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Sau på Lofotbeite, Bunes Experiences in using Agricultural Environmental Indicators as a policy tool in the Norwegian agrienvironmental programme Bjørn Huso, Head of section Section for environment and

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Sau på Lofotbeite, Bunes Experiences in using Agricultural Environmental Indicators as a policy tool in the Norwegian agrienvironmental programme Bjørn Huso, Head of section Section for environment and climate Key figures Norwegian agriculture (2007) 5 3% agricultural land 31 64 The Norwegian agri-environmental strategy National level: Direct payments with cross-compliance Acreage and Landscape Payment (2008: 375,8 mil Euros) Headage support for grazing animals (2008: 228,2 mil Euros) Organic farming Regional agri-environmental programs: Regionally tailored schemes targeted at the environmental challenges in each region (2008: 46,9 mil Euros) Local strategies: Targeted at local environmental issues (2008: 15,8 mil Euros) Farm-level: Environmental plan The national programme comprises the following: Overall national environmental goals General framework and guidelines for the design of the regional programmes A toolkit of national and general environmental measures A system for the approval and monitoring of the regional programmes A performance monitoring and assessment system Indicators for prioritising agrienvironmental management options National databases Areas of high erosion risk divided into erosion risk categories Occurrence of areas threatened by afforestaion due to cessation of grazing/mowing Valuable historical landscapes Prioritised natural habitats (national, local and regional) Historical features Local data Mapping of eutrophication in water bodies Mapping of biodiversity Occurrence of summer hill dairy farming Mapping of regionally/locally valuable historical features Occurrence of areas of special natural and recreational value Key reporting areas Valuable historical landscapes with special cultural and biological qualities Historical features Access and recreational activities Erosionand run off to water ways Pesticides Waste intitiatives e.g. area (hectares) valuable historical landscape e.g. number of protected historical features e.g. length og footpaths on farmland e.g. area (hectares) without autumn cultivation e.g. area ( hectares) of mechanical weeding e.g. number of enterprises that have carried out waste initiative Monitoring datas from two different water catchments Experiences in using indicators as a policy tool in Norway Regionally tailored measures and options have resulted in better achievement of the scheme s objectives. Issues in attributing significant trends solely to managment options regarding nutrient-loss and erosion. - Can be linked to changes in agricultural practices as well as climate change General indicators are not enough to achieve good targeting and management (In-depth knowledge required) National reporting system is required to report and evaluate the environmental efforts against key indicators. Recommendations The fact that there are comprehensive monitoring and assessment systems in place, is an indicator of how an area/country is managing its resources and targeting management options. The most useful indicators are based on aggregated data collected systematically. Key indicators must be relevant to national goals as well as reflecting specific local issues. There should be a headline set of general indicators with managed expectations and ambitions as to how useful they are. In most situations general indicators are insufficient for regional and local reporting on their own constant need for more detailed information. Indicators can be used as a general tool in comparing areas at different levels (local, county, country) and for analysing trends over time. Indicators highlight the knowledge-gap in understanding the relationships between environmental condition and other factors such as management practice, climate and soil factors.
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