The most important aim of the study is to introduce the theoretical background of my PhD dissertation – agricultural environmental management –, in order to help the scientific foundations for my dissertation, which is in progress. For this reason I will try to clarify and systematize facts found in the special literature according to my ow...n thoughts, from a new aspect.
In my study, I therefore attempt to introduce the theoretical background of sustainable development as pertains to the subsidies of agricultural environmental management (National Agricultural Environmental Management Program, National Regional Development Plan, agricultural environmental management measures). Having clarified the concepts I place sustainable development in the economic theories directed to the treatment of environmental problems, introduce where subsidies are within the environmental regulation implements and I dwell on to the institutional questions in the explanation. I then study questions of sustainable agricultural economics. Accession to the European Union has to be considered as one of the most important concrete motivities of domestically coming into prominence of agricultural environmental subsidies therefore I think it is important to study how the problematic of sustainable development, sustainable agricultural development and agricultural environment protection worked out in the EU. Finally I survey the main characteristics of domestic agricultural environment management programs fitting into the theories explained above, how the program adjusts to the theories of sustainable development and sustainable agricultural development.
In the dissertation I begin with sustainable development as the broadest theoretical background, then I survey a narrower category, the theories of sustainable agricultural development and how concrete agricultural environmental programs fit into the studied theoretical relations.
The definition of sustainable development has a past which spans two decades. Today it is evident that the three pillars of sustainable development – environment, economy and society – have a strong correspondence and equally effect on every people. The UN’s Environment and Development Conference in 1992 declared the requirement in the do...cument of Objectives for the XXI. century, that governments should prepare national sustainable development strategies. The World Conference of Sustainable Development in August 2002 made a stronger decision: „the states should make immediate steps forward … defining and preparing their national sustainable development, and for the purpose to start its realization until 2005”. Most of the countries fulfilled these requirements, and the Hungarian government promises to prepare its national strategy by the end of 2004.
The aim of my study is to survey the knowledge of university students about the above mentioned process and generally about the topic of sustainable development. The selection of the target group is justified by the importance of young intelligentsia in the future. In order to examine their knowledge, I prepared a questionnaire and from the emerging primary data, my conclusion and statements have been deducted by a processing-analysing course, on the bases of which I made my suggestions.
The task of the national sustainable development strategy is to provide a long term conception for the economy and society, so that this might function and develop in harmony with the environment. Creating the conditions for sustainable agricultural production requires the elaboration and implementation of long-term programs spanning generation...s. The objective is to find a compromise between the conceptions appearing in the long-term and the short-term programs.
In Hungary, several principles, conceptions and proposals have been suggested regarding sustainable agriculture. In the present study, I intend to systematize the above mentioned principles and conceptions, and compare them to the conceptions regarding agriculture in the national strategies of the EU member states. Furthermore, I examine to what extent the agricultural policy of the European Union supports the conceptions regarding agriculture in the strategies. This topic deserves special attention, as the Hungarian national sustainable development strategy is being prepared and is supposed to be finished by the end of 2005.
In preparation for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg), almost all EU member-states and some accession countries presented their national strategies for sustainable development (NSSD) during the summer of 2002. Along with other countries, Hungary is only now setting up this important document. Everywhere during the last d...ecade, as in the EU countries, the intention was to involve the environmental problems into other political questions (agricultural, energy and transport policy, etc.). Today the strategy-builders have given up the sectoral view because of difficulties and setbacks, and use a view aiming the problem.
Agri-environmental issues appear as the elements of sustainability in the national strategies. For example, in accordance with the danger of global warming, the emission of green-house gasses of agriculture; in line with eco-efficiency, the production of renewable raw materials and energy sources originating from agriculture, and, in relation to changing lifestyle, food-safety and the future of biological agriculture will be disputed. With this study, I investigate the main characteristics of sustainable development strategies at both the EU level and at the level of the different member states from an agri-environmental point of view.
Soils represent a considerable part of the natural resources of Hungary. Consequently, rational land use and proper soil management – to guarantee normal soil functions – are important elements of sustainable (agricultural) development, having special importance both in the national economy and in environment protection.
The main soil fu
Society utilizes these functions in different ways (rate, method, efficiency) throughout history, depending on the given natural conditions and socio-economic circumstances. In many cases the character of the particular functions was not properly taken into consideration during the utilization of soil resources, and the misguided management resulted in their over-exploitation, decreasing efficiency of one or more soil functions, and – over a certain limit – serious environmental deterioration.
Soil resources are threatened by the following environmental stresses:
– soil degradation processes;
– extreme moisture regime;
– nutrient stresses (deficiency or toxicity);
– environmental pollution.
Environmental stresses caused by natural factors or human activities represent an increasing ecological threat to the biosphere, as well as a socio-economic risk for sustainable development, including rational land use and soil management.
The stresses are caused by the integrated impacts of various soil properties, which are the results of soil processes (mass and energy regimes, abiotic and biotic transport and transformation and their interactions) under the combined influences of soil forming factors. Consequently, the control of soil processes is a great challenge and the main task of soil science and soil management in sustainable development.
The efficient control of these processes necessitates the following consecutive steps:
• registration of facts and consequences (information on land and soil characteristics, land use, cropping pattern, applied agrotechnics, yields, with their spatial and temporal variability);
• evaluation of potential reasons (definition and quantification of soil processes, analysis of influencing factors and their mechanisms);
• assessment of the theoretical, real, rational and economic possibilities for the control of soil processes (including their risk-assessment and impact analysis);
• elaboration of efficient technologies for the „best” control alternatives (best management practice).
Scientifically based planning and implementation of sustainable land use and rational soil management to ensure desirable soil functions, without any undesirable environmental side-effects, require adequate soil information. In the last years such data were organized into a computer-based GIS soil database in Hungary, giving opportunities for the quantification, analysis, modelling and forecasting of the studied environmental stresses and for the efficient and scientifically based prevention, elimination or reduction of environmental stresses and their unfavourable ecological and economical consequences.
Special attention was paid to the assessment of various soil degradation processes, as: (1) soil erosion by water or wind; (2) soil acidification; (3) salinization and/or alkalization; (4) physical degradation (structure destruction, compaction); (5) extreme moisture regime: drought sensitivity and waterlogging hazard; (6) biological degradation; (7) unfavourable changes in the plant nutrient regime; (8) decrease of natural buffering capacity, (9) soil (and water) pollution.
The actions against undesirable environmental stresses and their unfavourable consequences are important elements of sustainable, efficient, economically viable, socially acceptable and environmentally sound crop production and agricultural development. These are joint tasks of the state, decision makers on various levels, the land owners, the land users and – to a certain extent – of each member of the society.
Hungary’s new national sustainable development strategy is expected to be drawn up by 2012 and social debate for discussion has already been under way. This document provides the basis of all other strategies, programs and plans. I prepared a survey by the method of structured in-depth interviews to explore the opinion of experts engaged in e...nvironmental issues and strategy development about sustainable development, the situation of the Hungarian strategy adopted in 2007 and applied indicators. The picture is highly diverse: there is a lack of unified viewpoint even about the concept of sustainability. However, the definition of a common, jointly adopted concept is the first stage in strategy development. Precisely formulated objectives and their related indicators are required for a strategy to fulfill its role – this is the theoretical part of strategic thinking.
The concept of sustainable development is one of the most fashionable concepts in the world nowadays, but Hungary – 15 years after the Rio conference – is still far behind the times: it is the only country in the EU 25 that has not prepared a national sustainable development strategy.
The situation is not encouraging in the field of loca
One of the most important messages of sustainability is that the consultative process between the local government and the community can have far reaching consequences, which can influence the municipality’s life for a long time. In my paper, I explore the inhibitive factors bearing this duality in mind, as the lack of top-down initiatives together with the low number and the low support of bottom-up approaches have led to this image which is not too flattering for Hungary. I also aim to show, through the example of other countries, how these inhibitive factors can be reduced.
Innovation and innovation performance is gaining increasing importance in European policy, as the targets determined by the Lisbon priorities related to innovation seem to be still far away from the reality in some European countries and at EU level as well. Although the economic crisis determined the priorities of economic development and made... it more complicated to dedicate more budget of Research and Development, one of the five ambitious objectives of the EU’s growth strategy for the coming decade: Europe 2020: A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth is still focusing on innovation. As the Lisbon Strategy determined the paths for national targets in the given areas, Europe 2020 will be adopted as well by the Member States.
In this context, the current work would like to give a short overview how Lisbon Strategy effected the national and regional innovation system in Hungary and will analyze its impact on Észak-Alföld’s region Research, Development and Innovation performance in the recent years and the transition of regional innovation governance system.
Rural tourism was a popular sector of tourism development in the last few years. The importance of this sector means that it can be developed on its own or together with other tourist sectors.
The future of rural tourism depends on the supports of the national plans and strategies and the sales systems to keep on the market. In this study, I
The four European Conferences on Sustainable Cities and Towns gave birth to documents that are important from the point of view of local sustainability. These are, in chronological order, the Aalborg Charter – 1994 Aalborg, the Lisbon Action Plan – 1996 Lisbon, the Hannover Call – 2000 Hannover, and the Aalborg Commitments – 2004 Aalbor...g. Throughout the process, the emphasis gradually moved from planning to the implementation of plans.
Today, there are more than 2000 signatories of the Aalborg
1A tanulmány az OTKA T-046704 sz. pályázatának támogatásával készült.
Charter. The cutting edge of the process are Italy and Spain, the municipalities of these two countries add up to 80 per cent of all signatories. In both countries, the national commitment is given, but there is not a body that could coordinate the activities related to sustainability, so local governments play the major role in it. The constitutions of these two countries also pass on some duties that are relevant from the point of view of sustainability within the competence of local governments, and allow resources to implement them. In the case of the United Kingdom, the commitment of the national government, and especially the Prime Minister, is the major factor in the movement towards local sustainability.
The former socialist countries in Europe, as well as Hungary are relatively underdeveloped economically, so the social and environmental pillars of sustainable development are pushed into the background behind the economical pillar. As a result of the lack of national commitment, there is no guidance and there are no case studies available, so only a small part of local governments are informed of this important international movement, and so are committed to it. The lack of resources is also a problem. The consequence of all this is that there are 35 municipalities from the Eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004, and only four from Hungary – to mention by name Aba, Kecskemét, Monor and Nagykanizsa – that signed the Aalborg Charter.
Shown the expediency of the environmental expertise technologies of growing crops in terms of impact on soil fertility, crop phytosanitary status, quality, chemicals migration, biological soil activity, crop productivity, which ensure avoidance of adverse impact on the environment and human health.
One of the conditions for successful small game management is the good management of predator species. The predator species play an important role in the sustainable utilization of the domestic brown hare populations. A portion of these species are under nature protection and with the rest of the species can be utilizing by the wildlife managem...ent professionals. Important prey species of brown hares: perspective are red fox, domestic dog and domestic cat. Based on latest date of the National Game Management Database in hunting bags increasing every year the number of the European badger, the stone marten and the golden jackal. In Hungary the brown hare’s most important predator bird species are common buzzard, marsh-harries and goshawk. The human race is not only as a top predator affects the number of the population of brown hares with the wildlife management but indirectly with traffic, (soil cultivation, mowing, and pest control) as well. The control of predators is absolutely necessary for successful small game management, but without sufficient habitat size and habitat development it is hardly sufficient.
Hungary has a rich history of soil analyses and soil mapping. Our main tasks today are the preservation of soil fertility as well as balancing the goals of production and environmental protection. The main requirement of agricultural production is to adapt to ecological and economic conditions.
In a series of consultative meetings in the pas
In Hungary, the use of inorganic fertilizers underwent a dynamic development, which manifested itself in an almost tenfold usage growth between 1960 and 1985. This growth slowed down somewhat between 1985 and 1990 and then reduced dramatically after 1990, reaching record lows at the usage levels of the 60s. The nutrient supply has had a negative balance for the last 15 years.
The increasing and then decreasing usage trends can equally be detected in the domestic yield averages of wheat and corn as well as in the nutrient supply of soils. Yields were the largest when usage levels were the highest, and decreased thereafter. Draughts have also contributed to smaller yields. The dramatic decrease in the use of inorganic fertilizers when adequate organic fertilizers are lacking endangers our soils’ fertility.
About 50% of soils in Hungary are acidic. Acidity is mostly determined by soil formation, but especially on soils with a low buffering capacity, this acidity may intensify due to inorganic fertilizers. Sustainable agriculture requires the chemical improvement of acidic soils. According to their y1 values, the majority of our acidic soils need to be improved. This chemical soil remediation is required in 15% of the acidic soils, while it’s recommended for another 20% of these soils.
Results of the analyses conducted in the framework of the soil-monitoring system set up in Hungary in 1992 show that in 95% of the analyzed samples, the toxic element content is below the allowable limit. Cultivated areas are not contaminated; toxicity above the legal level was found only in specific high-risk sampling areas: in the vicinity of industry, due to local overload. The basic principle of sustainable agriculture is to preserve soil fertility without undue strain on the environment. The intensity of the production needs to be considered according to the conditions of the site; i.e.; nutrient management needs to be site-specific. It is recommended to differentiate three types of cultivated land in terms of environmental sensitivity: areas with favorable conditions, endangered areas, and protected areas, and then to adopt nutrient management practices accordingly. To meet all the above-mentioned goals is impossible without systematic soil analysis. Tests conducted by the national monitoring system cannot replace regular field measurements.
In modern market economies residential real estate prices, price shifts and their correlations with macroeconomic factors are surveyed quite frequently. However, in contrast with the wide scope of foreign examples, so far existing analyses in Hungary have ignored examining relation and extensity of macroeconomic indicators and failed to examine... their effect on real estate pricing. The scope of this survey is to highlight these potential correlations and thus develop new aspects of analysis. Although the examination needs further extension both in time and space, the results of this survey may help to understand the importance of the responsible management of the most precious element of national wealth from the perspective of sustainable rural development.
Based on my preliminary results, there exists a strong correlation between the number of inhabitants of a settlement and the average real estate prices. Nevertheless, the correlation seems to be significant only for cities. In the case of smaller settlements the correlation still exists but at a lower level. As opposed to the results of former publications and my own expectations, no direct link could be tackled between the amount of income tax paid by private individuals and real estate prices either in the cities or in the villages within the territory and time span examined in my analysis. Although this correlation is measurable on a macro-economic level, my micro-regional analyses revealed the complexity of asset pricing and price volatility. Continuing this survey, my goal is to identify the hidden factors influencing real estate prices, whose thorough mapping may promote conscious rural development.
The viewpoint of the recent cryopreservation techniques (CT) suggests the use of a reduced volume of cryopreservation solution, high concentration of cryoprotectants and ultra-rapid cooling and warming rates help to reduce cryo-injury and maximize the viability of the preserved animal genetic resources (AnGR). The CT had now become widely a...ccepted as one of the best methods of choice for the ex-situ conservation of AnGR due to its high success rate recorded and no-invasive nature as compared to the conventional slow rate freezing (CSRF). Rapid advances and wide acceptability of the use of assisted reproductive technologies (ART’s) particularly artificial insemination (AI) in animal breeding had resulted in a greater loss of a large number of good quality genes in virtually almost all the native breeds of animals across the globe. Small ruminant (SR) animals are not an exception in such present predicaments situation of erosion and dilution of the valuable AnGR among the native breeds. As a result of this, 148 and 16 breeds of sheep and goats respectively have already become extinct in Europe and the Caucasus. In view of the aforementioned situation, the present review aimed at exploring some of the current states of development, roles played and potentials of CT in the conservation of SR genes and genome for the immediate and future breeding purposes for sustainable development. It basically covers; animal genetic resource, the need to conserve AnGR, tools for ex situ in vitro conservation of AnGR and recent developments in breeding and cryopreservation of SR AnGR.
Cryopreservation is playing a pivotal role in ex-situ gene conservation of AnGR. Decline in genetic diversity among SR breed population was high in Europe and the Caucasus. There is therefore, need for improvent on current stringent measures on conservation of AnGR in this region of the world.
During the recent years researchers from different countries have found that our environment is at risk. It has been recognised by the leaders of the member countries and they have made decisions together concerning environmental protection in several agreements, contracts. Unfortunately, these decisions have been weakened and adumbrated on num...erous occasions by certain interests.
However, the energetic exploitation of the biomass has been supported by the economic and social changes of the previous years, more specifically, that of the bio fuels. The significant increase in the price of the traditional energy sources, the import dependency of the countries, the foreseeable exhaustion of the resources, the changes occurred due to joining the EU are all such problems that facilitates the application of bio fuels, as a good solution.
Our country decided to modify the then existed bio fuel component rate of 2% to 5.75% which has to be achieved by 2010. Since then, in March 2007 it has been expanded to 10% until 2020 (concerning energy content). This decision was taken knowing that this year (2006) the bio fuel rate has been 0.5%. However, the rate of 2% has not been achieved even in the EU. One can understand that the implementation cannot be fulfilled without significant political decisions and support. The main reason for this is that the price of bio fuels is not competitive with the present fossil-origin energy prices in Hungary. So in 2007 several regulations were modified. The most important one is perhaps the regulation of the revenue tax, which caused the successful tax-differentiation concerning bio fuels in more member states between 2007 and 2008. Its essence is that the revenue tax is not decreased, but if the fuel does not contain a bio fuel component of 4.4 bulking percentage per litre, „punishment” tax has to be paid. Moreover, on behalf of the implementation, regulations concerning bio fuels and bio fuel components are improving
At present the production and the application of bio fuels without any support are not economical yet. That is why it is important to emphasize the support policy of our country. After joining the Union, the new members can receive some shares from the direct disbursements, but only a tan increasing rate, we can achieve the 100% in 2013, though there is an opportunity for national contribution. Energy plants produced in agriculture receive separate supplementary support which is an advantageous opportunity for the farmers of the sector. Bio fuels cannot only be supported through agriculture, of course, but by research development, investment etc.
All in all, it can be concluded that Hungary seeks to fulfil the EU responsibilities taken and by this, to contribute to the maintenance of the sustainable progress, decrease of environmental pollution and the import dependency of energy sources.
Under the leadership of the International Association of Tobacco Producers – UNITAB – there is a struggle going on for stabilizing the situation of European tobacco growers. UNITAB unites the tobacco associations and tobacco growers of all EU countries.
Tobacco production ensures economic stability for more than 100 thousand small- and m
Within the framework of the CAP reform, the European Union is gradually changing the regulations of production. This is based on the decoupling of subsidies, which will be implemented in two phases. Between 2006 and 2009. the decoupling will be 40% and then after 2010, 50% (the other 50% will be used for restructuring within the second pillar). The question is raised, how will the second 50% be restructured to the second pillar. Between regions and how it can be ensured that this support would go to tobacco production.
With its participation in the principles of the European Tobacco Charta, UNITAB targets for production under economically-balanced conditions, the production of products meeting the customer requirements, consideration of the working conditions (especially for seasonal workers) and adherence to the health regulations related to the consumption of the end product already in the production and environmental protection. They aim to ensure the survival of the sector via tobacco growing with sustainable development and high quality. To maintain the continuity, there is a need for the support of regional, national and EU authorities. Future of the sector is dependent upon adaptation of tobacco growers and upon meeting the social expectations.
According to UNITAB, efforts should be made to modify the decisions so that the majority of the funding could be used by the grower. The tobacco industry has been able to effectively fight for its survival.