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					National Agri-environment Programme for Bulgaria                                              DRAFT




National Agri-environment Programme
(NAEP) for Bulgaria (2007 – 2013)



WORKING DRAFT 5 (June 2005)

FOR CONSULTATION AND DISCUSSION

Please note:

This draft National Agri-environment Programme (NAEP) for Bulgaria has been prepared in
anticipation of the requirement to implement an obligatory agri-environment measure during the
forthcoming period 2007 – 2013 as part of a wider rural development programme encompassing all
measures selected from the EAFRD Rural Development Regulation1.

According to the new Rural Development Regulation, the European Commission will create – for
the first time – an EU strategy document to guide the rural development programmes produced by
Member States in order to ensure they are both focused upon EU priorities and complement other
EU policies

It is proposed that each Member State will then be obliged to prepare a national strategy document
in order to “translate” the EU priorities to the national situation and context. This is intended to
ensure that Community aid for rural development is a) spent consistently within the framework of
the EU strategy document and b) that Community, national and regional priorities are co-ordinated.

The drafting of this NAEP is undertaken before the above process has been finally agreed
or completed, but it is anticipated that the objectives formulated for the NAEP will be
broadly in accordance with those eventually expressed in the national rural development
strategy plan for Bulgaria – notably, the overall strategy for implementing Axis 2 (Improving
the Environment and Countryside).

The contents of this NAEP may therefore require some modification and further development to
ensure compliance with the final version of the EAFRD Regulation and its implementing rules.




1
 Council Regulation on support for Rural Development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural
Development (EAFRD) - COM (2004) 490 final

                                                                                              Page 1 of 57
National Agri-environment Programme for Bulgaria                                                                                      DRAFT


Table of Contents:
1. Rationale..................................................................................................................................... 3
     SAPARD Measure 1.3: Agri-environment Pilot Project ........................................................... 4

2. Current Situation ......................................................................................................................... 5

3. Objectives ................................................................................................................................... 6
     General Objectives .................................................................................................................. 6
     Specific Objectives .................................................................................................................. 6

4. Description of the Programme ..................................................................................................... 7
     Whole Farm Agri-environment Plans ....................................................................................... 9
     Obligatory Training for Applicants.......................................................................................... 10
     Advisory Support for Applicants ............................................................................................ 10
     Combination of Packages/Sub-measures (quick draft!) ......................................................... 11
   Organic Farming Scheme (OF 1) .............................................................................................. 12
   Management of High Nature Value Farmland Scheme (HNV) ................................................... 16
     Restoration and Maintenance of Semi-natural Grasslands (HNV 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5) .................... 16
     Maintenance of Waterfowl Habitats (HNV 6) ......................................................................... 20
     Maintenance of Protected Species Habitats (HNV 7) ............................................................ 22
     Creation and Maintenance of Riparian (Riverside) Habitats (HNV 8 & 9) .............................. 24
     Extensive Management of Fishponds (HNV 10) .................................................................... 27
   Creation and Maintenance of Landscape Features Scheme (LF) .............................................. 29
     Lowland Mosaic (LF 1 & 2) .................................................................................................... 29
     Creation, Restoration and Maintenance of Field Boundaries (LF 3, 4 & 5) ............................ 31
     Traditional Orchards (LF 6) ................................................................................................... 33
   Soil and Water Protection Scheme (SW)................................................................................... 36
     Crop Rotations for Soil and Water Protection (SW 1) ............................................................ 36
     Control of Soil Erosion in Catchments (SW 2) ....................................................................... 38
   Traditional Livestock Breeding Scheme (LB) ............................................................................. 41
     Preservation of Traditional Local Breeds (LB 1) .................................................................... 41
     Traditional Shepherd Systems (Mountain Pastoralism) (LB 2 & 3) ........................................ 44

5. Financial Provisions .................................................................................................................. 49

6. Implementation Procedures ...................................................................................................... 50
   General Responsibilities ........................................................................................................... 50
   Eligibility .................................................................................................................................... 50
   Application Procedure ............................................................................................................... 50
   Selection Criteria ....................................................................................................................... 51

7. Monitoring and Evaluation ......................................................................................................... 52
   Outline of Potential M&E System .............................................................................................. 52

8. Promotion/Communication Campaign ....................................................................................... 54

Annex 1: Minimum Requirements and Commitments ................................................................... 55
  Statutory Management Requirements ....................................................................................... 55
  Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition (GAEC) ........................................................... 56

Annex 2: List of IBAs for Package HNV 6 .................................................................................... 57




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1. Rationale
The natural resources, traditional landscapes and biodiversity of Bulgaria‟s rural areas are part of
the country‟s national treasure. Their preservation, restoration and appropriate management are of
common interest and a major goal for the sustainable development of rural areas in Bulgaria.

In common with many other regions of Europe, one of the great challenges for the restructuring
and revitalisation of the Bulgarian rural economy is achieving the most appropriate balance
between optimum levels of food production and the need to both protect the rural environment and
encourage economic development, including the creation of employment.

One of the most promising instruments for achieving the necessary integration of policy objectives
will be the National Agri-environment Programme (NAEP) that will be introduced after Bulgaria‟s
anticipated accession to the European Union in 2007.

The NAEP will be implemented under Sub-section 1 (Measures for Targeting the Sustainable Use
of Agricultural Land) of Priority Axis 2 (Improving the Environment and the Countryside) of the
proposed new EAFRD Regulation2 that will replace Regulation 1257/1999 for the programming
period 2007 – 2013. It will be a compulsory measure for the Bulgarian government to implement
and reflects the increasing emphasis of the EU upon RDP measures that target the sustainable
use of agricultural land.

The preamble (recital 34) of the EAFRD Regulation advises that, agri-environment payments
should “…play a prominent role in supporting the sustainable development of rural areas and in
responding to society's increasing demand for environmental services. They should further
encourage farmers to serve society as a whole by introducing or continuing to apply agricultural
production methods compatible with the protection and improvement of the environment, the
landscape and its features, natural resources, the soil and genetic diversity.”

In order to achieve this, Article 37(2) of the Regulation makes provision for agri-environment
payments to be given to farmers who make a voluntary commitment to undertake agri-environment
activities that go beyond the baseline established by the cross-compliance standards established
in accordance with Council Regulation No. 1782/2003 and other relevant national mandatory
requirements, as well as additional minimum fertiliser and plant protection requirements that will be
identified and fixed in the NAEP.

As a general rule the period of this commitment can be for a period of between 5 and 7 years, with
longer periods possible where necessary and justified. However, given the limited experience of
agri-environment measures in Bulgaria it seems most appropriate to limit the period of commitment
to the minimum of 5 years (at least during the first programming period until 2013).

Where appropriate to the achievement of specific environmental objectives, agri-environment
payments may also be granted to other land managers (e.g. shepherds with long-term grazing
agreements). However, this needs to be justified on a case-by-case basis

Non-productive on-farm investments linked to the achievement of agri-environment commitments
may also be supported according to Articles 34 and 38 of the EAFRD Regulation and are included
in the NAEP for certain packages.




2
    COM (2004) 490 final

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SAPARD Measure 1.3: Agri-environment Pilot Project

SAPARD Measure 1.3 - and the implementation of a selection of “pilot measures” (each of 5 years
duration) in designated “pilot areas” - was originally proposed in 2001 as a “tool” for developing
and refining the National Agri-environment Programme (NAEP) for Bulgaria. This was in
accordance with the guidance from the SAPARD Unit of DG Agriculture at the time which indicated
that pilot agri-environment actions should be a restricted version of a fuller agri-environment
programme with the main purpose “…to validate or test approaches before applying them, post-
enlargement, at a national scale”.

Unfortunately at the time of writing (June 2005), SAPARD Measure 1.3 was still not implemented.

Since the period available for the full and effective implementation of the agri-environment pilot
project is now very limited, the implementation of the NAEP will inevitably continue to facilitate a
process of “learning by doing” leading to the increasing accumulation of knowledge, experience
and technical capacity amongst participating farmers and all agencies associated with the
administration, control, monitoring and evaluation of agri-environment support payments. It is
proposed therefore that the NAEP will be implemented:

a) in “phases” according to available budget, priority measures and institutional capacity, and;

b) with some of the more complex measures introduced firstly as “pilot measures” on a limited
   geographical basis to test their design, feasibility and effectiveness.




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2. Current Situation

A comprehensive analysis of the situation concerning agriculture and the environment was
prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture in 2001 with the objective of supporting the development of
SAPARD Measure 1.3: the agri-environment pilot project. This situation analysis has been
recently updated and clearly shows that the influence of agriculture upon the state of the Bulgarian
environment has been both positive and negative. The NAEP will aim to maintain, enhance and (if
necessary) recreate the positive benefits of agricultural management where they occur, while also
helping to correct or protect against the negative impacts.

Small-scale private farming dominated Bulgaria before 1945 and generally had a positive impact
upon the environment with:

   the creation of a diverse agricultural landscape of mixed farms and small fields in many
    regions;
   the creation and maintenance of semi-natural grasslands, valuable bird areas and other
    landscape features by traditional farming methods, including mountain grazing systems, and;
   continued breeding and use of local animal breeds and crop varieties.

Major changes occurred in Bulgarian agriculture after 1945. All farmland was nationalised and
collectivised to create the new State and Collective farm structures. These farms were
encouraged to expand, intensify and specialise their production activities – consequently all
available land was brought into production, fields were made larger, inputs of fertilisers and
pesticides were greatly increased and huge animal breeding “complexes” were constructed. At the
same time, many traditional farming systems were destroyed.

The impact of communist agriculture upon the environment was very negative (especially in the
lowland areas):

   traditional landscape features were cleared and ploughed to produce large fields;
   local animal breeds and crop varieties were abandoned;
   many valuable semi-natural habitats were destroyed by drainage, ploughing and
    “improvement” with the use of fertilisers and pesticides;
   water and soil pollution increased due to the poor management and excessive application of
    chemical fertilisers, animal manures and pesticides;
   soil erosion increased greatly due to poor land management and came to be recognised as a
    major national problem.

The structure of Bulgarian agriculture was transformed again when the process of post-communist
agricultural reform began in the early 1990s. After de-collectivising and privatising the huge agri-
industrial complexes that had previously dominated Bulgarian agriculture, thousands of small-scale
private farmers have re-appeared and the agricultural landscape is changing again.

The impacts of post-communist reforms upon the environment are both positive and negative. For
example, there has been a significant decline in the use of agro-chemical inputs and consequently
an improvement in ground and surface water quality. This improvement in water quality is also
likely to be related to the decline in livestock numbers and a reduction in the risk of pollution from
the large animal breeding complexes.

On the other hand, one of the main environmental problems to emerge has been the abandonment
of farmland – especially in the mountain areas where the maintenance of grazing is essential for
the conservation of the valuable semi-natural grasslands. There also remains the risk of further
environmental damage as economic circumstances improve and farmers intensify their production
systems again.


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3. Objectives

General Objectives

The general objectives of the National Agri-environment Programme (NAEP) are to:

1. promote the introduction and continued use of more environmentally-friendly agricultural
   production methods that protect or improve the natural environment and contribute towards a)
   achieving a sustainable pattern of land management; b) preserving the rich natural heritage of
   Bulgaria, and; c) improving the quality of life for its people3
2. contribute towards the protection and restoration of important habitats and natural systems in
   accordance with national objectives and the EU‟s goal of halting biodiversity loss by 2010
3. contribute towards the protection of soil and water resources in accordance with national
   objectives and EU environmental obligations, including the Nitrate and Water Framework
   Directives
4. provide competitive compensatory payments for farmers and other land managers who
   voluntarily manage their land in a manner that is beneficial for the environment
5. support diversification of the rural economy, including the creation of new employment
   opportunities in rural areas
6. stimulate the creation and maintenance of new markets for a) quality products (e.g. organic
   products) that are produced in an environmentally-friendly way and are good for human health,
   and; b) other environmental goods and services, including the development of rural tourism
   and associated recreational activities


Specific Objectives

The specific objectives of giving support to farmers participating in the NAEP are to:

a) Increase the awareness and knowledge of farmers about the impact (positive and negative) of
   agricultural practices upon the environment, especially in relation to the management of soil
   and water and the conservation of biodiversity
b) Promote the use of environmental planning in farm management practices, including the
   identification and maintenance of all areas and features on the farm of ecological and
   landscape value
c) Support the development of organic farming as an environmentally-friendly and economically-
   viable method of agricultural production
d) Maintain genetic variety and cultural heritage by supporting the conservation of endangered
   local breeds of farm animal and traditional crop varieties, particularly where these have
   additional environmental benefits
e) Maintain biodiversity by encouraging the conservation of high nature value farmland (semi-
   natural habitats) which is under threat from changing land use, agricultural intensification
   and/or abandonment, including support for traditional mountain pastoralism in designated
   areas
f) Maintain and restore traditional agricultural landscapes and landscape features which have
   cultural, scenic or environmental value, especially for biodiversity
g) Conserve soil and water resources, including in those areas affected by severe erosion and at
   risk of high nutrient losses (e.g. Nitrate Vulnerable Zones) or other forms of agricultural
   pollution




3
  In accordance with the overall long-term strategic objective of the National Strategy for the Environment
(2005-2014) for the Republic of Bulgaria

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4. Description of the Programme

It is currently proposed (June 2005) that the National Agri-environment Programme will consist of 5
schemes clearly linked to the specific objectives above.

The overall structure of the programme will be as outlined in Figure 1.

Each scheme will consist of a number of “packages” (also known as “sub-measures”) that
participating farmers will voluntarily agree to follow in return for:

   annual support payments for the 5 year period of their agri-environment commitment
    (management agreement)
   and for certain packages, specific investment payments financed under Priority Axis 2 Non-
    productive Investments.

Each “package” will have clear operational objectives, management requirements and specified
payment rates. Farmers will be offered a “menu” of packages that are available in their region and
may select a mixture of packages according to what is most relevant to their land and what is
approved for combination. The resulting “management agreement” will be signed between the
applicant and the Paying Agency. Each management agreement signed with the Paying Agency
will be specific to the participating farmer.

All farmers participating in the NAEP and receiving agri-environment support payments will be
required to follow certain minimum requirements and commitments on all the land they manage
(see Annex 1). According to Article 37(3) of the draft EAFRD, these standards will be in
accordance with:

   the cross-compliance standards (GAEC) established in accordance with Annexes III and IV of
    Council Regulation No. 1782/2003 and other relevant national mandatory requirements.
   minimum fertiliser and plant protection requirements that will be identified and fixed in the
    programme

Farmers will only receive agri-environment support payments for activities that go beyond these
mandatory requirements.

The implementation of the schemes and packages comprising the NAEP will be phased according
to available budget, environmental priority, implementation capacity etc.           The shaded
schemes/packages in Figure 1 are the priority schemes/packages that are currently proposed for
implementation from 2007/2008 – of these, it is recommended that at least three packages (LB 2/3
and SW 2) are piloted on a limited geographical basis before more widespread implementation.

All farmers (with some limited exceptions) wishing to participate in the NAEP will be required to
undertake a basic training programme that will develop their understanding of the opportunities
presented by the NAEP and provide detailed explanation of the application procedure, including
preparation of the Whole Farm Agri-environment Plan (see below). These training activities will, in
accordance with Article 20 of the EAFRD Regulation, be financed by the Vocational Training and
Information Actions measure of Priority Axis 1. Additional supplementary training on specific
packages (e.g. organic farming) might also be offered under this measure.




                                                                                        Page 7 of 57
National Agri-environment Programme for Bulgaria    DRAFT




FIGURE 1:

Overview of
Proposed National
Agri-environment
Programme for
Bulgaria

Note that priority
schemes /packages
are shaded




                                                   Page 8 of 57
National Agri-environment Programme for Bulgaria                                           DRAFT


Whole Farm Agri-environment Plans

All farmers applying to receive agri-environment support payments – except the Traditional
Livestock Breeding (LB) measure - will be required to prepare a Whole Farm Agri-environment
Plan as part of the application procedure. This requirement is based upon Article 22 of the
preceding Rural Development Regulation No. 1257/1999 that provided support for agri-
environment programmes to promote “…the use of environmental planning in farming practice”.

The purpose of the Whole Farm Agri-environment Plan is to:

1. develop the farmer‟s understanding of the environmental features and value of his/her farm –
   thereby helping to avoid the risk of causing damage to one part of the farm whilst receiving
   environmental payment for another part;

2. provide the farmer with a simple management tool for helping to implement the selected agri-
   environment packages – including compliance with Statutory Management Requirements and
   standards of Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition (see Annex 1);

3. provide simple “baseline” information for assessing the impact of the agri-environment
   measures.

The Whole Farm Agri-environment Plan will be prepared according to instructions issued by the
Managing Authority. It will be accompanied by:

a) a simple work schedule for implementation of the agri-environment packages that are selected
   by the farmer, and;

b) a map of the agricultural land of the farmer that is considered to constitute his/her “whole farm”.
   The concept of a “whole farm” is not currently defined in Bulgarian legislation and is
   complicated by the fragmented and dispersed patterns of land ownership that is characteristic
   of most regions. For the purposes of agri-environment planning, a “whole farm” is taken as all
   fields/parcels owned or rented by a farmer within the borders of the municipality that he/she is
   permanently resident in (exceptions may be made for certain NAEP packages at the discretion
   of the Managing Authority).

The “whole farm” map will be prepared on an appropriate scale and will clearly identify:

a) all fields/land parcels forming the “whole farm”, including all boundaries, which is:

   currently in agricultural production i.e. cropped or grazed
   temporarily out of agricultural production i.e. not used for cropping or grazing up to 2 years
   currently abandoned from agricultural production i.e. not used for cropping or grazing for 3 or
    more years
   not used for agricultural production e.g. areas of forest, wetland, steep slopes etc.;

b) all farm and other buildings;

c) all areas and features on the farm of ecological and landscape value e.g. streams, rivers and
   lakes, well-established areas of natural vegetation, semi-natural habitats, hedges, stone-walls
   and other traditional field boundaries, archaeological sites etc.;

d) the borders of protected areas and the type of limitations on their use;

e) the location of all land and environmental features that are included in the application for agri-
   environment support payments.


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National Agri-environment Programme for Bulgaria                                         DRAFT


The Whole Farm Agri-environment Plan will be signed by the applicant (or by a person duly
authorised by him/her and bearing a notary-endorsed certificate). Farmers may use the assistance
of an adviser to prepare the Plan (see below).

The Traditional Livestock Breeding (LB) scheme will have a simplified application procedure.


Obligatory Training for Applicants

All farmers wishing to receive agri-environment support payments must participate in a basic
training course before they make their application to join the NAEP.

This is compatible with the preamble of the EAFRD Regulation (recital 15) advising that farmers
and other land managers require an appropriate level of training and awareness in the fields of
“…sustainable management of natural resources, including cross-compliance requirements, and
the application of production practices compatible with the maintenance and enhancement of the
landscape and the protection of the environment“.

The objective of farmers participating in a basic course of instruction will be to:

   raise their awareness of agri-environmental issues at national and regional level;
   develop their understanding and knowledge about the NAEP schemes and packages available
    in their region;
   assist them in the selection of the most appropriate packages for their farm, and;
   support the successful preparation of their application to join the NAEP, including preparation
    of the Whole Farm Agri-environment Plan.

Training courses will be organised annually as part of the promotional campaign for the NAEP and
will be fully integrated with other related information activities. A minimum of 8-12 hours basic
training is recommended. Farmers will only be required to undertake the basic training once during
the 2007-2013 programming period and would not, for example, be required to repeat the training if
applying in subsequent years to enter more land into the NAEP.

It is recommended that supplementary training activities are also offered to farmers on a voluntary
basis to improve their capacity and skills for implementing specific packages, such as organic
farming. Participation in supplementary training before applying to the NAEP might be used as
one of the criteria for selecting applications.

Training activities should be funded under Priority Axis 1 Vocational Training and Information
Actions in accordance with Article 20 of the EAFRD Regulation.


Advisory Support for Applicants

Implementation of the NAEP should be supported by appropriate advisory activities, including
support to farmers during the process of preparing their applications and Whole Farm Agri-
environment Plans. It is recommended that this is a core responsibility of the National Agricultural
Advisory Service (NAAS), but other organisations might also offer specialist agri-environment
advisory support if there is a “market” for their services.

According to Article 23 of the draft EAFRD, support can be given to farmers under Priority Axis 1 –
Use of Advisory Services measure in order to “…meet costs arising from the use of advisory
services for the improvement of the overall performance of their holding” provided that as a
minimum the advisory service covers the statutory management requirements and GAEC
components of cross-compliance. However, it is not clear at the time of writing (June 2005) if
advisory support for the NAEP will eligible for such payments since there are some differences in

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National Agri-environment Programme for Bulgaria                                     DRAFT


the scope and conditions between the advisory services measure under Article 23 of the draft
EAFRD Regulation and that provided in the Accession Treaty for Bulgaria for the period 2007-09.
This issue will be reviewed in detail by the Commission services.


Combination of Packages/Sub-measures (quick draft!)

Permitted combinations of the NAEP packages/sub-measures on the same parcel of land are
shown in the table below:

                            HNV          OF      LF                            LB       SW
                1   2   3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 1                        2 3    1 2
      1                 X X X   X        X X X X X X    X                       X X
      2                 X X X   X        X X X X X X
      3         X X             X        X X X X X X    X                       X X
      4         X X             X        X X X X X X    X                       X X
  HNV 5         X X             X        X X X X X X    X                       X X
      6                         X               X X X
      7         X X     X X X X   X X X  X X X X X X    X                       X X
      8                         X   X
      9                         X X
      10                        X
  OF  1         X   X   X X X   X           X X X X X X X                       X X
      1         X   X   X X X   X        X    X X X X   X
      2         X   X   X X X   X        X X    X X X   X
  LF  3         X   X   X X X X X        X X X      X   X                              X X
      4         X   X   X X X X X        X X X      X   X                              X X
      5         X   X   X X X X X        X X X X X      X                              X X
      6                                  X
      1         X       X X X   X        X X X X X X                            X X
  LB  2         X       X X X   X        X              X                         X
      3         X       X X X   X        X              X                       X
      1                                         X X X
  SW
      2                                         X X X

Where different sub-measures are combined, the total support payments per hectare must not
exceed the maximum amounts established in Annex 1 of the EAFRD Regulation. This will be
checked during the processing of applications received from farmers by the Paying Agency.




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Organic Farming Scheme (OF 1)

Rationale:                       The development of organic farming in Bulgaria has been relatively
                                 slow, but is now increasing rapidly. Bulgaria has favourable soil and
                                 climatic conditions for organic farming and is already developing a
                                 reputation as a producer of high quality, speciality organic products
                                 (e.g. essential oils and medicinal herbs) with good export potential.
                                 There are also good opportunities for the development of a domestic
                                 market for organic products, including fresh and processed fruits and
                                 vegetables.

                                 National legislation for the regulation and certification of organic
                                 production and processing was first introduced in 2001. There are
                                 two separate ordinances for plant and livestock products which
                                 transpose the requirements of EC Regulations 2092/91 and
                                 1804/1999 (plus amending regulations) into Bulgarian law.

                                 At the end of 2004, the total area under certified organic management
                                 was 11 771 ha (0.2% of cultivated agricultural land) with an additional
                                 512 ha in conversion. This included 12 greenhouses, 5 livestock
                                 farms and 4 farms producing certified propagation material for 3
                                 crops.

                                 A National Strategy and Action Plan for the Development of Organic
                                 Farming in Bulgaria was prepared in 2005. The NAEP Organic
                                 Farming Scheme aims to provide an important tool for implementing
                                 the National Strategy and for achieving its goals – including:

                                    developing the domestic and export market for organic products
                                    increasing the area of agricultural land and the number of farms
                                     managed according to accredited organic farming standards
                                    widening the range of organic crop and livestock products

Operational Objectives:             To increase the area of agricultural land and the number of farms
                                     managed according to accredited organic farming standards
                                    To encourage and maintain a variety of organic production
                                     systems
                                    To encourage more “balanced” organic farming systems based
                                     upon crop rotations and the integration of crop and livestock
                                     production
                                    To provide specific support to the organic production of Bulgarian
                                     speciality products (e.g. essential oils and medicinal herbs)
                                    To provide specific support to farmers undertaking conversion to
                                     organic production methods
                                    To increase the availability of seed and propagation materials that
                                     is produced according to accredited organic farming standards
                                    To support and increase the competitiveness of organic farming

Geographical Scope:              Whole territory of Bulgaria

Potential Beneficiaries:         Private farmers, natural or legal entities that own, lease or rent land
                                 (rental agreements of at least 5 years are recommended, but shorter
                                 periods can be accepted at the risk of the beneficiary)



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National Agri-environment Programme for Bulgaria                                                DRAFT


Management                          Conversion and/or on-going management according to accredited
Requirements:                        national or international organic farming standards
                                    Organic management must be maintained for the full 5 year period
                                     of the management agreement
                                    Organic crop rotations must be planned and strictly followed on all
                                     cultivated land (arable and horticultural) with an appropriate
                                     balance of fertility-building and “cash” crops

                                 The following additional management requirements are also proposed
                                 in order to ensure that the anticipated rapid increase in the area of
                                 land under organic management does not have any negative
                                 environmental impacts:

                                    All livestock manure produced on the organic farm must be stored
                                     and used in accordance with the Code of Agricultural Practice for
                                     the Protection of Water
                                    Sloping land must not be cultivated for organic arable or
                                     horticultural production where there is a significant risk of soil
                                     erosion occurring
                                    Meadows and pastures which are identified on the whole farm
                                     agri-environment plan and agreed to have important nature value
                                     must not be ploughed to create extra land for cultivation of arable
                                     or horticultural crops or the planting of perennial crops
                                    Traditional field boundaries, single trees or small forest patches
                                     which are identified on the whole farm agri-environment plan must
                                     not be destroyed to create extra land for cultivation of arable or
                                     horticultural crops or the planting of perennial crops
                                    Wetlands which are identified on the whole farm agri-environment
                                     plan must not be drained to create extra land for cultivation of
                                     arable or horticultural crops or the planting of perennial crops
                                    The grazing density of organically-managed livestock on
                                     grassland receiving organic support payments must be between
                                     0.5 (0.1?) – 1.5 LSU/ha in order to avoid under/over-grazing of
                                     organic pastures

Duration of                      5 years
Commitment:
Minimum Area:                    The following minimum areas for organic support are considered
                                 appropriate for achieving the objectives of the National Strategy and
                                 Action Plan for the Development of Organic Farming:

                                    Crops in arable rotation – 1.0 ha
                                    Crops in horticultural rotation (open field), including potatoes – 0.1
                                     ha
                                    Crops in intensive horticultural rotation (greenhouses) – 0.1 ha
                                    Perennial crops – 0.1 ha
                                    Aromatic/essential oil and medicinal crops – 0.1 ha
                                    Lowland pastures/meadows – 1.0 ha

                                 These minimum areas will not be linked to the minimum area for
                                 direct payment support (Single Farm Payment)

Expected Impact:                 Stated targets of the National Strategy and Action Plan for the
                                 Development of Organic Farming (2005) are:



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                                    10% of all Bulgarian food products sold in Bulgaria to be organic
                                     by 2013
                                    8% of all agricultural land to be under organic management by
                                     2013

Payment Rates:                   ORGANIC FARMING SUPPORT (OF 1)
                                 All land that is registered as “in-conversion” or “fully organic” with an
                                 accredited organic certification organization will be eligible to receive
                                 a basic organic support payment (EUR/ha) according to the following
                                 categories of production system:

                                    Cultivated land in organic arable rotation with crops including
                                     cereals, fodder crops, legumes/green manures, fallow land
                                     (maximum of 10%?) and/or temporary grassland - ?? EUR/ha
                                    Cultivated land in organic horticultural rotation (open fields),
                                     including legumes/green manures for fertility building - ?? EUR/ha
                                    Cultivated land in intensive organic horticultural rotation (annual
                                     crops in greenhouses), including legumes/green manures for
                                     fertility building - ?? EUR/ha
                                    Perennial crops, including orchards, berry plantations, vineyards
                                     and perennial crops in greenhouses - ?? EUR/ha
                                    Aromatic/essential oil and medicinal crops - ?? EUR/ha
                                    Lowland (up to 100 metres)/hill (100 – 700 metres) pastures and
                                     meadows that are a) not in arable rotation (i.e. not ploughed
                                     during the 5 year management agreement) and b) used by
                                     organically managed and certified livestock (these should be at
                                     least 50% of the total Livestock Units on the same farm) - ??
                                     EUR/ha

                                 It is not considered appropriate to provide support for the organic
                                 management of mountain (700+ metres) pastures and meadows
                                 SUPPLEMENTARY PAYMENTS

                                 The following supplementary payments are proposed in response to
                                 some of the main obstacles identified by MAF to be limiting
                                 development of the organic sector:

                                    All land that is registered as “in-conversion” with an accredited
                                     organic certification organization will be eligible to receive a
                                     supplementary organic support payment of ?? EUR/ha (or % of
                                     basic rate) for a period of ?? (2/3) years to provide compensation
                                     for the additional costs/loss of income associated with conversion
                                     to organic production methods (OF 1A)
                                    Farmers receiving basic organic payments for arable or
                                     horticultural crops will be eligible to receive a supplementary
                                     organic support payment of ?? EUR/ha (or % of basic rate) for the
                                     production of organic seeds or propagating materials (e.g. bare
                                     root transplants, plant modules etc.) provided that this is clearly
                                     identified in their cropping plan at the time of application (OF 1B)
                                    A supplementary payment of ?? EUR/ha (or % of basic rate) is
                                     also proposed to encourage local co-operation between organic
                                     farmers for the spreading of surplus manure. Local partnerships
                                     may be established between a) farms with organic animals which
                                     have a problem with spreading manure because of the maximum
                                     limit of 170 kg of Nitrogen per year/hectare and b) other local

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                                     organic farms with no or very few animals (especially organic
                                     horticulture). Partnerships must be established in advance of
                                     participating farmers making application for basic organic support
                                     and must clearly identify the participating farmers. The maximum
                                     limit of 170 kg of Nitrogen from manure per year/hectare will be
                                     calculated on the basis of all of the organic farms involved in the
                                     partnership. The Code of Good Agricultural Practice will also
                                     have to be followed (OF 1C)

                                 The system of payments outlined above is considered optimal for
                                 achieving the objectives of the scheme and for supporting
                                 implementation of the National Strategy for Organic Farming. More
                                 sophisticated payment systems can be developed later if considered
                                 necessary. For example, at the discretion of the Ministry of
                                 Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) (and subject to the approval of the
                                 Commission) it may be considered appropriate to introduce regional
                                 payment rates that are related to the productive capability of different
                                 areas (e.g. LFAs) –such regional payments have been applied in
                                 Member States such as Sweden and Finland.

                                 Note: It is recommended that participation in the NAEP Organic
                                 Farming Scheme should be a priority selection criteria for investment
                                 funding under Priority Axis 1 (Improving Competitiveness of the
                                 Agricultural Sector), Priority Axis 3 (Diversification of the Rural
                                 Economy) and the LEADER Axis of the EAFRD Regulation. This will
                                 give additional support to the implementation of the National Strategy
                                 for Organic Farming and enhance greatly the opportunities for
                                 development of a competitive and sustainable organic farming sector
                                 in Bulgaria with a well-balanced and diverse range of profitable
                                 businesses involved in the production, processing and marketing of
                                 organic products




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Management of High Nature Value Farmland Scheme (HNV)

Packages:                        Restoration and Maintenance of Semi-natural Grasslands (HNV
                                 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5)
Rationale:                       Semi-natural grasslands are some of the most valuable ecosystems
                                 in the agricultural landscape and are the result of many centuries of
                                 stable agricultural management using the grasslands for grazing
                                 animals (pastures) or making hay (meadows) or combinations of both
                                 uses. As a result of this long-term management, the ecosystems
                                 associated with semi-natural grasslands are well developed and
                                 characteristic of their bio-geographical region.

                                 This is especially true in Bulgaria where a diversity of environmental
                                 conditions have contributed to the widespread formation of several
                                 contrasting types of semi-natural grassland ranging from the high sub-
                                 alpine pastures of the mountain ranges to the wet meadows of the
                                 Black Sea coast – all of which: a) are characterised by high floral
                                 diversity and b) provide important habitat for other groups of species,
                                 such as butterflies and breeding birds.

                                 All semi-natural grasslands need the continuation of traditional
                                 agricultural practices in order to survive. This means the continuation
                                 of traditional patterns of grazing and hay-making, as well as the
                                 avoidance of agro-chemical inputs such as fertilisers and pesticides.
                                 If the semi-natural grasslands are not managed in the proper way, for
                                 instance by land abandonment or over-grazing, the biodiversity of the
                                 grassland community will decrease by development of shrub
                                 encroachment or dominance of competitive grassland species.

                                 There are several different pressures upon semi-natural grasslands in
                                 Bulgaria:

                                    Following the huge decline in the numbers of livestock during the
                                     1990s and the continuing low prices for milk and meat, many high
                                     nature value pastures are now under-grazed or abandoned. As
                                     grazing is reduced or abandoned, so is the mowing of meadows
                                     and a process of succession begins with the intrusion of shrubs
                                     and trees into the grassland and the dominance of more
                                     competitive grassland species. There are two main patterns of
                                     succession – shrubs and trees may be scattered due to the
                                     uncontrolled growth of seedlings or (if there is adjacent forest)
                                     there may be a gradual invasion of tree seedlings from the edges
                                     of the grassland towards the centre;
                                    With the poor economic returns from keeping grazing animals on
                                     semi-natural grasslands, many farmers in lowland areas and on
                                     more fertile soils resort to the conversion of grassland to arable
                                     crops, vineyards or orchards. This results in the irreversible loss
                                     of plant diversity and the subsequent disappearance of the
                                     associated invertebrate and vertebrate communities;
                                    When semi-natural grasslands are owned by municipality
                                     authorities and located close to settlements they are often used
                                     for common grazing by local people. In contrast to the pressures
                                     described above, this often leads to over-grazing and pasture
                                     degradation with the loss of all previous nature value.


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Operational Objectives:             To avoid the further loss of high nature value grassland
                                     communities and associated species through abandonment,
                                     conversion to arable land and other crops, or over-grazing
                                    To conserve and maintain high nature value grassland
                                     communities and associated species through the continuation or
                                     re-introduction of traditional management practices on semi-
                                     natural grasslands
                                    For grasslands in protected areas - to contribute to the
                                     implementation of protected area management plans and the
                                     achievement of protected area conservation goals, including the
                                     achievement of favourable conservation status for Natura 2000
                                     sites
                                    To contribute to the achievement of favourable conservation
                                     status for Natura 2000 sites outside of protected areas

Geographical Scope:              All semi-natural grasslands (including grasslands on long-abandoned
                                 arable lands?) – with appropriate targeting according to environmental
                                 priority, strategic policy objectives, available resources and
                                 implementation issues (e.g. possibility of grazing/management
                                 agreements with National Park Authorities)

                                 Geographical scope should be informed by the National Grasslands
                                 Inventory Project led by the Institute of Botany and finalised in 2005. .
                                 Dr Tenyo Mishenev from the Institute of Botany has prepared a
                                 simple classification system (and analysis of area) for semi-natural
                                 grasslands in Bulgaria from the results of this project:

                                 Grasslands of the Lowlands and Hilly Areas (up to 500-600 metres
                                 above sea level)

                                 Lowland Hay Meadows – at least 40 300 ha
                                 Lowland Pastures – at least 181 700 ha
                                 Abandoned Arable Fields – at least 27 600 ha

                                 Mountain Grasslands (from 500-600 to 1800-2100 metres above
                                 sea level)

                                 Mountain Hay Meadows – at least 41 200 ha
                                 Mountain Pastures – at least 34 000 ha

                                 This classification provides a very useful framework for development
                                 of the HNV grassland packages/sub-measures, but further work is
                                 now needed to apply develop and appropriate indicators to a) identify
                                 which semi-natural grasslands may be considered as “high nature
                                 value” and b) how these high nature value grasslands are distributed
                                 throughout the territory of Bulgaria. Further work on this issue should
                                 be actively encouraged by MAF

Potential Beneficiaries:         Private farmers, natural or legal entities that own, lease or rent land
                                 (rental agreements of at least 5 years are recommended, but shorter
                                 periods can be accepted at the risk of the beneficiary)

                                 A specific package for the management of common grazing on land
                                 owned by municipalities may be developed/piloted if an appropriate
                                 system can be developed for ensuring a) the distribution of support
                                 and b) ensuring that the necessary management requirements are

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                                 respected by all users of the common land

Management                       Five packages are proposed:
Requirements:
                                 HNV 1 – Restoration of Abandoned HNV Grassland
                                 HNV 2 – Restoration of Over-grazed HNV Grassland
                                 HNV 3 – Maintenance of HNV Meadows by Mowing
                                 HNV 4 – Maintenance of HNV Pastures by Grazing
                                 HNV 5 – Maintenance of HNV Grazed Meadows by Mowing and
                                 Grazing

                                 Combination of these packages with HNV 7 (Maintenance of
                                 Protected Species Habitats) will be encouraged – such as the
                                 creation and improvement of specific habitat features beneficial to
                                 birds of prey and white storks

                                 Management requirements will vary according to the specific type of
                                 high nature value grassland targeted and will need very clear and
                                 careful elaboration by local experts, but will include:

                                 RESTORATION (HNV 1/2) (applicable to abandoned or over-
                                 exploited pastures/meadows)

                                    Clearance of unwanted vegetation
                                    Re-seeding with approved native species – preferably with seed of
                                     local provenance - specify approved techniques to avoid risk of
                                     ploughing or excessive cultivation
                                    Use of mineral fertilizers and application of pesticides is prohibited
                                    Maintenance according to HNV 3/4/5 in years 2-5

                                 Note: A good method for re-seeding meadows and pastures is to
                                 move around some freshly cut hay from a nearby meadow. This is
                                 very cheap and you can re-seed with 100% native and local species

                                 MAINTENANCE OF MEADOWS (HNV 3/5)

                                    Use of mineral fertilizers and application of pesticides is prohibited
                                    Limit on manure application (?)
                                    No new drainage, ploughing or cultivation
                                    Maintain traditional practices for mowing meadows –maximum of
                                     two cuts per year in the lowlands and hilly areas and one cut per
                                     year in the mountains; only mow in the lowlands and hilly areas
                                     after mid-June and late June/middle June in the mountains (exact
                                     date will vary with altitude, location in country, specific needs of
                                     target species etc.)
                                    Free grazing of meadows after the last cut (HNV5), except in the
                                     mountains where meadows occur in the forest
                                    Specific actions for maintenance of wet meadows e.g.
                                     flood/drainage management
                                    Creation and improvement of specific habitat features beneficial to
                                     birds of prey (perches, nesting platforms) and white storks

                                 MAINTENANCE OF PASTURES (HNV 4)

                                    Use of mineral fertilizers and application of pesticides is prohibited


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                                    No new drainage, ploughing or cultivation
                                    Maintain specified stocking density (minimum/maximum) - this will
                                     be important information to provide and will be subject to the
                                     provisions detailed in the forthcoming implementation regulation
                                    Maintenance by rotational extensive grazing (?)
                                    Observe grazing dates – dates in lowlands and hilly areas will
                                     depend upon climatic conditions; grazing in the mountains will
                                     usually be between end of May and end of September/middle of
                                     October (depending upon seasons, altitude and region)
                                    Avoidance of grazing on sand dunes

                                 Note: Relationship of all management requirements above will need
                                 to be checked to ensure they go beyond the mandatory cross-
                                 compliance requirements which will include the obligation to “ensure a
                                 minimum level of maintenance and avoid the deterioration of habitats”

Duration of                      5 years
Commitment:
Minimum Area:                    0.5 ha

Expected Impact:                 Improved conservation status of grassland habitats throughout
                                 Bulgaria – with particular emphasis upon Natura 2000 sites

                                 Anticipated improvement in the conservation status of over 200 000
                                 hectares of high nature value semi-natural grassland

Payment Rates:                   Appropriate area payments (EUR/ha) will be calculated for the
                                 management requirements of specific types of HNV grassland,
                                 including:

                                    Restoration of HNV grassland (HNV 1/2) - payable in year 1 only
                                    Maintenance of HNV grassland (HNV 3/4/5) - payable in years 1-5
                                     or years 2-5 after HNV 1/2

                                 Rates for lowland grassland must be competitive!

                                 These payments will be in addition to any Axis 2 - Natura 2000
                                 payments that the applicant may be eligible to receive




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Package:                         Maintenance of Waterfowl Habitats (HNV 6)

Rationale:                       Arable lands, wet meadows and pastures are important feeding sites
                                 in those areas of Bulgaria with high concentrations of migrating/over-
                                 wintering birds. Many of these areas are defined as Important Bird
                                 Areas (IBAs) in accordance with the Special Protection Areas (SPAs)
                                 designated under the EU Birds Directive 79/409/EEC. However,
                                 farmers in, or adjacent to, these areas can incur significant crop
                                 losses due to birds grazing on their crops and there is inevitably much
                                 disturbance of and damage to the grazing birds by scaring, shooting
                                 etc.

Operational Objectives:             To maintain winter feeding areas for migrating birds in designated
                                     IBAs

Geographical Scope:              All IBAs designated for their high concentration of migrating/over-
                                 wintering wildfowl – see Annex 2

Potential Beneficiaries:         Private farmers, natural or legal entities that own, lease or rent land
                                 (rental agreements of at least 5 years are recommended, but shorter
                                 periods can be accepted at the risk of the beneficiary)

                                 Applications by groups of farmers that have adjacent parcels within
                                 the designated IBAs should be encouraged in order to achieve the
                                 minimum area below (e.g. those farmers working together as a co-
                                 operative and managing their parcels collectively as single fields)

Management                          The farmer must ensure the specified minimum area of suitable
Requirements:                        winter crops (e.g. winter wheat) for grazing by wildfowl
                                    The farmer should observe recommended planting dates in
                                     autumn to ensure that only winter crops are grown. These
                                     recommended dates will vary according to locality and altitude, but
                                     will typically be no later than mid- to late-September to ensure
                                     approximately 2 months of growing period before migratory/over-
                                     wintering birds arrive in mid-November
                                    There must be no hunting or shooting of birds on the farm during
                                     the specified winter/migratory period
                                    There must be no use of scaring techniques, poisons or
                                     chemically treated seed material

Duration of                      5 years
Commitment:
Minimum Area:                     A minimum area of 50 ha discussed and agreed with BSPB - ideally
                                 as a compact “block” to encourage birds to stay and graze for longer
                                 periods of time

                                 Other additional criteria might also be applied to prioritise the
                                 selection of grazing areas, such as crop type, closeness to settlement
                                 etc.

Expected Impact:                 Stable and/or enlarged populations of migratory/over-wintering birds
                                 in designated IBAs

Payment Rates:                   An appropriate compensation payment (EUR/ha) will be calculated for
                                 lost/damaged crops

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                                 These payments will be in addition to any Axis 2 - Natura 2000
                                 payments that the applicant may be eligible to receive




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Package:                         Maintenance of Protected Species Habitats (HNV 7)

Rationale:                       For a number of vulnerable and threatened protected species
                                 agriculture lands provide essential habitats for breeding and/or
                                 feeding. Particularly dependent on agriculture practices are bird
                                 species that are nesting on the ground like Montagu‟s Harrier, Corn
                                 Crake, Great Bustard etc. For these species crop harvesting
                                 techniques and mowing periods are critical for their reproductive
                                 success.

                                 Conversion of meadows and pastures to arable land, as well as
                                 improper mowing regimes, can also lead to the extinction of rare and
                                 endemic plant species like Lilium rhodopaeum, Fritillaria minor and
                                 animal species like the Romanian Hamster, European Souslik,
                                 Imperial Eagle etc.

Operational Objectives:             To preserve, maintain and/or re-create specific habitat
                                     types/breeding sites for agreed target species (e.g. Imperial
                                     Eagle, Romanian Hamster, Montagu‟s Harrier etc.)

                                 Note: This measure is particularly suitable for supporting the
                                 implementation of micro-project activities that might be identified as
                                 recommendations within the framework of the management plans
                                 prepared for designated Natura 2000 sites

Geographical Scope:              Designated Natura 2000 sites –the location of specific
                                 habitats/breeding sites should be identified by the experts preparing
                                 Natura 2000 management plans

Potential Beneficiaries:         Private farmers, natural or legal entities that own, lease or rent land
                                 (rental agreements of at least 5 years are recommended, but shorter
                                 periods are can be accepted at the risk of the beneficiary)

Management                          The farmer will be required to carefully follow management
Requirements:                        requirements that will be specific to the preservation, maintenance
                                     and/or re-creation of specified habitat types/breeding sites for
                                     agreed target species.

                                     These management requirements will be agreed and co-ordinated
                                     with the relevant authorities (e.g. MoEW/RIEW) – for example:
                                     delayed mowing dates to allow for nesting (also seed production),
                                     small patches of crop should be left around the nests of the
                                     Montagu‟s Harrier, crops should be left unharvested for the Great
                                     Bustard

                                 Note: more details on typical management requirements will need to
                                 be included if this package/sub-measure is presented to the
                                 Commission for co-financing

Duration of                      5 years
Commitment:
Minimum Area:                    There is no minimum area currently proposed for this package.
                                 According to the target species and specific locality, it is suggested
                                 that this package could be applied for areas even less than 0.1 ha.
                                 However, the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of implementing and

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                                 controlling commitments on such a small-scale must be taken into
                                 account

Expected Impact:                    Stable and/or enlarged population of threatened protected species

Payment Rates:                   Appropriate area payments (EUR/ha) will be calculated for the
                                 specific management requirements for agreed target species –
                                 payment rates will be based upon the reductions in income
                                 associated with late mowing, leaving crops unharvested etc.

                                 These payments will be in addition to any Axis 2 - Natura 2000
                                 payments that the applicant may be eligible to receive




                                                                                           Page 23 of 57
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Packages:                        Creation and Maintenance of Riparian (Riverside) Habitats (HNV
                                 8 & 9)
Rationale:                       Riparian habitats are riverside habitats that are typically associated
                                 with river terraces and/or adjacent wetlands. They are characterised
                                 by a mixture of tree, shrub and grass communities with trees typically
                                 forming a continuous belt or line of small groups at least 5-10 metres
                                 from the river bank.

                                 Riparian habitats are commonly found in protected areas (e.g.
                                 RAMSAR sites) and they are home to many important species.
                                 However, there is a continuing decline in the quantity and quality of
                                 riparian habitats in Bulgaria due to the impact of flood protection
                                 policies, improper forestry practices and the expansion and
                                 intensification of agricultural production. These have led to:

                                    the on-going loss of lowlands and flooded forests, tree belts and
                                     floodplains
                                    the on-going loss of aquatic habitats and severe alteration of
                                     water regimes in riparian ecosystems due to canalisation and
                                     riverbed corrections
                                    drainage of wetlands for converting the land use to arable crops
                                    drainage, pumping and then using the water for irrigation which
                                     adversely influences the natural hydrological processes

                                 At the same time many of the areas around and along the riverbeds
                                 are frequently facing the threat of flooding due to the lack of riparian
                                 vegetation that usually reduces this threat.

                                 The implementation of the Water Framework Directive will require
                                 actions to mitigate and improve the ecological status of river-basins in
                                 Bulgaria and the management of riparian habitats will represent a
                                 significant contribution to it.

Operational Objectives:             To encourage the restoration, improvement and management of
                                     existing riparian habitats (in line with requirements of the Water
                                     Framework Directive)
                                    To reduce the further clearance of riparian habitats for agricultural
                                     use
                                    To restore and re-create appropriate riparian habitats
                                    To discourage unfavourable land use and management practices
                                     on adjacent flood plains

Geographical Scope:              Whole territory of Bulgaria
                                 The location of specific sites/areas for the restoration and/or
                                 maintenance of riparian habitats should be identified by experts with
                                 appropriate experience (e.g. local environmental NGOs, research
                                 institutes) and confirmed by local MoEW/RIEW offices

Potential Beneficiaries:         Private farmers, natural or legal entities that own, lease or rent land
                                 (rental agreements of at least 5 years are recommended, but shorter
                                 periods can be accepted at the risk of the beneficiary)

Management
Requirements:                    RESTORATION (HNV 8) – Year 1
                                  Leave arable land within a specified distance from the river as

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                                     uncropped
                                    Restore native/local species, including the planting of tree belts
                                     along rivers

                                 Note: There is a system for calculating the width of buffer zones
                                 along the river bank in which the riparian habitats occur (ask Kaloyan
                                 Anev for further information)

                                 MAINTENANCE (HNV 9) - Years 1-5 or Years 2-5 (after HNV 8)
                                  Keep all areas of existing riparian habitats, including tree belts,
                                   reedbeds, wetlands (wet meadows and pastures) or riparian
                                   habitat undergoing restoration (HNV 8)
                                  Do not remove trees from areas of riparian habitat or cut for
                                   firewood
                                  Do not drain or plough areas of existing riparian wetlands (wet
                                   meadows and pastures)
                                  Do not cultivate intensive vegetables or arable crops on adjacent
                                   flood plains (need to specify a minimum distance from river bank)
                                  Do not store and apply fertilisers, manures or pesticides on
                                   adjacent flood plains (need to specify a minimum distance from
                                   river bank and cross-check this with obligations under the Nitrate
                                   Directive)
                                  Mow wet meadows according to specified number of cuts and
                                   mowing dates
                                  Cut reedbeds according to specified dates (usually winter-time)
                                   and cutting cycle (e.g. once every 3 years or 30% of the reed-bed
                                   every year)

Duration of                      5 years
Commitment:
Minimum Area:                    Minimum areas need to be specified – different minimum areas will
                                 need to be defined for a) restoration (i.e. the area of riparian habitat
                                 being restored and b) maintenance (i.e. the the area of riparian
                                 habitat plus land on the adjacent floodplain that is subject to the
                                 management requirements)

Expected Impact:                 The maintenance/restoration of riparian habitats will lead to:

                                        more effective land use
                                        reduced costs for flood protection
                                        reduced river bank erosion
                                        reduced nutrient discharge from arable land to river
                                         ecosystems
                                        improved biodiversity

                                    specified length (m/km) of riverbank vegetation (tree belt) is
                                     restored by 2013 in at least two main river basins (e.g. Danube,
                                     East Aegean)
                                    specified number of restored Natura 2000 habitats by 2013

Payment Rates:                   Appropriate area payments (EUR/ha) will be calculated for:

                                    Restoration of riparian habitats (HNV 8) - payable in year 1 only
                                    Maintenance of existing riparian habitats (HNV 9) - payable in
                                     years 1-5 or years 2-5 after HNV 8

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                                 These payments will be in addition to any Axis 2 - Natura 2000
                                 payments that the applicant (or applicants) may be eligible to receive




                                                                                            Page 26 of 57
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Package:                         Extensive Management of Fishponds (HNV 10)

Rationale:                       Some semi-natural wet areas, such as extensively-managed fish
                                 farming ponds with floating and submerged water vegetation together
                                 with surrounding marshes and reeds, can help to substitute for the
                                 loss of natural ponds and marshes by maintaining high biological
                                 diversity of rare and protected species of plants, waterfowl,
                                 amphibians and mammals.

                                 However, due to the low productivity and profitability of these
                                 extensively-managed ponds they are commonly converted to
                                 intensive management and/or places for sport fishing; abandoned, or;
                                 converted to arable land. All of these outcomes results in the loss of
                                 a valuable source of biological diversity.

                                 Extensively-managed fish farms commonly include many ponds with
                                 a total area of up to 300-400 ha. These are important places for the
                                 rest and reproduction of a significant number of fish-eating birds (e.g.
                                 Pygmy Cormorant and Herons), as well as mammals (e.g. otters) that
                                 are protected or with unfavourable conservation status. However,
                                 because of the damage they cause to fish production these wildlife
                                 species are often illegally shot.

Operational Objectives:             To maintain specific semi-natural wetland habitats for threatened
                                     waterfowl (Ferroginous Duck, Pygmy Cormorant, Bittern, Little
                                     Bitern, Purple Heron, Pochard, Baillon‟s Crake)
                                    To increase the number of fish farming ponds that are managed
                                     using environmentally-friendly production techniques, including
                                     the use of protective nets
                                    To reduce the number of fish-eating birds that are shot adjacent to
                                     fish farming ponds

Geographical Scope:              Whole territory of Bulgaria with priority for fish ponds located in
                                 protected areas

Potential Beneficiaries:         Private farmers, natural or legal entities that own, lease or rent
                                 extensively-managed fish ponds (rental agreements of at least 5
                                 years are recommended, but shorter periods can be accepted at the
                                 risk of the beneficiary)

Management                       
Requirements:                       All fish ponds on the farm must be managed according to these
                                     requirements
                                    Maintain suitable coverage (specify % cover) of ponds with
                                     floating and submerged vegetation
                                    Maintain uniform and favourable water level –of not less than 0.5
                                     m deep during the periods of March-April and September-
                                     November when the ponds are emptied for fish collecting and re-
                                     stocking
                                    Vegetation surrounding the pond must not be mown/cut during the
                                     period of April - July
                                    Sport fishing is prohibited during the wildfowl nesting season (to
                                     be specified)
                                    The shooting of waterfowl, fish-eating birds and otters is prohibited


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                                    Use protective nets for fish farming ponds as an alternative to
                                     shooting fish-eating birds

Duration of                      5 years
Commitment:
Minimum Area:
                                 Fish farms with a minimum of 2 ponds with total area (water and
                                 marshland) of at least 2 ha

Expected Impact:                 By 2013, 30% (is this realistic?) of existing extensively-managed
                                 fishponds are maintained using more environmentally-friendly
                                 techniques

Payment Rates:                   Appropriate payments (EUR/ha) will be calculated per pond,
                                 including:
                                  compensation for damage caused by fish-eating birds on the basis
                                     of existing damage incurred and
                                  stay/number of fish-eating species based upon documented
                                     evidence/expert opinion




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Creation and Maintenance of Landscape Features Scheme (LF)

Packages:                        Lowland Mosaic (LF 1 & 2)

Rationale:                       The diversity of lowland (< 100 metres) landscapes throughout
                                 Bulgaria is being reduced due to the natural lowland “forest patches”
                                 (korii) that occur in areas of crop production and do not belong to the
                                 State Forest Fund being converted to arable land. In some cases, the
                                 forest patches are directly converted to arable land. In other cases,
                                 the forest patches are over-exploited for timber, not re-planted and
                                 then converted to arable land.

                                 Unfortunately the loss of landscape diversity in the majority of lowland
                                 areas is difficult to quantify because the only system for describing or
                                 categorising such diversity is in the protected areas.

                                 However, the problems associated with the loss of landscape diversity
                                 are clearly identified as:

                                    Loss of biodiversity
                                    Disappearance of the last and rare lowland forest ecosystems
                                    Destruction of a natural break against wind erosion
                                    Disappearance of habitats of species depending on a mixture of
                                     agricultural and forest lands

Operational Objectives:             To restore and maintain the mosaic landscapes of forest patches
                                     (10 hectares or less in size) that occur in lowland arable fields
                                    To maintain and preserve the valuable ecosystems associated
                                     with lowland forest patches

Geographical Scope:              Designated lowland areas,– including Thracia, Struma Valley and
                                 Dobrudja. This designation must be developed further on the basis of
                                 clear criteria (e.g. high proportion of remaining forest patches) and
                                 clearly-defined boundaries e.g. administrative regions or
                                 municipalities

Potential Beneficiaries:         Private farmers, natural or legal entities that own, lease or rent land
                                 (rental agreements of at least 5 years are recommended, but shorter
                                 periods can be accepted at the risk of the beneficiary)

Management                       CREATION (LF 1)
Requirements:                     Planting approved native tree species (preferably of local
                                   provenance) – please suggest appropriate native tree species
                                  Please specify requirements for planting forest patches – density
                                   etc.

                                 MAINTENANCE (LF 2)
                                  Do not destroy existing forest patches (less than 10 hectares) that
                                   occur in lowland areas dominated by arable land
                                  Do not over-exploit forest patches e.g. maximum of 10% of any
                                   forest patch to be cut, cleared and re-planted within the 5 year
                                   period of the management agreement?
                                    There must be Preservation Contracts with land managers for the
                                     maintenance of individual “century old trees” (in accordance with
                                     Biodiversity Act)

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Duration of                      5 years
Commitment:
Minimum Area:                    Lowland tree patches that occur in arable farmland vary in size and
                                 can be as large as 80 hectares. These packages will only support
                                 forest patches from 0.5 ha to a maximum size of 10 ha. Forest
                                 patches larger than this should be supported by the forest-
                                 environment measure

                                 These minimum/maximum areas need to be further discussed and
                                 agreed

Expected Impact:                 Conservation of remaining valuable “forest patches” is ensured and
                                 their related biodiversity and ecological functions are maintained

Payment Rates:                   Appropriate area payments (EUR/ha) will be calculated for:

                                    Re-creation of lowland forest patches (LF1) - payable in year 1
                                     only
                                    Maintenance of existing lowland forest patches (LF2) - payable in
                                     years 1-5 or years 2-5 after LF1




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Packages:                        Creation, Restoration and Maintenance of Field Boundaries (LF
                                 3, 4 & 5)
Rationale:                       Traditionally (before the communist period), most farmers in Bulgaria
                                 possessed relatively small areas of land with a mixture of crops grown
                                 on small fields or plots divided by boundary strips. These boundary
                                 strips were commonly covered by woody shrubs and in some cases
                                 more mature trees.

                                 When large-scale agriculture was first organised in the late 1940s and
                                 1950s, field sizes were increased dramatically by consolidating the
                                 small land parcels of private farmers – including the destruction and
                                 ploughing-up of the traditional field boundary strips. As a result, an
                                 important linear element of the traditional lowland landscape was lost
                                 and wind and water erosion also increased dramatically.

                                 In more recent times, field boundaries continue to be lost either
                                 because farmers lack funds to maintain them, want to obtain more
                                 arable land, or are again undertaking land consolidation. They may
                                 also be lost due to the burning of roadside vegetation.

Operational Objectives:             To encourage the creation and maintenance of new field/parcel
                                     boundaries to a) maintain or increase landscape and biological
                                     diversity; b) create habitats, and; c) reduce the risk of soil erosion
                                    To encourage the restoration and/or maintenance of existing
                                     field/parcel boundaries where they occur

Geographical Scope:              Designated lowland areas where field boundaries were a traditional
                                 landscape feature or played an important role in controlling soil
                                 erosion). This designation must be developed on the basis of clear
                                 criteria and clearly-defined boundaries e.g. administrative regions or
                                 municipalities

Potential Beneficiaries:         Private farmers, natural or legal entities that own, lease or rent land
                                 (rental agreements of at least 5 years are recommended, but shorter
                                 periods can be accepted at the risk of the beneficiary)

Management                       CREATION (LF 3) – Year 1 Only
Requirements:                     The new field/parcel boundary should be created by a) leaving a
                                   specified strip of land (e.g. 1 metre wide) uncropped and b)
                                   planting this strip at least two rows of a specified number of
                                   different species of native trees and shrubs (preferably of local
                                   provenance) – please suggest appropriate native tree/shrub
                                   species.
                                  Following creation, field boundaries must be maintained according
                                   to the management requirements of LF5 below

                                 RESTORATION (LF 4) – Year 1 Only
                                  Existing field/parcel boundaries which have significant gaps in
                                   them (e.g. greater than 2 metre wide) may be restored by planting
                                   the gaps according to the management requirements of LF3
                                   above
                                  Following restoration, field boundaries must be maintained
                                   according to the management requirements of LF5 below



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                                 MAINTENANCE (LF 5) – Years 1-5 or Years 2-5 (after LF3/LF4)
                                  Existing field boundaries consisting of trees and shrubs should be
                                   retained and (if necessary) regularly trimmed, including the
                                   removal of dead material
                                  Dead shrubs/trees must be replaced by new ones during the
                                   duration of the 5 year management agreement (including new
                                   trees/shrubs planted according to LF3/LF4)
                                  Fertilisers and crop protection products must not be used any
                                   closer than 2 metres from the field boundary
                                  No burning of vegetation adjacent to field boundaries
                                  No dumping of agricultural or household waste adjacent to field
                                   boundaries
                                  Ensure grazing animals are not allowed to damage the field
                                   boundary

Duration of                      5 years
Commitment:
Minimum Area:                    Minimum total of 50 metres of field/parcel boundary created, restored
                                 or maintained on the farm

Expected Impact:                    Specified length (km) of new field boundary will be created and
                                     maintained
                                    Specified length (km) of existing field boundary will be restored
                                     and/or maintained

Payment Rates:                   Appropriate payments (EUR per metre) will be calculated for:

                                    Creation of traditional field/parcel boundaries (LF3) – year 1 only
                                    Restoration of traditional field/parcel boundaries (LF4) – year 1
                                     only
                                    Maintenance of traditional field/parcel boundaries (LF5) – years 1-
                                     5 or years 2-5 after LF3/LF4




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Package:                         Traditional Orchards (LF 6)

Rationale:                       Traditional orchards (including traditional nut plantations) have been
                                 very much neglected in Bulgaria and are in great danger of being lost.
                                 This includes orchards and plantations of apple, quince, cherry,
                                 morello, apricot, plum, walnut and almond.

                                 Land consolidation and collectivisation after World War II led to the
                                 establishment of large intensively managed orchards and the
                                 introduction of new fruit varieties gradually pushed out the old local
                                 varieties that had existed for many centuries. Some traditional
                                 orchards do still exist – mainly in the mountainous and semi-
                                 mountainous areas – but since the privatisation and restitution of land
                                 started in the early 1990s many of these are now in danger of either
                                 abandonment and invasion by scrub or destruction to make space for
                                 more profitable land uses.

                                 Traditional orchards are characterised by:

                                    low levels of management and commercial activity
                                    mature fruit trees (older than 40 years)
                                    mixtures of old local varieties (see lists of varieties below)
                                    widely-spaced trees
                                    dead and fallen trees plus relatively large amounts of dead wood
                                     on the orchard trees (valuable habitats for insect species etc.)
                                    the orchard floor has continuous or near continuous grass cover
                                     that is commonly used for grazing animals. This grass cover may
                                     also be very old and species-rich.

                                 Where these traditional orchards occur they are a distinctive feature in
                                 the local landscape, contain some of the rarest fruit varieties in
                                 Bulgaria and provide valuable habitats for a wide variety birds,
                                 mammals and insects. They may also be linked to local village
                                 history and culture.

Operational Objectives:             To maintain traditional fruit varieties which are nationally and
                                     internationally important for the preservation of genetic variety
                                    To maintain and support the traditional systems of agriculture
                                     associated with traditional fruit orchards (including those which are
                                     not currently managed on a commercial basis) which are
                                     important for the conservation of valuable wildlife habitats,
                                     traditional landscapes and cultural heritage in mountainous and
                                     semi-mountainous areas
                                    To improve the management of traditional orchards and enhance
                                     their economic value to local rural communities (including the
                                     improvement of fruit quality)

Geographical Scope:              This package will only be available in those regions where traditional
                                 orchards (old varieties plus grass cover on the orchard floor) have
                                 been identified by MAF. These regions are:

                                 Varna, Burgas, Blagoevgrad, Veliko Tarnovo, Vratza, Gabrovo,
                                 Kustendil, Kardjally, Lovetch, Pazardjik, Plovdiv, Silistra, Sliven,
                                 Haskovo and Shumen


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                                 (Montana and Targovishte regions are also recommended by NAAS)

                                 All orchards that are proposed for support from this package will have
                                 to be approved by an appropriate technical authority (e.g. selection
                                 committee comprising representatives of MAF Plant Production
                                 Directorate, Fruit Growing Research Institute, Plant Protection
                                 Service) to ensure that they meet the basic eligibility criteria for a
                                 “traditional orchard” – including predominantly mature trees, mix of
                                 approved species/varieties, minimum/maximum density etc.

Potential Beneficiaries:         Private farmers, natural or legal entities that own, lease or rent land
                                 (rental agreements of at least 5 years are recommended, but shorter
                                 periods can be accepted at the risk of the beneficiary)

Management                       MAINTENANCE OF TRADITIONAL ORCHARDS (including
Requirements:                    traditional nut plantations)

                                    Fruits from all trees in the orchard must be harvested every year
                                    Retain all living fruit trees that are on the approved list of
                                     traditional varieties (see suggested list below)
                                    Ensure regular pruning to maintain the characteristic “form” of the
                                     trees (this will vary according to the tree type and variety)
                                    Retain some standing dead trees and some dead wood on living
                                     trees
                                    Keep the floor of the orchard clear of scrub (some initial scrub
                                     clearance may also be necessary)
                                    Maintain grass growing on the floor of the orchard and follow an
                                     agreed regime of grazing and/or mowing
                                    Do not burn grass or wood in the orchard
                                    Do not allow standing fruit trees to be damaged by grazing
                                     livestock or mowing equipment
                                    Follow a specified programme of crop protection to control specific
                                     pest or disease problems that are recorded in the orchard and
                                     which threaten the maintenance of the trees (advice needed from
                                     appropriate expert)
                                    Do not apply any fertilisers, manure or herbicides to the grass on
                                     the floor of the orchard

                                 Suggested List of Approved Fruit Species and Varieties:
                                 (this list obviously needs to be discussed further to check that it
                                 satisfies the criteria of “traditional, local” varieties)

                                 Apples: Karastoyanka, Ayvania, Buchavitza, Tetovka, Canadian
                                 Renetta, Jonatan, Yellow Bel Fleur, Golden Parmen, Winter Banana,
                                 Cassel Renetta, English Green Renetta, Landberg Renetta, Candilais,
                                 Bern Pink, Skrynianka, Wellington, Mayorka, Bauman's, Blenheimer
                                 Renetta, Red, White Astrakhan, Golden Ditzova

                                 Cherries: Early Black Large, Drogan Yellow, Bing, Van, Kozer's,
                                 Lanbert, Rajdavishka Belovitza, Napoleon

                                 Morello: Hungarian, Fanal.

                                 Apricots: Hungarian, Humberto, Markulesti, Silistra Compote, Kishinev
                                 Early, Silistra late

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                                 Plums: Stainley, Gabrovo, Kustendil blue plume, Aboundance,
                                 Altanova Greengage, Green Greengage, Violet Greengage, Strinava,
                                 Topalka, White Karadjeisky, Malvazinka, Bardachka,
                                 Enybakanka,Zehtinka, Yellow Ablanska, Sugar plume, Nansy
                                 Mirabelle

                                 Quince: Portugal, Triumph, Trimoncium

                                 Walnuts: Sheinovo, Izvor-10, Kuklen's, Drianovo, Proslavs's

                                 Almonds: Primorsko, Nikitsky, Crimean, Nessebar

Duration of                      5 years
Commitment:
Minimum Area:                    The minimum area of orchard or nut plantation eligible to receive
                                 support payments will be 0.1 hectare.

                                 It is recognised that smaller orchards and plantations exist, but it will
                                 not be feasible to administer payments on such small areas

Expected Impact:                 Specified area (ha) of traditional orchards or nut plantations are
                                 maintained leading to the preservation of at least 50% of varieties on
                                 the approved list of fruit species and varieties

Payment Rates:                   An appropriate area payment (EUR/ha) will be calculated according
                                 the specific management requirements that are agreed




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Soil and Water Protection Scheme (SW)

Package:                         Crop Rotations for Soil and Water Protection (SW 1)

Rationale:                       Crop rotations on cultivated arable land are essential for the
                                 maintenance of soil fertility and for the control of certain weeds and
                                 pests. Crop rotations on arable land can also significantly reduce the
                                 risk of soil erosion and nutrient losses. Unfortunately, the principles
                                 and practice of making good and sustainable crop rotations have
                                 been mainly forgotten in Bulgaria and it is common to find either
                                 monocultures or very simple crop sequences of 2 or 3 crops (e.g.
                                 wheat, maize and sunflowers) being cultivated by farmers. This is a
                                 significant problem because:

                                 a) according to recent statistics (2004), 52.2% of all utilisable
                                    agricultural land (UAA) in Bulgaria is used for crop production.
                                    Cereals (wheat, barley, oats and maize) are the most important
                                    crops and occupy 41.6% of UAA, followed by industrial and oil-
                                    bearing crops (sunflower, sugarbeet, tobacco and rapeseed)
                                    which occupy 9.2% of UAA
                                 b) one of the major environmental problems facing agriculture in
                                    Bulgaria is soil erosion – both by wind and water (see more
                                    detailed description of the problem in SW 2). The risk of soil
                                    erosion is increased greatly by crop rotations which include
                                    frequent cultivations, long periods when the soil has no crop cover
                                    and certain crop types (e.g. row crops such as maize)
                                 c) the risk of nutrient losses, especially nitrate leaching, is also
                                    increased by crop rotations which include frequent cultivations and
                                    long periods when the soil has no crop cover

                                 The aim of this package is therefore to encourage the re-introduction
                                 of more sustainable arable crop rotations which include winter cover
                                 crops and legume crops (e.g. beans, soybeans, alfalfa, clover). This
                                 package can be combined with SW 2 which aims to provide a
                                 comprehensive catchment-based approach to soil erosion control

                                 This package will also support implementation of the EC Nitrate
                                 Directive (91/676) under which the majority of lowland territory in the
                                 Danubian and Thracian plains will be designated as Nitrate
                                 Vulnerable Zones (NVZs). Farmers within the NVZs will be required
                                 to follow a) the recommended practices in the Code of Good
                                 Agricultural Practice for the Protection of Water (CoGAP) and b) the
                                 obligations contained in the NVZ Action Programme.

                                 This package will encourage adoption of a number of additional
                                 voluntary measures (Annex II.b of the Nitrate Directive) for reducing
                                 the risk of nitrate leaching that are not contained in the CoGAP or
                                 NVZ Action Programme – these include changes in land use (crop
                                 rotations) and the planning of nutrient management

Operational Objectives:             Support the planning of crop rotations and nutrient management
                                     (including the storage and application of livestock manures)
                                    Support the increased use of crop rotations which are designed
                                     according to specific criteria for a) the control of soil erosion (slight
                                     to moderate) and b) the reduction of nutrient losses (especially

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                                     nitrate leaching)

Geographical Scope:              All regions of Bulgaria where arable crops are grown and crop
                                 rotations can be implemented – priority will be given to applicants
                                 from within the designated Nitrate Vulnerable Zones

Potential Beneficiaries:         Private farmers, natural or legal entities that own, lease or rent land
                                 (rental agreements of at least 5 years are recommended, but shorter
                                 periods can be accepted at the risk of the beneficiary)

Management                       Farmers will be required (where necessary, with the support of an
Requirements:                    adviser) to:

                                    Undertake appropriate soil sampling and prepare a Nutrient
                                     Management Plan (NMP) (the format of the NMP needs to be
                                     carefully defined for the Bulgarian context)
                                    Prepare a 5 year Crop Rotation Plan according to clear criteria
                                     defined by MAF – these criteria will include:

                                     Specified types of winter cover crops (e.g. rye, triticale, winter
                                     peas, winter vetch and mixtures of these)
                                     Minimum area of winter crop cover according to local conditions
                                     (30% or more)
                                     Sowing dates for winter cover crop (e.g. by 10 September for
                                     brassicas and 15 October for legume mixtures)
                                     Minimum area of leguminous crops (e.g. beans, soybeans, alfalfa,
                                     clover) in rotation
                                     Avoiding specified crops in rotation which have a high risk of
                                     causing erosion

                                    Fully and effectively implement all plans, including the crop
                                     rotation, during the period of their management agreement with all
                                     necessary field records maintained for verification and control of
                                     the plans

                                 Note: Pushkarov Soils Institute can support further elaboration of this
                                 package with recommendations on appropriate design of rotations
                                 etc.

Duration of                      5 years
Commitment:
Minimum Area:                    0.5 ha

Expected Impact:                 This package will make a significant contribution to reducing the risk
                                 of soil erosion (slight to moderate) and nitrate leaching from arable
                                 land

Payment Rates:                   An annual area payment (EUR/ha) will be calculated to provide
                                 support for:

                                    the additional planning required and
                                    the typical changes in land use/farm management practices
                                     required to implement the Crop Rotation and Nutrient
                                     Management Plans



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Package:                         Control of Soil Erosion in Catchments (SW 2)

Rationale:                       One of the major environmental problems facing agriculture in
                                 Bulgaria is soil erosion – both by wind and water.

                                 Intense rainfall (i.e. rain falling at greater than 20mm/minute) is very
                                 common and over 80% of the country is rolling, hilly or mountainous
                                 with a slope greater than 3°. Combined with the fact that many soil
                                 types are naturally vulnerable to erosion, there is therefore a high risk
                                 of serious soil erosion occurring on sloping land during heavy rainfall.

                                 The risk of soil erosion occurring is also determined by the method of
                                 land use (e.g. crops cultivated, cropping patterns, soil cultivation
                                 techniques etc.). Before the communist land reforms began in 1946,
                                 most farmers possessed relatively small areas of land with a mixture
                                 of crops grown on small fields or plots divided by boundary strips.
                                 Anti-erosion techniques, such as contour cropping and terraces, were
                                 commonly practiced on sloping land in the mountain areas. Eroded
                                 slopes and vulnerable river banks were also planted with trees to
                                 control the risk of further erosion by water, whilst in those areas with
                                 larger fields (e.g. the traditional cereal growing region of Dobrudja),
                                 shelter belts were planted to reduce the risk of wind erosion.

                                 When large-scale agriculture was first organised in the late 1940s and
                                 1950s, field sizes were increased dramatically by destroying and
                                 ploughing-up the traditional field boundary strips and shelter belts. As
                                 a result wind and water erosion increased dramatically. In less than
                                 20 years, about 10% of arable land had been eroded so badly that it
                                 was no longer suitable for cropping. Field crops were also lost
                                 periodically due to dust storms. In the early 1970s, soil erosion was
                                 recognised as a major national problem and many erosion control
                                 projects were planned and implemented - but rarely finished.

                                 According to recent data (2004) from the Executive Environment
                                 Agency and Pushkarov Soils Institute:

                                    about 70% of arable lands in Southern and Northern Bulgaria are
                                     subject to water erosion and 29% to wind erosion
                                    about 50% of irrigated land is potentially threatened with irrigation-
                                     caused erosion
                                    estimation of the actual risk of water erosion indicates an erosion
                                     risk of more than 5 tonnes per hectare per year for over 24% of
                                     arable lands and 65% of orchards and vineyards. The average
                                     annual intensity of erosion varies according to land use, but can
                                     be over 12 tonnes per hectare per year for orchards and vineyards
                                    The average loss per year of soil by erosion is estimated to be
                                     32,000,000 tonnes – of which over 2/3 is from arable land

Operational Objectives:             To support farmers (or groups of farmers in the same river
                                     catchment area) to plan and implement an appropriate
                                     programme of activities for significantly reducing the risk of soil
                                     erosion by water and wind on “compact” blocks of land (i.e. a
                                     collection of directly adjoining parcels)



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Geographical Scope:              This package should be implemented on a pilot basis with support
                                 payments initially only available in specified areas with moderate to
                                 severe erosion problems on agricultural land (arable land, pastures,
                                 orchards and/or vineyards)

Potential Beneficiaries:         Private farmers, natural or legal entities that own, lease or rent land
                                 (rental agreements of at least 5 years are recommended, but shorter
                                 periods can be accepted at the risk of the beneficiary)

                                 Applications will only be accepted from farmers (or groups of farmers)
                                 and other natural/legal entities with parcels of land which form a
                                 “compact block” of land on a single slope in a single river catchment
                                 area according to the minimum area requirements below

Management                       YEAR 1:
Requirements:                     Participation of all farmers in the group (with appropriate support
                                   from advisors) in a) the identification of erosion problems in their
                                   catchment/community; b) the causes of these erosion problems,
                                   and; c) selection of agronomic and technical options for erosion
                                   control from the following list:

                                     Contour (following the slope) ploughing
                                     Strip cropping
                                     Buffer strips
                                     Conversion of arable land to pasture (Victor Kroumov at the
                                     Pushkarov Soils Institute has provided recommendations for
                                     perennial grass mixtures)
                                     Improved management practices in pastures (e.g. reseeding of
                                     bare patches)
                                     Run-off holding furrows
                                     Terraces (not a high priority because of cost)
                                     Planting of wind breaks (trees and shrubs from a list of approved
                                     species and that are planted in specified combinations of fast and
                                     slow growing varieties)

                                     [Combination of the above options with Package SW 1: Crop
                                     Rotations for Soil and Water Protection and LF 2: Creation and
                                     Maintenance of Field Boundaries will be encouraged]

                                    Participation of all farmers in the group (with appropriate support
                                     from advisors) in the preparation of Catchment Soil Erosion
                                     Control Plan

                                 YEARS 2-5:
                                  Implement Plan and follow detailed management requirements for
                                   the selected agronomic and technical options for erosion control

Duration of                      5 years
Commitment:
Minimum Area:                    Minimum area of 30 ha of land as a “compact block” of land (i.e. a
                                 collection of directly adjoining parcels) – priority will be given to
                                 groups with the largest “compact blocks” of land (ideally 80-100 ha or
                                 more)

Expected Impact:                 This package will make a significant contribution to reducing the risk
                                 of moderate to severe soil erosion from agricultural land (arable land,

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                                 pastures, orchards and/or vineyards) in pilot specified areas

Payment Rates:                   Appropriate area payments (EUR/ha) will be calculated for:

                                 Year 1 – the training and planning phase will pay a flat rate
                                 (EUR/person) for all farmers in the group

                                 Years 2-5 – the implementation phase will provide an area payment
                                 (EUR/ha) for all farmers in the group – this may include differential
                                 payment rates for establishment and maintenance of agronomic and
                                 technical options for erosion control




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Traditional Livestock Breeding Scheme (LB)

Package:                         Preservation of Traditional Local Breeds (LB 1)

Rationale:                       Breeding of farm animals is an ancient activity in Bulgaria and many
                                 centuries of traditional farming practices have produced a great
                                 variety of traditional local livestock breeds that are closely linked to
                                 the geographical and cultural diversity of the Bulgarian countryside.
                                 Unfortunately the numbers of these local traditional breeds has fallen
                                 greatly during the last 50-60 years due to the effects of the
                                 collectivisation and intensification of agriculture, the decline of
                                 traditional pastoral systems and more recently the economic condition
                                 of agriculture following privatisation and land restitution.

                                 The disappearance of these local traditional farm animal breeds is a
                                 significant threat to the rich biodiversity of Bulgaria for two reasons:

                                 a) there is the loss of the genetic variety associated with the breeds,
                                    including valuable qualities such as hardiness and disease
                                    resistance that can be used for future selection (e.g. selection of
                                    animals for organically-managed livestock production systems),
                                    and;
                                 b) in the disadvantaged mountain regions where local traditional
                                    cattle and sheep breeds are very well adapted to the poor
                                    conditions, they are also important for the conservation of
                                    biodiversity by maintaining grazing on high nature value mountain
                                    pastures

                                 It is proposed that a total of 7 endangered breeds will be eligible for
                                 support by this action – 2 cattle breeds (Bulgarian Grey and Rhodopa
                                 Short Horned); 4 sheep breeds (Karakachan, Copper-Red Shumen,
                                 Dybenska and Replyanska), and 1 horse (Karakachan).
                                 These breeds are specifically chosen for support because:

                                 i)    they are all declared as indigenous in the National Gene Fund
                                       List and are of national concern because of declining numbers
                                       (all of the breeds are included in the FAO Red List of Endangered
                                       Domestic Breeds (DAD-IS database) and therefore fulfil the
                                       criteria to be classed as a „local breed in danger of being lost to
                                       farming‟ in accordance with Article 14 and Annex 1 of Regulation
                                       817/2004), and;
                                 ii)   they are well-adapted to conditions in the mountain and semi-
                                       mountain areas and are therefore suitable for the grazing and
                                       effective utilisation of the high nature value mountain pastures
                                       that are in danger of being lost due to under-grazing and
                                       abandonment.

                                 Note: There are many other breeds that could be supported (e.g.
                                 long list provided by SEMPERVIVA), but experience and
                                 administrative capacity needs to be developed for the control of
                                 headage payments – notably the breed definition, registration and
                                 certification system for purebred animals

Operational Objectives:               To maintain genetic resources and cultural heritage by increasing
                                       the numbers of breeding animals of specified local traditional

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                                     breeds which are in danger of further decline in numbers and, in
                                     some cases, possible extinction
                                    To support those local traditional breeds which are well-adapted to
                                     the poor conditions of mountain agriculture and have the potential
                                     to play an important role in the maintenance of traditional grazing
                                     systems in mountainous and semi-mountainous areas

Geographical Scope:              Whole territory of Bulgaria

Potential Beneficiaries:         Private farmers, natural or legal entities that own at least one animal
                                 on the list of endangered breeds eligible for support

Management                       The following endangered breeds will be eligible for support:
Requirements:
                                 Cattle – mountain/semi-mountain breeds
                                  Bulgarian Grey cattle
                                  Rodopska (Rhodopa Short Horned) cattle

                                 Sheep – mountain breeds
                                  Karakachansko Ovsta (Karakachan sheep)
                                  Copper-Red Shumen sheep

                                 Sheep – semi-mountain breeds
                                  Dabenska Ovsta (Dybene sheep)
                                  Replyanska Ovsta (Replyana sheep)

                                 Horse – mountain
                                  Karakachan Horse

                                 Support will only be given to animals that have a “certificate of origin”
                                 issued by an approved authority, organisation or association

                                 The following management requirements will apply:

                                    avoid any cross-breeding of animals supported by payments from
                                     this package – only certified pure-breds will be supported
                                    keep a record of the sales and purchases of all livestock on the
                                     farm
                                    notify and obtain written permission from the “Association for
                                     Breeding of Local Indigenous Breeds” and the “Executive Agency
                                     for Selection and Reproduction” before slaughtering or selling any
                                     livestock supported by payments from this package
                                    closely follow all guidelines and technical advice of the regional
                                     offices and responsible authorities concerning the health and
                                     welfare of the animals supported by payments from this package
                                    ensure that any increase in livestock units on the farm does not
                                     exceed the recommended stocking rate for different pasture types

                                 A simplified application procedure will apply to this package with
                                 no requirement for a Whole Farm Agri-environment Plan or
                                 obligatory training

Duration of                      5 years
Commitment:
Expected Impact:                 What are appropriate targets for the increase in numbers of

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                                 endangered local traditional breeds?

Payment Rates:                   Appropriate payment rates (EUR/head) will be estimated e.g. based
                                 upon existing calculations for SAPARD measure 1.3




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Packages:                        Traditional Shepherd Systems (Mountain Pastoralism) (LB 2 & 3)

Rationale:                       Bulgaria has a long history of extensive livestock breeding (so-called
                                 pastoralism) with a strong tradition of “transhumance” moving livestock
                                 into and out of the mountains between winter and summer pastures, as
                                 well as between different geographical and climatic zones. The most
                                 well-known system of nomadic mountain sheep farming was practiced
                                 by the Karakachani people who moved their flocks from grazing
                                 pastures in the Rila, Rhodope, Pirin and Balkan Mountains during
                                 summer to the coastal pastures of the Black Sea, and even as far
                                 south as the Greek coast of the White Sea, in winter.

                                 These traditional nomadic pastoral systems contributed greatly to the
                                 creation and maintenance of the unique and valuable biodiversity of the
                                 high altitude semi-natural grasslands that are typical of the mountainous
                                 and semi-mountainous regions of Bulgaria.

                                 But traditional pastoralism in Bulgaria has been in dramatic decline over
                                 the last 50 years. During the communist period (and the closure of
                                 national borders), the nomadic system of mountain sheep farming
                                 practiced by the Karakachani was prohibited and the numbers of
                                 Karakachan sheep, horses and dogs fell to such low levels that they
                                 are now endangered breeds.

                                 Under the conditions of cooperative agriculture intensive livestock
                                 breeding started and local traditional breeds, such as the Karakachan
                                 sheep, were replaced by new, “highly productive” breeds. In summer
                                 some of these herds/flocks were to the mountain pastures, but they
                                 did not effectively graze the mountain grasslands and their
                                 productivity declined significantly. Consequently the exploitation of
                                 the high mountain pastures progressively fell. In more recent years,
                                 there has been no incentive for people to re-establish this traditional
                                 way of life. Patterns of land ownership have changed and conflicts
                                 between shepherds and private landowners are more common, much
                                 of the infrastructure associated with mountain grazing (stables, huts
                                 and mountain trail-ways) is derelict and traditional pastoralism is
                                 perceived as a hard life with limited financial returns.

                                 With the decline in traditional mountain pastoralism and the
                                 abandonment of many mountain pastures, there has been:

                                    a steady decline in the biodiversity of the high nature value
                                     mountain grassland communities due to the encroachment of
                                     shrubs and trees, and the dominance of more competitive
                                     grassland species
                                    a loss of traditional „open‟ mountain landscapes (forest glades,
                                     hay meadows and pastures) due to the encroachment of forest

                                 The aim of this package is to promote the biodiversity and landscape
                                 benefits associated with the re-establishment and maintenance of the
                                 traditional practice of moving sheep, cattle and horses from winter
                                 grazing/housing in the mountain villages (e.g. approximately 500 metres
                                 altitude) to high mountain pastures for summer grazing at over 2 000
                                 metres altitude.. (Note this is commonly referred to as “pendulation”,
                                 rather than “transhumance”)



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                                 This will have many important benefits:

                                    Reduction in the area of high altitude semi-natural pastures in
                                     mountain areas that are abandoned and the subsequent
                                     maintenance of biodiversity and ecosystems associated with these
                                     pastures
                                    Increased numbers of livestock of traditional local breeds grazing on
                                     high altitude semi-natural pastures in mountain areas
                                    Stable source of income for mountain shepherds and job
                                     opportunities for local people

                                 The choice of livestock breeds used for mountain pastoral systems is
                                 very important. The most suitable are the local traditional breeds, such
                                 as Karakachan Sheep and Rhodope Short Horn Cattle, which are well
                                 adapted to mountain conditions. Since the mountainous regions,
                                 especially the protected areas, are also inhabited by large predators
                                 such as wolfs and brown bears, the use of shepherd dogs is essential
                                 and this package therefore also encourages the use of the indigenous
                                 Karakachan breed of shepherd dog.

Operational Objectives:             To support traditional patterns of seasonal grazing of high nature
                                     value semi-natural pastures in specified mountain regions using
                                     traditional breeds and methods
                                    To promote the use of traditional local breeds that are capable of
                                     grazing in the harsh mountain conditions
                                    To support the re-establishment of the necessary infra-structure
                                     for mountain pastoralism
                                    To promote the use of Karakachan Dogs as an efficient and
                                     environmentally-friendly method of protecting domestic livestock
                                     from attack by big predators (wolves, bears, jackals and lynxes)
                                    To provide opportunities and socio-economic benefits for rural
                                     communities in the most isolated mountain regions

Geographical Scope:              This is proposed as a pilot scheme and support payments will only be
                                 available in specified areas suitable for the implementation of
                                 mountain pastoralism where there:

                                    are significant areas of high mountain pasture under threat from
                                     abandonment
                                    are wolf and bear populations that conflict with grazing animals
                                    is the possibility for making the necessary grazing agreements
                                     between local farmers/shepherds and the owner of the high
                                     mountain pastures – notably the National Park Authority

                                 Pirin and Central Balkan National Parks are recommended as the first
                                 pilot areas. The most important characteristics of these two Parks
                                 are:

                                    the continued existence of a few farmers/shepherds that are still
                                     practicing traditional pastoralism and would therefore adopt the
                                     packages immediately and serve as an example for others to
                                     follow
                                    the presence of active NGOs willing and able to promote the
                                     packages amongst local farmers/shepherds



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Potential Beneficiaries:         Local farmers, natural or legal entities that own grazing livestock
                                 (sheep, cattle and horses) and are eligible for a grazing
                                 licence/agreement with the owner of the high altitude pastures (e.g.
                                 National Park Authority). Grazing licences of at least 5 years are
                                 recommended, but shorter periods can be accepted at the risk of the
                                 beneficiary)

                                 There are several different patterns of ownership and shepherding
                                 that need to be eligible for support:

                                    there is ONE owner of the flock/herd and the shepherding is done
                                     by this owner plus shepherds employed by the owner
                                    there is a GROUP of owners (e.g. maximum of 3) who co-operate
                                     to take their animals to the high altitude pastures summer grazing
                                     and share the responsibility of shepherding
                                    there is a GROUP of co-operating owners that employ a shepherd
                                     or shepherd(s)

                                 In all cases, the direct beneficiary(s) will be the owner(s) of the
                                 animals – shepherds employed by the owners of the animals will be
                                 indirect beneficiaries. There must be provision for a “group
                                 application”.

Management                       The owner(s) of the flock/herd of grazing livestock will be responsible
Requirements:                    for ensuring that all necessary management requirements are
                                 followed – although much of the work will be undertaken by employed
                                 shepherds.

                                 MOUNTAIN PASTORALISM (LB 2)
                                  The farmer shall own at least 50 sheep or 10 cattle of traditional
                                   local breeds that are eligible for support under LB1: Traditional
                                   Breeds - the shepherd must follow all the management
                                   requirements of LB1 in order to be eligible for payment
                                  The farmer shall own at least two Karakachan Dogs (a breeding
                                   pair) for protection of livestock against predator attack. The actual
                                   number of dogs must be proportional to the total number of sheep
                                   or cattle requiring protection. A pair of Karakachan Dogs will
                                   guard up to 100 sheep and 30 cattle, with an additional dog
                                   required per 100 or 30 additional sheep/cattle (all additional
                                   guidance on the Karakachan Dog available from SEMPERVIVA)
                                  The Karakachan Dogs will be “working dogs” that are fully
                                   socialised with the herd/flock of cattle/sheep and following them
                                   constantly
                                  The shepherd must avoid any cross-breeding of the Karakachan
                                   dogs supported by payments from this package (only certified
                                   pure-breds will be supported) and keep a record of the sales and
                                   purchases of all dogs
                                  The farmer/shepherd must graze their livestock on the designated
                                   mountain pastures for at least 5 months of the year (e.g. May –
                                   September). Shorter periods will be permitted according to
                                   seasonal conditions (e.g. a late spring or early autumn)
                                  There must be no waste (wood, glass, plastic, paper etc.) left in
                                   the mountain pastures at the end of the grazing season
                                  Supplementary payments will be available for the clearance and
                                   maintenance of traditional trail-ways to the high altitude pastures
                                   (these trail-ways must be existing and marked/named on an

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                                     official map), maintenance of springs/wells and other drinking
                                     places, maintenance of existing fencing etc.

                                 Owners of grazing livestock participating in LB2 will be encouraged to
                                 apply for area payments under packages HNV 1 (Restoration of
                                 Abandoned Pastures) and HNV 4 (Maintenance of Grazed Pastures)
                                 and to follow all necessary management requirements. These area
                                 payments will be an important part of the overall financial support for
                                 the traditional shepherd system.

                                 Where appropriate, livestock owners may also apply for HNV 3
                                 (Maintenance of Cut Meadows) and HNV 5 (Maintenance of Cut
                                 /Grazed Pastures)

                                 INVESTMENT SUPPORT (LB 3)
                                 Owners of grazing livestock may also apply for non-productive
                                 investment support for:

                                    the restoration or creation of high mountain shelters (option for
                                     small/large shelters),
                                    restoration or creation of livestock enclosures/fences
                                    restoration of traditional drinking places

                                 The following additional management requirements will apply to this
                                 investment support:

                                    If the farmer/shepherd uses investment support to build shepherd
                                     huts, fences for animals etc. in the mountain pastures, they must be
                                     built from natural materials and in a traditional style to be in harmony
                                     with the environment
                                    If these facilities are built in protected areas, they must comply with
                                     the provisions of the Act on Protected Territories and with the
                                     Management Plan for the relevant territory

Duration of                      5 years
Commitment:
Minimum Area:                    Minimum area of 100 ha of high mountain pasture with grazing
                                 licence/agreement

Expected Impact:                      Increased utilisation of high mountain pastures leading to
                                     maintenance of a) the high nature value of the mountainous
                                     grassland communities and b) the traditional „open‟ mountain
                                     landscapes
                                    Increased numbers of local traditional breeds, including
                                     Karakachan Dog
                                     Increased incomes for mountain farmers/shepherds and job
                                      opportunities for local people
                                    Increased opportunities for the development of alternative
                                     economic activities in mountain regions (e.g. use of trail-ways and
                                     mountain shelters to support mountain hiking, horse tourism etc.)

Payment Rates:                   The re-introduction of traditional practices of mountain pastoralism will
                                 be supported by a combination of payments, including:

                                    Support for restoration of abandoned high altitude pastures (HNV
                                     1)

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                                    Maintenance of grazing of high altitude pastures (HNV 4)
                                    Support for local traditional breeds (LB1)
                                    Compensatory payment under LB2 for the purchase of
                                     Karakachan Dogs
                                    Compensatory payments under LB2 for the loss of milk production
                                     associated with moving grazing animals to high altitude pastures
                                    Compensatory payment under LB2 for the clearance of traditional
                                     trail-ways, drinking places etc.
                                    Capital payments for necessary infra-structure (shepherd huts,
                                     fences, tracks etc) - under Article 38 of the new EAFRD there will
                                     be support available for “non-productive investment” where it is
                                     important for meeting agri-environment commitments

                                 There might also be some additional support in Year 1 to cover
                                 transaction costs, such as getting necessary maps for pastures and
                                 trail-ways; negotiating 5 year grazing licences etc..

                                 Note: It is also recommended that participation in LB2: Traditional
                                 Shepherd Systems should be a priority selection criteria for
                                 investment funding under Priority Axis 3 (diversification of the rural
                                 economy) of the EAFRD Regulation. This will offer the potential for
                                 support for small-scale processing and marketing of traditional
                                 livestock products (e.g. cheese and yoghurt) and enhance further the
                                 economic viability of mountain pastoralism in the pilot areas selected




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5. Financial Provisions
       Summary table of payment rates – ref to payment calculations
       Conditions of aid – including ref to GFP etc.
       Penalties and sanctions – for breaking conditions of aid
       Indicative budget




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6. Implementation Procedures

General Responsibilities

The limited experience of the agencies associated with the administration, control, monitoring and
evaluation of agri-environment support payments is acknowledged. The implementation of the
NAEP will therefore be carefully phased in order to allow the “step-by-step” accumulation of
experience and development of capacity.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) will be the Managing Authority and responsible for:

   On-going development of the NAEP
   Funding the national part of the programme, including the staff of MAF, the State Fund for
    Agriculture (SFA) and National Agricultural Advisory Service (NAAS)
   Instructions for the SFA
   Contracts for input from NAAS
   Approval and EU-approval of the national regulations, including the schemes/packages, control
    plan and sanction policy (prepared/developed by SFA) and the procedure for
    objections/appeals
   Setting-up the monitoring and evaluation system and meeting all reporting obligations to
    national government and the European Commission (see Section 7)
   Contracts for promotion of the programme (see Section 8)

The State Fund for Agriculture (SFA) will be the designated and accredited Paying Agency and
responsible for:

   Development and EU-accreditation for administrative procedure
   Administration of the NAEP, including the contracting of farmers
   Deciding on applications
   Developing and administering the control plan and sanction policy
   Developing and administering the objection/appeal procedure
   Financial management of the national and EU-funds
   Paying
   Control memorandum (risk analysis)
   Administrative and physical control, possibly including contract(s) with one or more Technical
    Service(s)
   Introduction of the programme into IACS (currently under preparation)
   Reports to the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry and to the European Commission.

The National Agricultural Advisory Service (NAAS) will carry out all the activities regarding
information and assistance to farmers regarding agri-environment issues – including support during
the application procedures.

Eligibility
To include



Application Procedure
To include




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Selection Criteria
The use of selection criteria are only necessary when a scheme or package is “over-subscribed” –
in other words, the number of applications from eligible farmers exceeds the budget allocated to
the scheme/package.

There are two options for selecting eligible applicants in this situation:

   use the principle of “first come, first served” – funding is allocated to eligible applicants
    according to the order that their applications forms arrive with the Paying Agency
   use a “ranking and selection system” – eligible applications are scored according to pre-defined
    criteria and then ranked (prioritised) according to the score achieved. Those farms with the
    highest scores are selected for funding first and farms with declining scores are selected until
    the allocated budget has been spent.




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7. Monitoring and Evaluation
Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) are important aspects of the normal “cycle” of agri-environment
policy programming and will be given a high priority by Bulgaria as part of its obligation to
implement a National Agri-environment Programme (NAEP) under the new Rural Development
Regulation (EAFRD).

It is noted that according to Article 90 of the draft EAFRD Regulation it is proposed to change the
system of monitoring and evaluation for the programming period 2007 – 2013 to include the
establishment of on-going annual evaluation for each rural development programme (including
agri-environment schemes) with the objective of:

a) examining the progress of the programme in relation to its goals by means of result and, where
   appropriate, impact indicators;
b) improving the quality of programmes and their implementation;
c) examining proposals for substantive changes to programmes;
d) preparing for mid-term and ex-post evaluation.

Preparations will therefore be made to collect data on the implementation of the NAEP to support
the preparation and submission of an annual evaluation report from 2008, with particular emphasis
upon supporting preparation of a mid-term evaluation report in 2010 and ex-post evaluation in
2015.

The mid-term and ex-post evaluations of the NAEP will:

   examine the degree of utilisation of resources, the effectiveness and efficiency of programming
    and its environmental and socio-economic impact.
   examine the hierarchy of objectives of the programme and aim to draw lessons concerning
    appropriate agri-environment policy for Bulgaria, including its relationship to broader rural
    development policy
   identify the factors which contributed to the success or failure of the implementation of the
    NAEP, including its sustainability and the identification of best practice for transfer to future
    programming periods”

It is expected that the Commission will continue to use a system of common evaluation questions,
but that:

   the current list of common questions for Member States to use will be revised from 2007, and
   the new list will relate more closely to EU priorities for the integration of environmental
    concerns into agricultural and rural development policy (e.g. the management of Natura 2000
    sites and specific river basins), including the use of indicators from the IRENA operation4

Outline of Potential M&E System

Data collection for the input and output indicators for monitoring progress with implementation of
the NAEP and the degree of resource utilisation will be relatively straightforward and the
responsibility of the designated Paying Agency.


4
  The IRENA Operation (Indicator Reporting on the Integration of Environmental Concerns into Agriculture
Policy) is a joint exercise between DG Agriculture and Rural Development, DG Environment, DG Eurostat ,
DG Joint Research Centre and the European Environment Agency (EEA) to develop agri-environmental
indicators for monitoring the integration of environmental concerns into the Common Agricultural Policy
(CAP)


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The development of data collection procedures for result and impact indicators (including the
collection of baseline data) will be more complex and require more sophisticated research
approaches, particularly for the impact indicators. Many Member States have specialist „agri-
environment evaluation programmes‟ (e.g. duration of 5 years) with funding for research projects
distributed to many different organisations (often on a competitive basis) and this is a highly
recommended approach.

It may also be possible to co-ordinate the collection of data for impact indicators with existing
environmental monitoring programmes, including:

   National Biodiversity Monitoring System (Executive Environment Agency) – a data
    collection, management and analysis system that aims to monitor long-term changes in the
    biodiversity of Bulgaria. It is the main instrument supporting decision-making related to many
    elements of biodiversity conservation in Bulgaria and serves the information needs of many
    different users;
   Monitoring System of the National Plant Protection Service (NPPS) – includes the
    monitoring of diseases, insects and weeds; pesticide residue in agricultural crops; chemical
    and biological contaminants in irrigation water; chemical and biological contaminants in soil,
    and; the impact of Genetically Modified Organisms
   Monitoring and Survey Activities of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds
    (BSPB) – including bird population estimates and trends, annual counts of wintering birds,
    common bird counts etc.

As far as possible, the M&E system will be developed alongside the final design of the NAEP
(rather than added later) so that it is an integral part of the NAEP.

Reporting will be the responsibility of the Management Authority.

List of indicators to be added




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8. Promotion/Communication Campaign

To be added




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Annex 1: Minimum Requirements and Commitments

The concept of Good Farming Practice is no longer used in the new Rural Development Regulation
(EAFRD).

Instead, according to Article 37 of the EAFRD Regulation:

“Agri-environment [and animal welfare] payments cover only those commitments going beyond the
relevant mandatory standards established pursuant to Articles 4 and 5 and Annexes III and IV of
Council Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003 and other relevant mandatory requirements established by
national legislation and identified in the programme.

Additionally, farmers and other land managers undertaking agri-environment commitments shall
respect minimum requirements for fertiliser and plant protection product use to be identified in the
programme.”

In other words, it appears that from 2007:

1. the baseline for agri-environment payment calculations will be the Statutory Management
   Requirements and standards of Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition (GAEC)
   prepared under Regulation 1782/2003 for all agricultural support payments

2. all farmers participating in agri-environment measures will be required to comply with the
   Statutory Management Requirements and standards of Good Agricultural and
   Environmental Condition (GAEC), plus additional “minimum requirements for fertiliser and
   plant protection products”.


A critical question is obviously where to draw the line between these “cross-compliance”
measures taken from Regulation 1782/2003 and the agri-environment support payments
offered in the NAEP



Statutory Management Requirements

All farmers receiving direct support payments in EU Member States are now required to follow a
set of Statutory Management Requirements based upon the 18 pieces of EU legislation relating
to agriculture and the environment, animal welfare, animal health and public health.

Five pieces of legislation relate specifically to the environment:

   Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds;
   Directive 80/68/EEC on the protection of groundwater against pollution caused by certain
    dangerous substances;
   Directive 86/278/EEC on the protection of the environment, and in particular of the soil, when
    sewage sludge is used in agriculture;
   Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates
    from agricultural sources, and;
   Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild flora and fauna




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Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition (GAEC)

All farmers receiving direct support payments in EU Member States are also required to follow a
set of minimum standards for maintaining so-called Good Agricultural and Environmental
Condition (GAEC)

The framework for developing the standards of Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition
(GAEC) is presented in Annex IV of Regulation 1782/2003 – as follows:


Issue                                                  Standards

Soil erosion:                                             Minimum soil cover
Protect soil through appropriate measures                 Minimum land management reflecting site-
                                                           specific conditions
                                                          Retain terraces

Soil organic matter:                                      Standards for crop rotations where applicable
Maintain soil organic matter levels through               Arable stubble management
appropriate practices

Soil structure:                                           Appropriate machinery use
Maintain soil structure through appropriate measures

Minimum level of maintenance:                             Minimum livestock stocking rates or/and
Ensure a minimum level of maintenance and avoid            appropriate regimes
the deterioration of habitats                             Protection of permanent pasture
                                                          Retention of landscape features
                                                          Avoiding the encroachment of unwanted
                                                           vegetation on agricultural land




The exact standards for GAEC must be defined by each Member State at a national level.
According to Article 5 of Regulation 1782/2003:

„Member States shall define, at national or regional level, minimum requirements for good
agricultural and environmental condition on the basis of the framework set up in Annex IV, taking
into account the specific characteristics of the areas concerned, including soil and climatic
conditions, existing farming systems, land use, crop rotation, farming practices, and farm
structures.‟

This flexibility to develop GAEC standards that reflect the circumstances in each Member State is
obviously very useful – but great care must be taken by the new Member States to ensure that
they develop standards which really are appropriate to their own circumstances and not just
“borrowed” from other countries.




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National Agri-environment Programme for Bulgaria                                          DRAFT



Annex 2: List of IBAs for Package HNV 6
List of designated and potential Important Bird Areas that are important for migrating/over-wintering
wildfowl to be supplied by BSPB




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