Environmental, natural, social and economic processes undergoing both in Europe and in the world predict such a 21st century that is characterised by increasing resource-crisis from both economic and ecological aspects. Therefore, it is very important for Hungary to see what happens to its natural resources, epecially to its agricult...ural land, water reserves as well as the biodiversity of the local unique flora and fauna. One of the most significant issues of the rural areas of Hungary is whether we can preserve the natural habitats and the various biodiversity of the related species, the favourable biological background of agriculture. In addition, whether we are able to provide high quality food for the country as well as for the broader reagion, whether we are able to produce energy from the resources available as well as to provide sufficient opportunities for the population to live and work. These can be considered as the most significant issuesof the coming decades which determine the strategy of the Hungarian rural economies in long term.
Our study prepared as a brief version of National Report in the frame of EUROLAN Programme. We deal with the interpretation of some definitions (marginalisation of land use, multifunctionality of land use, marginalisation of agriculture, multifunctionality of agriculture), with sorting and reviewing indicators of marginalisation and finally wit...h the analysis of functions of land use. We suggested a dynamic and a static approach of marginalisation. We can explore the dynamic process by time series and the static (regional) one by cross-section analyses.
It is very hard to explain the perspective of the future of marginalisation of land and of agriculture in Hungary. The process of marginalisation seems faster in the agriculture in the coming years, but it depends on the utilisation of new possibilities given by the EU financial resources and by the Common Market. At this moment agriculture seems one of the big losers of the accession.
In the long term we should face considerable challenges in the land use. It is necessary to take into account that there is a supply market of foods and traditional fibre production world-wide. There are limited possibilities to produce and to market for example biodiesel (fuel), bioethanol, or maybe biogas. Thus the environment and landscape preservation becomes more and more real land use alternatives.
The environmental interpretation of the multifunctionality of land use: activities (functions) of environmental preservation and nature conservation in a certain area, which aim to preserve natural resources by the existing socio-economic conditions.
Preservation of rural landscapes is the task mainly for land-users, who can be commanded by legal means and can be encouraged by economic measures to carry out the above activity. In the recent past measures of „command and control” type regulation were predominant, however nowadays, especially in the developed countries, the role of economic incentives increases.
As a conclusion of our analysis we can state that as long as the main land-dependent activities (agriculture, forestry, housing, tourism, local mining) cease to be viable under an existing socio-economic structure, then it is hardly possible to sustain the rural landscape on an appropriate level by non-commodity products (such as environment preservation, cultural heritage, nature conservation, employment etc.).
1 The study was prepared in the frame of EUROLAN (EU-5 Framework Project), QLK5-CT-2002-02346, as a compiled version of the Hungarian National Report, The national project co-ordinator: Prof. Dr. Gabor Szabo.
A part of places with high ecological values coincides with the areas with unfavourable agricultural endowments and underdeveloped micro-regions. We think so that the marginalisation preserves the non-environmental-sound activities and hinders the development of multifunctional agriculture and this process can change only by joint utilisation of endogenous and exogenous resources and methods. Thus the successful programmes for agri-environmental protection and multifunctional land use can serve the moderation of negative effects of marginalisation or maybe the marginalisation process itself.