Adi Associates Environmental Consultants Ltd

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Agricultural fields

Client: Ministry of Sustainable Development, the Environment and Climate Change

Start / Finish Dates:  August – October 2013

In line with good agricultural and environmental conditions, whereby all agricultural land, including that no longer under production, is well maintained, Malta identified a number of landscape features, eligible for area payment under the Common Agricultural Policy. Adi Associates’ role for this assignment was to review the landscape features proposed thus far by Malta insofar as their appropriateness in terms of their ecological and agricultural functions.

Adi Associates described a number of landscape features in relation to the rural environment and assessed their importance in terms of their environmental, biological and cultural role whilst also considering their importance from an agricultural point of view. The significance of these features relates to the interaction between agricultural activity and biodiversity. Landscape features that were evaluated included field margins, ponds, trees, natural habitats and vegetated slopes.

The evaluation identified a number of landscape features that should be considered eligible for area payments and concluded by highlighting the importance of ensuring that farmers with direct influence over these features are compensated for their maintenance and long-term conservation. Standards for the management of these features should be developed and necessary training provided to farmers to ensure a consistent approach.