High nature value areas

59) Secure continuity in the management of semi-natural habitats and other agricultural areas of high natural value, by reforming agri-environmental support for the programming period 2014–2020 and by increasing the number of semi-natural habitats being managed. In addition, develop other support measures outside agricultural policy, in order to maintain and boost the effective management of semi-natural habitats in protected areas and other areas outside farms.

   
Responsible institutions: Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry of the Environment

   
Schedule: 2013–2020

   

Status in 2018: The Rural Development Programme for Mainland Finland 2014–2020 is being implemented. The Environment and Climate action of the Rural Development Programme includes an environmental agreement on the biodiversity of agricultural habitats and scenery management, which encompasses traditional rural biotopes, natural pastures, edge zones, and other valuable agricultural areas. A higher compensation is paid to traditional rural biotopes classified as the most valuable. The number of agreements has increased during the action plan period. For restoring agricultural areas, the Rural Development Programme includes investments in fence building and clearing of traditional rural biotopes and natural pastures. The beneficiaries are farmers or registered associations. 

The greening support belonging to the direct funds of the Rural Development Programme requires that permanent grasslands are preserved. The requirement is even stricter when it comes to permanent grasslands of Natura areas. Since 2015, the nature compensation that also belongs to the direct funds of the Rural Development Programme has been paid also to permanent grasslands that serve as natural pastures or meadows.

 
Further information: The Rural Development Programme for Mainland Finland 2014–2020