The contract is developed within a MULTI-MEASURE CALL of the Tuscan RDP 2014-2020 and aims at the aggregation of public and private subjects to deal – directly and indirectly – with specific environmental problems at a territorial level (hydro-geological risk, soil quality, biodiversity, water retention and landscape enhancement). The contract requires the establishment of a territorial partnership and the development of a territorial development project focused on the main environmental issues of the area under contract. Once approved by the Region, the ITP allows the direct activation and funding from a multiplicity of environmental related sub measures/operations of the current RDP (i.e. non-productive investments related to agro-climatic-environmental objectives). The individual instances presented under the ITP umbrella gain priority over the other applications for RDP measures for both selection and funding. The contract requires a leading subject to coordinate the management of the proposal. The leader has the task of managing network activities and monitoring the progress of material investments to ensure the implementation of the project and its effectiveness/efficiency. The leading entity is also responsible for guaranteeing compliance. The public agency requires at least 85% of budget with respect to the proposed investments in order to deliver payments. The total budget is up to euros 3 million for projects at least euros 500,000 in non-productive investments (environmental). The territorial agreement is signed by both, those who should realise the investments and those who makes a non-direct contribution to the project. For at least three years, the signatories are linked to each other by contractual constraints which regulate mutual obligations and responsibilities regarding the realization of investments aimed at achieving the territorial objectives set in the project (i.e. the investments). Of the 28 projects received by the Tuscany Region within the current RDP, this case study focuses on the ITP of the Tuscan archipelago (Islands of Elba, Capraia and Giglio) that started in 2016. The leader is the Department of Agri-Food Production and Environmental Sciences of the University of Florence (DISPAA UniFi).
Activation of a coordinated monitoring and management network to face hydrogeological instability;Increasing the overall resilience of the territory to calamitous events originated by climate change;
Improving the state of conservation and functionality of some elements of the historical landscape;
Systematic and site-specific dissemination of good agronomic practices to protect the territory;
Supporting farmer’s viability.
Increase the capability to observe the territory and increase positive attitude towards non-productive investments.
The rapid and uncontrolled urban expansion due to tourism has consumed much of the rural and natural areas in the territory of the Tuscan Archipelago. In its major islands (Elba, Capraia, Giglio) serious damage for biodiversity and for the hydrogeological balance of the territories are caused by this intense development. In addition, the recent pressure of the ungulates (wild boar and mouflon in particular, both alien species introduced by man to the island) is causing damage both to crops and to hydraulic and agricultural arrangements and slopes. The Tourism expansion together with the process of agricultural modernization have led to a strong decline in traditional agricultural activities with an increasing land abandonment and the consequent degradation of natural and traditional landscapes. On the other side, the intensification of olive and vine cultivation has led to landscape simplification and to the increase in hydrogeological risk, especially in the hilly systems with the abandonment of the terraces. Such circumstances are amplified by the effect of the ongoing climate change, which is revealed by the increase in heavy rainfall events with a cumulative exceeding 300 mm/d, in the face of a reduction in overall rainfall and the increase in heatwaves. The recurrence of alluvial episodes subjects the territory to the risk of landslides and valley flooding, but also to widespread erosion phenomena.
The “Nature value bargaining” was tested during METSO pilot programme 2002-2007. The aim was to operationalize markets for biodiversity and natural values. Forest owners received subsidy for making the contract. The subsidy level was based on both the biodiversity values of the stand and timber stock. In addition, forest owners’ goals affected their price demands, improving the cost efficiency of the system. After the pilot period, the instrument was abandoned and replaced with more traditional AES due to EU-level legislative reasons.
The objective of nature value bargaining was to establish markets for the natural/biodiversity values of forests. In these markets, forest owners are active and voluntary participants who offer valuable areas from the forests they own (Gustafsson ja Nummi 2004). Owners are encouraged to provide natural values by making temporary contracts with authorities (Forestry Centre or Environmental Centre) and by receiving a subsidy for providing the nature values. Basically, private forests are thus rented/leased to state for providing natural values fort he predefined period.
The voluntary instrument (being part of the planned METSO biodiversity protection program for Southern Finland) was developed as a response to increasing societal understanding that negative biodiversity development needs to be considered more seriously globally and nationally. In particular, it was considered as a solution to Southern Finland, which is dominated by family owned forests. In Southern Finland forests have been managed dominantly for timber production. In this situation, establishing large continuous protection areas was considered to be challenging. The development was also affected by the experiences gained in Natura 2000 process, where the top-down approach and poor informing of forest owners led to conflicts. As a whole, state authorities were active in driving and developing new and more acceptable solutions. However, the nature value bargaining was an innovation that was developed in regional level (South-Western part of Finland, Satakunta) and it was piloted when the instruments for the METSO programme were tested during the pilot phase 2002- 2007. After the pilot phase, the METSO programme was launched in 2008, but the nature value bargaining was not among the instruments anymore.
The main focus of this initiative is to increase the percentage of deciduous trees through reforestation, forest restructuring and a targeted promotion of native trees in view of enhanced species and habitat protection. Ecological forest conversion takes place in a damaged coniferous forest of 252 hectares in the municipality Krailling in Bavaria. A mainly subterranean industrial use is combined with the creation, upgrading and enlargement of important habitats for wild plants and animals. Thanks to the recognition of the enhancement activities on approximately 100 hectares as private eco account scheme, the forest conversion is eligible as anticipated offsetting measure. An entry into the land register at the moment when developers make use of the already implemented eco-accounts measures to offset impacts arising from their projects secures the long-term preservation of the forest. The creation of an oak and hornbeam forest associated with wild fruit is complemented by the creation of forest aisles and nutrient-poor grassland in-between the forest pieces.
Biodiversity protection in the long run through:
development of a private eco-account in southern Germany that is by its surface one of the largest ones;
long-term preservation of a mosaic of forest pieces and nutrient-poor forest aisles;
compatibility of industrial use and high ecological value in one area.
The hurricane “Niklas” caused severe damages in the forest on 31st March 2015. Bark beetles damaged the coniferous trees further. This was taken as an opportunity to schedule a large- scale forest conversion. No public funds are available as the forest is declared as a special area due to the industrial use with tank storage facilities in the underground. The idea to create an eco-account was born to enable the forest conversion in direction of the natural forest cover.
The network covers the whole catchment and 30% of the land area is farmed by Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund (CSFF) network members. A key focus is what can be done to improve water quality across the catchment, especially as it is a salmon and trout river and sediment in the water is a major factor in the lack of recruitment of juvenile migratory fish. Water quality is generally good across the catchment and of Good Ecological Status according to the Water Framework Directive. Many other additional environmental improvements have been added; sedimentation, nitrate and phosphate pollution due to the agricultural and farming activities in the area, and complement the main focus. For example wading birds benefit from the network tackling issues of water quality.
Support for the Pearl Mussel and Salmon Recovery Project;
Improvements to water quality across the whole catchment by tackling sediment and pollution issues;
Maintenance and support for historic and traditional National Park landscapes and features;
Address disconnect between maintenance of the iconic traditional landscapes in the catchment and the systems designed to reward this;
Improving skills and understanding of issues and the measures to tackle them;
There is a long history of action in the River Esk catchment seeking to improve its ecological status so that an iconic species previously found in the river such as the Freshwater Pearl Mussel and species such as salmon and migratory trout do not ultimately go extinct. As a salmon and trout river that has supported recreational fishing, previous action and funding has often focused at the economic level. The CSFF is focused on the environmental and ecological aspects of the catchment, specifically from the perspective of those farming and managing the land. The CSFF aims to support efforts by the Esk Pearl Mussel and Salmon Recovery Project to re-introduce the Pearl Mussel to bolster the remnants of the existing population, through improving the water quality in the river. For this iconic species ‘good’ is not good enough, pristine conditions are required. This needs collective action from farmers in both upper and lower reaches of the catchment to reduce pollution and sedimentation problems.
Cooperation within the “Symbiotic Model” between the Top Farms Group as a leading entity and partner family farms generates synergy effects and is an example of co-operation in the integrated value chain.
So far cooperation is limited to cultivation of selected crops (mainly cereals and vegetables). Resources of the leading farm can be used in partner farms allowing to increase profitability and production efficiency. An access to know-how, technology, machinery services and the supply chain of the leading company gives a chance to optimize production costs and increase incomes. In the economic dimension, the leading farm – the Top Farms Group, contracts specific crops on partner farms, provides means of production (costs might be settled after the harvests), guarantees purchase prices and certainty of commercial transactions, ensures collection and storage of crops, etc. In terms of the technology, the leading farm provides desired varieties of crops as well as agronomic advises that support implementation of good agricultural practices including methods increasing soil fertility based on and the foundations of regenerative agriculture in particular. Top Farms, which is the largest producer of nonGMO soybean in Poland is actively promoting cultivation of this valuable crop. Depending on the needs, specialized services using state-of-the-art equipment might be provided. In the social sphere, the leading farm supports local development. Different actions undertaken improve the quality of life of local residents and benefit natural environment. Building water reservoirs which, apart from their retention and recreational functions, are a habitat for many species of animals, may serve as an example. The leading farm cultivates the culture and traditions of agriculture, among others enlarging the system of windbreaks in the area of the Dezydery Chłapowski Park through planting new and caring for the existing strips of trees and shrubs that protect the fields from wind erosion. Cooperation in the social dimension also means support and education of local children and adolescents – the creation of a training center, apprenticeships for students, an educational program for children, subsidies for local agricultural schools, which are used by the families of the hosts cooperating with Top Farms. The leading farm also invests in infrastructure so that local partner farms can more effectively carry out the tasks entrusted to them. An additional aspect is the support of local cultural, sports and rehabilitation institutions, local administration units as well as places of worship.
Integration within the supply chain (farmer – Top Farms – processor) and within the local community around educational, cultural and infrastructural needs;
Ensuring the profitability of smaller farms by enabling the implementation of the most advanced cultivation technologies, including the most suitable varieties of crop, and an access to large customers in the supply chain;
Protection of the environment by promoting and implementing solutions basedon the foundations of regenerative agriculture.
Supporting the local community in meeting educational, cultural and infrastructural needs.
This type of contract compensates farmers for external activities to their farm production.The contract type has changed over time. However, the structure remained constant, and it includes two main parts: a) a fixed amount (payment) per farm for monitoring a water basin, b) a variable amount to reduce flood risk (and other risks like for example, erosion). The payment is incrementally based on the risk and the action taken to prevent it. The investigated contract solution is the second one, which was redesigned in accordance with farmers involved and the University of Pisa. The second contract solution reduced drastically the fixed components (previously 6000€) due to the shortage in the budget to compensate direct interventions in case of urgent actions required. The main novelties were the requirement of a monthly report containing the results of monitoring and indicating the most problematic area. In addition, after a weather alert, the farmers could signal the threat to water bodies using a dedicated Web App (IDRAMAP).
Preservation of the good status of water bodies;
Maintenance of agricultural and forestry activities with the preservation of existing hydraulic structures;
Support execution of preventing investments to reduce pressure on water bodies;
Supporting farmer’s viability;
Improve the cost-effectiveness of water bodies management;
Increase the capability to observe the territory and increase positive attitude towards non-productive investments.
The mountain area of the Tuscany region is exposed to floods and landslides. This situation has worsened due to the effects of climate change and land abandonment. The Mountain community was in charge of monitoring and avoid water management risks over a territory of 115,000 ha, which includes 1,500 km of water bodies. One of the three Authorities in charge to manage water risks in mountain areas (the formers Mountain community of Serchio Valley, now converted in Union of Municipalities of Serchio Valley (UMC) took the initiative to face: a) institutional change, due to enlarging of the operated area due to acquisition and merging of the previous institution in charge of water basins management (RIbs) with devolution of competences to UMC; b) needs to improve the efficiency in the management of water bodies, to avoid flood and other damages; c) needs to reduce pressure on the environment by trying to keep farmers on the farm in the marginal area of the Apennine, while putting emphasize on ecosystem services provided by agricultural activities (reduction of soil erosion in the mountain by continuing grazing or correct forest management; maintenance of existing hydraulic structures in the forestry and agricultural areas).