National environmental goals and challenges for agriculture are described in Norway's national environment programme. This programme is designed to make environmental efforts in the agricultural sector more goal-oriented, to raise awareness of the overall environmental commitment of the sector, and to increase the local and regional entrenchment of environmental efforts.
The County Governor is responsible for drawing up and implementing, on the basis of the national programme, a regional environment programme for the agricultural sector (RMP). These environment programmes must be designed to make environmental efforts in the agricultural sector more goal-oriented and raise awareness of the overall environmental commitment of the sector. Regional environment programmes should be tailored to take account of particular regional challenges.
Applications for grants for so-called special environmental measures in agriculture are processed by the municipalities.
An important aspect of environmental work in the agricultural sector consists of preserving Norway's cultural landscape, which is an important part of Norway's cultural heritage. A cultural landscape is a landscape that has been influenced by human activity. In modern times our cultural landscape has undergone extreme changes. Many cultural landscapes are currently under threat because of changes in agricultural practices and a warmer climate. Many plants, insects and other organisms are become rare or extinct. Ancient pathways, cultural monuments, old industrial installations and other buildings worthy of preservation are becoming overgrown or falling into disrepair. Ancient breeds of farm animals and traditional species of plants that represent important genetic resources are now in danger of extinction.
In order to preserve the environmental values inherent in our cultural landscape, it is necessary to maintain traditional farming methods or implement conservation measures. The regional environment programme contributes to these efforts, together with grants made to special environmental measures in agriculture.
The County Governor is responsible for entering into agreements with landowners and rights holders concerning farming practices, as well as conservation and restoration measures, in nationally selected farmed cultural landscapes.