Measure 214 provides payments which compensate agriculture farmers on whose land the globally endangered species Imperial Eagle, European Souslik, Egyptian Vulture, and globally endangered species of geese are found in case the farmers commit to maintaining the habitats of these species. The subsidy amounts to 324 euro per hectare – the highest agroecological payment of the Rural Development Programme.
Measure 214 requires the farmers to transform their arable land into pastures in areas close to the nests of the Imperial Eagles and the Egyptian Vultures. In this manner the feeding habitats of the two species are restored and maintained and traditional livestock breeding is supported – the main livelihood in the regions where the two globally endangered species occur. The farmers with lands where species of geese winter are required to sow and grow winter cereals.
With regards to working with the general public one of the most effective achievements of the BSPB – which can be perceived as a pilot activity for the entire country – is the creation of the so-called mobile farmer consultation teams; these consult farmers directly on site on application opportunities under the RDP, as well as on payments receipt for undertaken agroecological commitments for the nature-friendly management of agricultural land.
Common Agricultural Policy
The BSPB participates in the working group for agriculture at BirdLife International, which prepared a “green” vision for the Common Agricultural Policy for the next programme period 2014 – 2020. The main accents of the vision are the introduction of a “green” component in the direct payment per area, which will oblige agricultural farmers with a commitment to ecology in the management of the agricultural lands through an increase of the funds for agroecology in the second pillar of the CAP. A change of the definition of grass lands is also suggested, so that it can include shrubs and trees which form a natural part of pastures in Bulgaria.