Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development

Why it is important?

Mountain agriculture has specificities and some inherent constraints due to geographical isolation, a low level of infrastructure development, difficult climatic conditions and fragile ecosystems rendering production, marketing and development more difficult.

Agriculture and forestry are the most traditional occupational activities in the Carpathians, shaping the landscape of the area and the cultural traditions of the region. Since 1990, agricultural production experienced an overall reduction in intensity in terms of both crops and livestock. In many parts of the Carpathians much farmland was abandoned and large areas became fallow. The structure of the agricultural sector is now rapidly being reformed. This includes changes in land ownership and major shifts in traditional land use, even in margin agricultural areas.

Article 7 of the Convention requires the Parties to maintain the management of land traditionally cultivated in a sustainable manner, and take appropriate measures in designing and implementing their agricultural policies. 

Related WG and Initiatives

  • WG on Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD)

Key documents

  • Protocol on Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development to the Carpathian Convention download
  • ToRs WG on Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development download
  • SARD-M Report for the Carpathian Convention Member States download
  • Background analysis and documentation as basis for the development of the Carpathian Convention Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development Protocol download 



SARD-M - Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development in Mountains



Carpathian Project - Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians in a Transnational Framework




Implementation of the EU optional quality term “mountain product” – new Euromontana study

Rewarding 15 years of Euromontana commitment to the topic of mountain products, the use of the optional quality term (OQT) “mountain product” was protected in November 2012 by the European Union with the (EU) regulation No 1151/2012. Following that, the European Commission adopted the delegated act (EU) No 665/2014 in June 2014. Since then, several countries have moved forward with the implementation of the OQT at the national level. The delegated act gave some room for manoeuvre to the Member States (MS) in implementing the term. Euromontana has monitored this process in thirteen countries so far.