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Workshop on Agriculture, Biodiversity, and Sustainable Land Use

Background

The Workshop looked at on-going efforts to develop basic principals to guide the implementation of the Pan-European Conference on agriculture and biodiversity organized by Council of Europe, UNEP, French Government, Paris 5-7 June 2002. The Workshop also aimed to look forward to new and emerging strategies focusing on positive development opportunities, provide opening and interactive discussion and sharing of knowledge to introduce key background documents for the Ministerial Conference “Environment for Europe” held in Kiev, May 2003.

Conclusions and Recommendations

A workshop on agriculture, biodiversity, and sustainable land use was held in Kishinev, Republic of Moldova, on April 23-25, 2003 within the framework of the First Regional Session of the Global Biodiversity Forum for Eastern Europe. More than 40 representatives of public, scientific and non-governmental organizations of the EECCA countries attended the workshop. The workshop consisted of seven separate sessions and considered the following issues:

  • Strategies of agricultural development and biodiversity conservation in the EECCA countries;
  • Synergy between the main environmental conventions and the modern policy in the field of sustainable agriculture;

  • Conservation of genetic resources;
  • Sound practices of sustainable agriculture, safe technologies used for plant protection;
  • Sustainable land use as a way to conserve arid and semi-arid ecosystems;
  • Role of the local population in biodiversity conservation and sustainable agriculture.

Participants of the workshop emphasize in particular the need:

  1. To provide full support to and introduce the principles of sustainable agriculture, including organic as well as traditional land use;
  2. To create conditions for transboundary cooperation in the field of sustainable agriculture and establishment of ecological networks;
  3. To introduce the principle of “polluter shall pay” in the agricultural production pattern;
  4. To elaborate and operationalise the methods of carrying out the assessment of damage caused to biodiversity by different agricultural practices;
  5. To compensate for damage caused to biodiversity by agricultural practices;
  6. To strengthen the role of the local population in agro-landscapes biodiversity conservation and to issue informational kits and training tools intended for specific environmental education of the rural population. In doing so it is recommended to take into account positive experience of Moldova;
  7. To support and develop multi-pattern agriculture, as well as cultural traditions of different ethnic groups, to benefit from the local experience in sound use of nature;
  8. To introduce adaptive pasture use systems;
  9. To rehabilitate and to strengthen the agro-landscapes monitoring system as the foundation of agricultural planning of biodiversity considering the role of soil as the key agricultural resource;
  10. To regulate the legal aspects of the use of wild migrating species and their ownership in agricultural fields;
  11. To establish soil reservations as the basis for biodiversity conservation taking into account the key role of soil in agro-landscapes;
  12. To conserve genetic resources as the basis for agricultural plant and animal varieties biodiversity preservation;
  13. To create and make wide use of databases on genetic resources and traditional knowledge;
  14. To make up national and regional Red Data Books of endangered plant and animal varieties;
  15. To develop research on the issue of alien species invasions in agro-cenoses and natural landscapes;
  16. To elaborate a scientifically based position and to develop a plan of joint action of the CIS countries in respect of GMO in establishing sanitary, medical and biological norms of admissibility levels of GMO use in fodder, food and consumer goods using the experience of EEC in the field of GMO, assessment of ecological impact, conducting environmental monitoring of GMO production and use in the open agro-cenoses;
  17. To disseminate the experience gained in natural landscapes restoration;
  18. To develop and introduce the norms for the transfer of low-productive lands into the category of nature conservation lands;
  19. To use ecological criteria for the improvement of SPNA lands cadastre assessment;
  20. To develop and adopt a scheme of tax incentives for the SPNA network development;
  21. To develop rural tourism and open up agro-parks for the unique varieties of animals and plants as well as for traditional trades demonstration and support;
  22. To analyze the experience of projects carried out in the EECCA countries in the field of conservation and sustainable use of agro-biodiversity
  23. To elaborate new forms of cooperation between scientists, rural population and representatives of administrative bodies.

Taking into account the reports and presentations made participants call for the development of a Plan of Action on agro-biodiversity conservation and sustainable use in the EECCA region.

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