measured and supported.
"Natura 2000 could therefore become a clear sign of the multifunctionality of agriculture in the third millennium", the report concludes.Agri-environmental measures.The 1992 reform of the CAP introduced support for agri-environmental
measures at EU level with the triple objective of combining more environmentally-friendly farming methods with production cuts, contributing to more diversified sources of farm income and fostering rural development.
The report advocated instead a major shift towards agri-environmental
methods of farming.
In so-called "objective 1" regions, these measures are financed by the EAGGF-Guidance section, with the exception of compensatory allowances, aid for early retirement, agri-environmental
measures, and measures for the development of forests, which are financed by the EAGGF-Guarantee section.
An independent report underlining the benefits of the Government's new agri-environmental
pilot scheme was yesterday welcomed by Environment Minister Michael Meacher.
Axis II covers all land management programmes, agri-environmental
schemes including Tir Gofal, woodland grants and Tir Mynydd.
Some of the aid, however, has been authorised under conditions: approximately Euro 13 million, earmarked by the Italian government for oagri-environmental commitmentso, has been cleared provided the Italian authorities give oevidence that they have properly controlled respect by farmers of the agri-environmental
commitments in questiono.