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 own 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 document 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.
Sustainable development is a very popular conception since many years. In practice there could be many difficulties.
Economic, social and ecological systems are too complex to see all the consequences clearly. After all, sustainable criteria are indispensable for responsible planning.
Tourism is one of the world’s dynamically developing economic sectors. But according to this development, we have to confront with a lot of negative effects, like air pollution, or mass. With globalization, the opportunities for tourism increase: thanks to modern transport, places which were too far to be accessible before are now able to be reached. But there are consequences to this expansion. Unfortunately, growth e.g. in air transport causes considerable environmental damage.
In today’s fast-paced world, the sanctity of nature, a soundproof environment, clean air and rural life have become increasingly important. With the growth of demand and tourism globalized, these values can damage or disappear in a short time. So, in tourism, it is vital to project development plans with sustainable principles.
Just as other countries, in Hungary, the development of sustainable tourism is slowly becoming a priority. Fortunately, in plans for the next few years, there appear more concrete ideas on ways to make sustainable tourism grow.
In my study, I assess Hungary’s position in sustainable tourism, examining how sustainable tourism indicators fit in sustainable development indicators and how can we measure aims of sustainable tourism.
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 generations. 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.
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 environmental 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.
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 decade, 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.
Tourism as one of the most significant sectors of the world economy plays an important role in achieving the goals of sustainable development. The fundamental conditions of sustainable development are the proper management of the environmental, social and economic impacts, as well as the well-established planning based on a detailed analysis. Measuring the changes and evaluating the results are tasks carried out by governmental and professional organizations. The first step of the assessment is defining the concept of sustainable tourism. Indicators are the most widely used set of tools for the assessment. Several international organizations have focused on elaborating the most suitable indicators for sustainable tourism development and formulating assessment models based on indicators since the beginning of the 1990s. Neither a generally accepted set of indicators nor a universally applicable assessment method has been put together until now. In the present study a few definitions of sustainable tourism are reviewed, criteria for indicator selection are listed, followed by the presentation of a sustainable tourism model. Finally a recently published assessment procedure based on the Bellagio Principles is summarized.
This paper tries to find connection between sustainable landscape and spatial development policy of the Northern Great Plain region on the basis of specific examples explained in scientific literature. Searching for the common roots of spatial development and sustainability the paper explains two interpretations of sustainability from the view point of landscape, than the most significant element of current landscape change – the polarization of landscapes – will be introduced. This trend in landscape change basically determines the direction of spatial development. This paper analyses the Northern Great Plain region from two different approaches. In the first grouping the region is exposed from the view point of spatial development. In the second partitioning the area is divided into subject matters based on the principles of sustainability and polarization of landscape. This research – analyzing development plans and strategies – considers the current situation within the subject matters.
This paper tries to find connections between sustainable landscape and spatial development policy of the Northern Great Plain region on the basis of specific examples explained in scientific literature. Searching for the common roots of spatial development and sustainability the paper explains two interpretation of sustainability from the view point of landscape, than the most significant element of current landscape change, the polarization of landscapes, will be introduced. This trend in landscape change basically determines the direction of spatial development. This paper analyses the Northern Great Plain region form two different approaches. In the first grouping the region is exposed from the view point of landscape. In the second partitioning the area is divided into subject matters based on the principles of sustainability and polarization of landscape. This research – analysing development plans and strategies – considers the current situation and the tasks of the future within the subject matters.
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 functions in the biosphere are as follows: conditionally renewable natural resource; reactor, transformer and integrator of the combined influences of other natural resources (solar radiation, atmosphere, surface and subsurface waters, biological resources), place of „sphere-interactions”; medium for biomass production, primary food-source of the biosphere; storage of heat, water and plant nutrients; natural filter and detoxication system, which may prevent the deeper geological formations and the subsurface waters from various pollutants; high capacity buffer medium, which may prevent or moderate the unfavourable consequences of various environmental stresses; significant gene-reservoir, an important element of biodiversity.
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.
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 local sustainability either. Although there are initiatives that can be described as ones that were prepared in the spirit of local sustainable development, no municipalities have working, formulated sustainability strategies.
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.
The control of our relationship with our environment is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century. This has an effect on the economic and social processes and the human activities. All of these are included in a new developmental strategy: the strategy of sustainable development.
The strategy of sustainable development prevails by the new technologies and it is realized on high-tech level as the fermentation manipulation of organic materials, biogas production and production of “green” electric current.
One of Europe’s largest bioreactors has been established in Nyírbátor in Hungary at first (chief executive: Mihály Petis).
Common Agricultural Policy has identified three priority areas for action to protect and enhance rural heritage: (i) the preservation and development of natural farming and traditional agricultural landscapes; (ii) water management and sustainable use and (iii) dealing with climate change. Measures of Rural Development Plan in EU countries promote the development of agricultural practices for preserving the environment and safeguarding the countryside. This is achieved by targeting rural development and promoting environmental friendly, sustainable practices, like agri-environment schemes. Farmers are encouraged to continue playing a positive role in the maintenance of the countryside and the environment. Changes in total emission between 1990
and 2007 do not show any correlation with the total GHG emission. GHG emission was reduced in Hungary, Slovakia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Romania, Poland, Estonia and Bulgaria, where GHG efficiency is low.
The paper first negotiates the concept of multifunctionality, then the main steps of the development of the connection between agriculture and rural development are discussed. It presents the situation of a most disadvantageous sub-region that is aided by a complex program. The local rural resources are estimated by the multifunctional rural resource analysis method considering threefold function of the rural areas. It is concluded, that the land use systems and labour-intensive cropping systems have specific missions in multifunctional agriculture and rural development in the sub-region.
In the Hungarian Rural Development Programme (RDP) climate change adaptation is addressed through the measures in Axis 1, 2, 3 and 4. Under Axis 1 farmers can receive support for farm modernisation that will help them adapt to climate change. The processing industry will also be able to use the available resources for capital expenditure on buildings and new equipment. Axis 2 and especially the soil and water package within the agrienvironmental
measure aim to support production methods, which protect soil quality and will help adaptation to climate change. Measures of Axis 3, such as basic services for the economy and rural population, village renewal and development will provide local communities the opportunity to identify actions that can be undertaken to deal with the effects of climate change. On the other hand, the extension of forest resources contributes to climate change mitigation and enhances carbon sequestration. New methods have been elaborated to the sustainable regional water management, irrigation, water regulation, defence against internal water, and soil protection established. Water management contributes to the balance of water quantity on one side, but also to mitigating the climate change on the other.
The plantation of willow varieties was established in 2009. The 40 different varieties and clones of Salix were planted at a research field in Kolíňany (Nitra district). The paper evaluates results from the first growing season in 2009. The survival rate of planted cuttings ranged from 55.56 % to 100.00 % after the first year. The lowest survival rate was reached by Terra Nova variety. The stem numbers per plant ranged from 1.17 ±0.37 to 2.53 ±0.98. The average height of one-year old stem varied from 65.82 ±36.60 cm to 225.58 ±68.61 cm. The average stem diameter ranged from 6.90 ±2.63 mm to 14.34 ±3.39 mm. There were statistically very significant differences in parameters of stem height stem diameter and stem numbers per plant among studied varieties/clones. The statistic method used was analysis of variance ANOVA. The varieties were then divided into 6 groups according to their similarity in observed parameters after the first growing season by cluster analysis. The best results were reached by varieties/clones classified in the second group. The survival rate, stem diameter and stem height values of these varieties/clones were above average.
The utilization of renewable energy sources (res) is crucial regarding to sustainable reconstruction of energy systems. The target is a balanced, sustainable development of Hungarian energy management considering equally the ecological, social and economic aspects. There are many different technologies of utilization of res varied by sources, conversion processes, size and products. The comparison of each technology and their sustainability assessment are required by the importance of efficient remodeling of energy infrastructure. The group of attributes was composed by numerous important parameters in the course of our analysis with the choice experiment (ce) methodology. The estimation of each attributes’ influence on the individual’s preferences and choices was possible by this method and the preferences of the statistical population was concluded. So thus the utility derived from each attribute was estimated. The result of the ce analysis for the population of experts is demonstrated in the current phase of our research.
According to the data indicating the decline and restructuring during the past decade, as well as the trend in the European Union member states, it can be expected that the role of traditional agriculture and fish production in direct rural employment decrease further. This also values those strategic directions for restructuring that will lead fishculture from quantity driven to quality production along with sustainable development (i.e. environmental conscious production) and multifunctional farming. This way the economic and social tensions caused by the concentration of the production and labour output can be mitigated.
It is laid in the 1257/1999 Act on rural Development that farmers that enrol the agri-environmental scheme should follow the “Good Agricultural Practice” on the whole managed area. In case of agri-environmental schemes this is a precondition for which no grants are given.
The adaptation of “Good Agricultural Practice” in fishproduction,where it is called: “Good Pond Culture Practice” is considered important on the basis of the above mentioned. This programme is undertaken in co-operation with the Research Institute for Aquaculture, Fisheries and Irrigation, University of Debrecen, Faculty of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development and the Association of Hungarian Fish Farmers and Product Council.
The European Commission proposed the formulation of the European Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EFAF) for the period 2007-20013, which will replace the Financial Instruments for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG), but it also consists of several new elements and will be working differently, too. According to the proposal the budget for the Fund will be nearly 5 billion EUR (4963 million EUR). The development level of aquaculture and fisheries and the social and economic significance in the given member state will be considered when distributing the Fund between the Member States.
According to the plan the Fund is organised along five priority axes, of which the most important for the Hungarian fisheries sector is No. II: Aquaculture and the processing and marketing of aquaculture and fisheries products. The main measure areas are the followings:
1. investment support for aquaculture;
2. support for aquatic-environmental schemes;
3. environmental- and animal health issues;
4. investments in processing and marketing
In case of accessing support under measure area No. 2 farms are obliged to meet the requirements of the scheme beyond the “good management practice” for 5 years, which is to be supervised by the approved body of the Member State. For this reason our work is considered to be substantial.
Approval of the application of “Good Pond Culture Practice” is based on two elements: first the prevailing environmental and nature conservation regulations, as well as the list of controllable conditions in the new agri-environmental agreements are to be met. “Good Pond Culture Practice” are to be conducted on the whole farm area. Its main elements are:
- nutrition management,
- pond maintenance,
- animal welfare (storage and over-wintering).
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 Aalborg. 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.
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 analyze how the Hungarian National Tourism Development Strategy deals with rural tourism and sustainable tourism. I also analyze how the big Hungarian travel agencies’ sales help rural tourism to advertise lodgings, and raise the number of sales. For the future, I analyze the opportunity of using travel agencies to sell rural tourism products.
There was a heavy change in the characteristics of the agriculture in the last 20 years. It become a multifunctional, sustainable, organic system, which needs strategic approach. On the problem map of the hungarian agriculture the most importatnt questions are the following: dual charachter of the land structure, to occidentalize the farm structure. To develop the rural areas we need to real markets needs adapted, competitive, local agricultural production. From the ’90s into Europe’s economic development policies integrated the clusters, this research tries to certify, that this system is viable in classic agriculture and able to dissolve the defecinces, to support the aims of rural development.
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.
The paper attemps to define environmental industry. The author has searched the history and background of the rapid development of this process. The study analyses the present and future regional development potential of environmental industry in Hungary.
The financing of agri-environmental target programs which is a prominent area in the EU became possible during the implementation and successful operation of the National Agricultural Environment Protection Program (NAPP) launched in 2002. Through this program we gained experience in the field agri-environmental measures which are financed from the Guidance Section of European Agricultural and Guarantee Fund in the European Union. The agri-environmental measures which are included in the National Rural Development Plan (NRDP) were implemented in Hungary in the fall of 2004 when the farmers handed in their application after the publishing of the related law. The NAPP financing is still active, but not significant since most farmers have chosen NRDP measures.
We are examining the experience of the above programs after studying some theoretical aspects of the agricultural economics and the EU laws. We try to analyse the most important experiences of NAPP including the legal background, news opportunities yielded by target programs, the financing, organisation, and institutional background. We will present the results taking into consideration the data of the winning applicants.
This paper focuses on the innovativeness of rural economy and in particular on the way rural entrepreneurs in endogenous and exogenous sectors make use of their rural environment. building upon the sustainable innovation framework, key strategies for rural development are formulated. the described data refers to the rural innova region (10 rural eu regions). The results show that rural innovation is essentially a process of valorising endogenous potentials by connecting them with exogenous assets.