Title: A review of the application of the high nature value concept in Estonia within the context of the European Union

Authors: Tambet Kikas; Robert Gerald Henry Bunce; Ain Kull; Kalev Sepp

Addresses: Department of Geography, Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Tartu, Vanemuise 46, 51014 Tartu, Estonia ' Department of Environmental Protection, Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Kreutzwaldi 5, 51014 Tartu, Estonia ' Department of Geography, Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Tartu, Vanemuise 46, 51014 Tartu, Estonia ' Department of Landscape Management and Nature Conservation, Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Kreutzwaldi 5, 51014 Tartu, Estonia

Abstract: Since the 1990s, the concept of High Nature Value (HNV) farmland has been accepted in Europe as a landscape measure that is correlated with biodiversity. Farmland is land used for agriculture and includes fields, linear features, woodlands, and grazed forests. The objective of the paper is to provide an introduction to the concept in Estonia, in order to identify relevant parameters. The paper firstly summarises the background and history of HNV, which is designed as a policy tool to support low intensity farming. In Estonia a map of potential HNV is now being developed, based on relevant national information, because of limitations in European databases. These problems are illustrated by an analysis of the situation in Estonia, with the conclusion that detailed national data will improve the accuracy of the map, which can then be used for policy formulation for conservation of biodiversity in the country.

Keywords: CORINE land cover map; biodiversity; high nature value; HNV definition; HNV map; spatial patterns; rural policy; rural areas; Estonia European Union; HNV farmland; agriculture; low intensity farming; nature conservation; sustainability; sustainable development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJARGE.2015.072902

International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology, 2015 Vol.11 No.2, pp.143 - 157

Available online: 06 Nov 2015 *

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