The general aim of this project was to assist the Estonian Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) in the development of an agri-environment programme (AEP) for Estonia which was: a) appropriate to the specific context of Estonian rural life, including the need to diversify and supplement the sources of income for farmers; b) capable of delivering substantial and cost-effective environment benefits; and c) compatible with the requirements of accession to the EU. The specific objectives of the project were to make detailed proposals for a national AEP for Estonia that is compatible with the requirements of EU legislation, notably the forthcoming Rural Development Regulation, including proposals for general programme structure; detailed agri-environmental measures; associated training and information programme; administrative arrangements, including control, monitoring and evaluation; financial and legal considerations. A pilot AEP project that can be implemented in two contrasting regions of Estonia for the purposes of testing the practical implementation of an AEP in the Estonian context; and for evaluating the effectiveness of the proposed national AEP measures was conceptualised.
These project objectives were pursued via a number of key activities: recommendations for improvement of the structure of the MoA; proposals for harmonisation with the Act on Rural Development; development of the detailed agri-environmental programme; development of the control, monitoring and evaluation system; development of the training programme; development of the application forms; and finally, development of terms of reference for the demonstration/pilot project. All activities were conducted in partnership between the local and foreign experts. Common working practice within the project team was for individual experts to prepare working documents on key issues which were then circulated by e-mail amongst the other team members for discussion and development. This allowed rapid progress to be made within a short time without the necessity for team members to meet, as well as providing the opportunity (when appropriate) for broader consultation with the MoA and other interested parties to take place easily.
|Conception | Knowledge and innovation ||
European Commission, Directorate-General for Enlargement
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