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Chapter 2: High Nature Value farmland and traditional agricultural landscapes: Open opportunities in the development of rural areas

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Chapter Summary

Agriculture is shaping most of the European landscapes. Its activities started about 8,000 years ago and spread until it reached its maximum extension and covered half of the European territory. Agricultural land covers half of Europe's territory. In the European context the development of farming traditions is strongly interlinked with the development of human culture. People have spread across the continent adapting habits and agricultural practices to local climatic and geographical conditions, and subsequently adapting them for their own subsistence. This chapter deals with the wild flora and fauna or wildlife and habitats in the terminology adopted by the Convention on Biological Diversity. Furthermore, a distinction is made between species diversity within the agricultural system and the contribution to overall species diversity at a higher spatial scale, including the effects of agriculture on surrounding natural systems.

Keywords: agriculture; Convention on Biological Diversity; Europe; European landscapes; human culture



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