Environmental measures in agriculture shall help to ensure food production that is as environmentally friendly as possible. Farmers who meet the given environmental requirements have the right to full production funding. They are also entitled to apply for funding from regional environmental programmes and schemes for special environmental measures in agriculture and the drainage of agricultural soils.
The County Governor is responsible for producing and implementing a regional environmental programme for agriculture (RMP), based on a national environmental programme. The environmental programmes must help to give focus to environmental work in farming and to make environmental initiatives in agriculture more visible. The funding schemes in regional environmental programmes focus on challenges faced by the individual counties.
The cultural landscape is part of cultural heritage
An important task of the Norwegian agricultural sphere is to safeguard the cultural landscape, which forms part of our cultural heritage, when farming. A cultural landscape is a landscape that has been influenced by human activity. In modern times, Norway’s cultural landscape has changed considerably, based on new forms of operation in farming and the re-purposing of farmlands. A whole host of plants, insects and other organisms whose habitats were old cultural landscapes are on their way to being either rare occurrences or lost forever. Old traffic arteries, cultural monuments, older industrial facilities and other buildings which are worthy of protection have become overgrown and fallen into decline. Older species of livestock and traditional plant species that represent important genetic resources now run the risk of disappearing.
In order to safeguard the environmental values present in our cultural landscape, it is essential to maintain traditional operations or implement care and restoration measures. Regional environmental programmes, together with the funding given to special environmental measures in the agricultural sphere, must inspire others to pursue this.
The County Governor must also motivate municipalities to safeguard agricultural lands with a valuable cultural landscape. Certain individually selected cultural landscapes in the agricultural sphere receive special monitoring through long-term maintenance agreements and co-operation between the relevant landowners, municipalities and agricultural, environmental and cultural heritage authorities at county level.