|Joint document of Organizzazioni Professionali Agricole (Professional Agricultural Organizations) and Federazione Italiana dei Parchi e delle Riserve Naturali (Italian Federation of Parks and Natural Reserves) for the support and exploitation of agriculture in the protected areas|
By this agreement of collaboration, Organizzazioni Professionali Agricole (Confederazione Italiana Agricoltori, Confederazione Nazionale Coltivatori Diretti, Confederezione Generale Agricolture Italiana) and Federazione Italiana dei Parchi e delle Riserve Naturali intend first of all to facilitate the elimination of the causes which have generated disagreement and opposition among farmers to the creation of protected areas. They also wish to remove those obstacles which have been preventing some parks from combining and integrating agriculture with those activities aimed at conserving and exploiting the environment.
Organizzazioni Professionali Agricole and Federazione Italiana dei Parchi e delle Riserve Naturali wish to collaborate with the purpose of opening a new phase in the relationship between agriculture and the protected areas. This initiative of collaboration is also based on the recognition of the importance of agriculture carried out in sustainable forms which enhance biological diversity. It is also based on the recognition of parks as indispensable elements for guaranteeing the environment conservation, the production of typical local products, the development of the most traditional activities and the human presence in the rural areas.
Today agriculture has a primary role for the conservation of the environment, natural resources and maintenance of biodiversity of which Italy is very rich. The new Community policy, outlined in Agenda 2000, recognizes the multiple functions of agriculture and considers it as an important activity and service to the environment and culture as well.
Within this framework, the protected areas should become privileged areas where it is possible to experiment new and more advanced agro-environmental policies, aiming specifically at lowering input, promoting typical local products and conserving the natural landscape. They should also guarantee the presence and structural modernization of agricultural firms. The agricultural activity carried on with traditional methods is indispensable to keep alive the social, economic and historical-cultural background of the human communities living above all in the protected mountain and/or less favored areas.
Within the framework of the new Community agricultural policy and its reception on national and regional level, it is precisely in the protected areas that it is possible to identify the specific instruments for supporting those forms of agriculture which have low impact on the environment and are deep-rooted to their territorial context.
For supporting these initiatives it is fundamental to single out preferential areas located in those parks and nearby areas where it is possible to concentrate the application of individual agro-environmental measures.
These measures, which are finalized to the development of correct rural policies, will turn out to be successful only if they are consistent with the general objectives of the environmental management of the protected areas and of support to the agricultural entrepreneurs of the same areas.
At this regard, farmers should be strongly involved with the choices regarding the arrangement of the Plans of Parks and the Plurennial Plans for the social and economic development.
For this reason, the drawing up of the operative programs for the use of structural funds, including the rural development, should involve the participation since the beginning of the management bodies of the protected areas as well as of agricultural organizations.
Particularly, the new agro-environmental measures should require the participation of farmers in the preparation of programs for the management and conservation of the environment in the protected areas and the realization of specific initiatives of training and information directed to farmers.
Considering the productive difficulty of agriculture in many protected areas and its fundamental role for conserving the environmental order, each specific measures regarding the protected areas should be followed by further initiatives concerning supplementary activities, starting from the promotion of farm holidays.
The protected areas, particularly the largest areas, can be the most suitable places for the implementation of rural development projects also of interregional character (POM).
In Italy, more than in any other European country, interaction between agriculture and territory has given life to beautiful landscapes both aesthetically and culturally speaking. These landscapes do preserve biodiversity and typical agricultural and food products which represent some of the main resources for the future and growth of the whole country.
In these places, most of which are located in the natural protected areas, the development of eco-sustainable agriculture and the environment conservation are not in contrast, but complementary to each other.
In considering a new European model of agriculture, Agenda 2000 acknowledges almost completely the fundamental function of agriculture for the environment. This is because agriculture is an important form of territorial use and because it creates new job opportunities by means of new production techniques which have little impact on the environment and promote multiple functions.
For all the above mentioned reasons, Confederazione Italiana Agricoltori, Confederezione Nazionale Coltivatori Diretti, CONFAGRICOLTURA (Confederazione Generale Agricoltura Italiana) and Federazione Italiana dei Parchi e delle Riserve Naturali agree on the opportunity that: