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The future of farming in the mountains

Mountain farmer: mountain farming makes an essential contribution to maintaining cultivated landscapes in the Alps. © Südtirolprojekt/ pixelio.de

The European Union is negotiating the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). If the "Alliance for Agriculture and Nature Protection in the Alpine Regions" has its way, farming in the mountains will be given particular consideration. The alliance has now submitted its catalogue of demands.
Mountain farmers have previously lost out as regards European Union agricultural support. Funds are for example paid out according to surface area, not according to the effort involved, with serious consequences for species diversity in the Alps. Land that is difficult to work is abandoned, while traditional cultivated landscapes disappear along with animal and plant species. This is the claim of the Alliance for Agriculture and Nature Protection in the Alpine Regions, an alliance consisting of 20 environmental protection and farmer's associations mainly from the German-speaking Alpine areas.
The Alliance demands that the CAP, due to be revised from 2014, should give greater consideration to the special accomplishments of mountain farmers in order to help ensure the long-term maintenance of the unique species diversity existing in the Alps. Subsidies should among other things be linked to nature conservation, incentives created for the maintenance of typical Alpine usages and consideration be given to the increased workload required in mountain areas.
Source and further information: www.euronatur.org/fileadmin/docs