Sharing experience and good practices for sustainable use of mountain (alpine) grasslands in Natura 2000 sites

We consider that sharing good practices and experience between countries with common regional issues related to sustainable management of alpine pastures contributes to improving the viability of these farming systems. The idea of the action therefore is to exchange experience and good practices for sustainable use of mountain (alpine) grasslands in Natura 2000 sites between Bulgaria, Godech municipality and Austria. This project is kindly financed by the Arklerton Trust, UK. 

What we will do this year?

A study tour in Austria, organized by Federal Education and Research Institute Raumberg-Gumpenstein for 16 experts and farmers from Bulgaria for 3 full days.

The aim is got to get a better understanding of  the Austrian systems for sustainable management of alpine grasslands and pastures in Natura 2000 areas, including landscape protection, environmental and climate aspects -  livestock breeding  (cattle, sheep, goats) and socio economic importance (an marketing approaches) of alpine agricultural production.

We will see both farms in the valleys, which have more favourable agricultural production areas and farms in mountainous areas, which add value by organic grazing-based farming and rural tourism. 

We will also organize an exchange visit for the Australian expererts to come and see the Bulgarian mountain grazing farms. Bulgarian hosts will be the farmers who participated in the study visit in Austria. Their existing grassland management will be jointly analysed on the spot and a concept for improving the grassland management in Natura 2000 areas will be developed. Practical aspects will be explained and discussed. 

Preparation of a summary report with best practices and recommendation to be distributed to the farmers in Godech municipality with similar farming practices and systems.

What do we expect to achieve?

  • Increased understanding, knowledge and practical experience for sustainable management of mountain grasslands in Natura 2000 sites in Godech municipality and increasing competitiveness of the existing extensive farming systems;
  • Acquisition of skills and models for marketing of Natura 2000 sites farm products ;
  • Establish a partnership between Bulgarian farmers from Godech municipality and their Austrian colleagues for sharing experience and best practices for sustainable use of natural resources. 

The cost incurred for organization of the study tour in Austria will be covered respectively by STEP and the Education and Research Institute Raumberg-Gumpenstein, thanks to the funding of the Arklerton Trust.

If you are from interested to learn more, please contact us: step_ngo@abv.bg