Region-developing and landscape-rehabilitation program in Túrkeve

Nimfea Nature Conservation Association

  • Theme of project
    Implementation of environmental rehabilitation and regional development in Túrkeve, treatment of social and environmental conflicts using measures of sustainable development and social cooperation in the field of environmental protection and economical development, concerning social problems as well
  • Objectives
    The grass-land habitats around Túrkeve were grazed by a few thousand sheep untill the 90’s. During the early 90’s the grazing animal raising started declining, because the fields get privatizated, now they belong to many different owners. The conditon of the grass-land habitats started to degradate, because of the lack of grazing. The flocks of sheep disappeared from the fields because most of the owners sold off their flocks. Nowadays only a few and very little flocks can be found on the most important grass-land habitats on the Dévaványai-Ecsegi puszta. A lot of people lost their job, who were working in grazing animal-raizing, traditional jobs, works and buildings disappeared from these sites.
    Many specially protected and endangered species disappeared from these sites, or their population started to decline, like the Gopher (Sphermophilus citellus), Imperial eagle (Aquilla heliaca), Red-footed falcon (Falco vespertinus), Short-eared owl (Asio flammeus), Collared pratincole (Glareola pratincola), Stonecurlew (Burhinus oedicnemus), Great Bustard (Otis tarda) and Roller (Coracias garrulus), and plant species, like Phlomis tuberosa and Peucedanum officinale.
    Not just the natural values got endangered, but the sustainable future of the region, because the youth can not find good and enough opportunities for job taking.

The Nimfea Nature Conservation Association realized the problem and started steps for the treatment of the problems (in 2002), against the degradation of the grass-land habitats and to establish the background for new job creation. The main aim, which motivates us, to restore the original condition of these grass-land habitats around Túrkeve, to ensure habitat to endangered animal and plant species which population started to decline in our region. The natural values could be saved by the establishment of a complex landscape-rehabilitation and region developing program, which creates new jobs for the local citizens and serves nature conservational aims, and take into consideration of the priorities of the sustainable development.
The aim-region is Hungary, Norther Great Plain Region, Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok County, Nagykun small region, Túrkeve community.
This is an innovative and new model-program, because of its aims and complexity. Its realisation will contribute to arrange similar projects.

  • Location
    Hungary, Norther Great Plain Region, Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok County, Nagykun small region, Túrkeve and Kisújszállás communities
  • Project summary
    Our program would like to treat the causes of environmental and social problems of the disadvantaged region by using the methods of right environmental economy instead of the regular methods. In our case it means the amelioration of the stockbreeding conditions of the fields, and its capacity building development to a flock of sheeps (productive co-operative). As additional income we wish to encourage the habitants to stockbreeding (200-300 person), we would support the possibilities of touristic attraction (outdoor shepherd museum), and we would realise an environmental protection project (gopher re-habilitation, etc).
  • Target groups
    The direct objective of our program is to re-naturalization of sheep breeding (or other ways of grazing stockbreding), so we can make our contribution to the livelihood of 200-300 people, we will create 5-10 workplaces, and we will contribute to 50-60 people’s by the development and extension of the touristic attraction and through all this to stop and to turn back the degradation the natural values emanating from the bad condition of grass fields.
    The target group is the resident people of the territory. A part of the already breeds sheeps in artificial conditions (6-20 sheeps in a garage). Our aim is to establish the co-operation of these people.
  • Used methods
    Economic model adopting to the local circumstances, to bring up animal husbandry, extensive agriculture methods, structural changes, land-transformation, rehabilitation (grass plantaion, reafforestation). Elimination of dependence, planning on agriculture instead of industry, determination the sustainability of tourism, raising touristical appeal. Sustainability, creating self-sufficient local society with innovative means, job creation with local development (adapting to production), complement to income. United goal, development of the society, contribution to the elimination of unemployment, civil initiative without any political ideology. Grass treatment with grazing animal husbandry, natural recovery of soil, rehabilitation of damaged territories. Interventions of natural protection, active protection or recovery, natural way of amelioration after suitable ecological environment. Bringing back traditional species of grazing animals, keeping their live-stock.
  • Team
    Mr. R. Benedek Sallai - managing director of Nimfea Nature Conservation Association (nature conservational engineer)
    Mr. Tivadar Kontos - program-leader (agri-engineer)
    Mr. Ákos Monoki - targetprogram-leader of biodiversity protection (biology-environment protection teacher)
  • Level of involvement and activity of partners
    Local farmers as members of the target group. Alliance of Hungarian Natural Protectors (Magyar Természetvédők Szövetsége),will help us in further fund raising activities, they cooperate with us in possible trainings too. Istitute of Land Economy of Szent István University (Szent István Egyetem Tájgazdálkodási Intézete) as a supervisor and a proffessional partner keeps an eye on the implementation of the project. Touristic Centres (Turisztikai információs Központok) They can help the project with free advertisings. Körös-Maros National Park (Körös-Maros Nemzeti Park) assures the territory for the project. Local Government of Túrkeve (Túrkeve Város Önkormányzata) takes part in the project from the very beginning of the planning period. Volunteers, who agree with our aims and joined the project. Supporters: European Union, Phare Access program, different ministries, WWF, Milieukontakt. Nimfea Természetvédelmi Egyesület is a local partner NGO.
  • Priorities
    The principles of sustainable development make possible the forming of self-sufficient local communities with continuous developing, according to the local resources, which are not depending on outer capital, outer political and economical effects (only indirectly). The protection of the natural resources contribute to the long term using of the resources, which is the establishing of the adequate landscape using and landscape farming modell, its innovative developing.
    These are the local sustainable developing modell-initiations which should be supported, because the local problems (can be social or nature conservational) can be solved by the adequate way from its „roots”, at the landscape using, which makes possible that after the establishing of the needed infrastructure, self-sufficient environment-friendly farming can be done.
    This modell agree the agricultural - environment protection prescriptions in Túrkeve, considering the natural resources, local, geographical, social capabilities of the town. These agricultural - environment protection prescriptions make possible the creation of the agricultural charactered, agricultural based region-developing modell, accoring to the EU and agricultural principles.
  • Our conception
    The realization of the next phases are needed for the success, that our program agree a landscape-rehabilitation and region-developing program, according to our own principles and our former projects:
    § Identification of the social and environmental conflicts, showing the problem which should be solved. (In our case for example: the degradation of grass lands, degradation of natural resources, unemployement, black seasonal works, the lack of need for long-term manpower.)
    § Describing the possible landscape-using alternatives, considering the farming traditions of the region, the natural charachters, the origins of the problems. (The socialist regime changed the employing system of the town, the democratic regime-changeing turned the former traditional farming methods of the producing co-ops, the land repartition, the changeing political environment, the settlement-developing turned people from raising-animals. On the whole: we broke-away from our origin)
    § Composition of the main objectives. (In our case: stopping the degeradation of the natural values, improvement the livelihood of the people, earning-auxiliary farming for the incidental victims of the EO-joining: stimulation for re-dispersing grazing animal-raising, facilitating of forming EU-compatible producing-groups. Working out landscape-rehabilitation, region-developing conception, feasibility study, finding partners.
    § Studying and involving of the complementer effects, the facilitating of the complexicity of the plan. (Utilization of multiplicative factors, related to the program, for example: keeping and developing the touristical blandishments of the town, forming the self-supporting sustainable tourism, expansion of accomodations, expansion of touristical supply, basing ecotourism, etc.)
    § Communication tasks, the widespread social co-operation (involving the possible sectors, basing governmental and civil co-operation, widespread informing of the citizens, introducing the program, introducing the sustainable development modell)
    § Involving the region-developing objectives, their preparation, realizing. (Keeping the auxiliary character of the income, workpleace creation directly by the program, maintaining workplaces indirectly - as developing of touristical aims - workpleace creation directly in the second section, for example: with the use of the structural founds, local processing of local products and their developing, just like sheep-milk, furrier profession re-establishing.
    § Involving the landscape-rehabilitation aims, their preparing, realizing. (For example helping the foundation of floodplain-management, orchard plantation, oxbow-rehabilitation, facilitating extensive honey producing with plantation of native trees, field soding.)
    § Involving nature conservation tasks, producing, realizing (For example resettling of Gopher (Spermophilus citellus), artificial nest creation and nest-box placing for the raptors of Spermophilus citellus - like the specially protected Imperial eagle (Aquilla heliaca), Shaker (Falco cherrug), protection of grass lands.)
    § Continuous biodiversitical monitoring. (Continuous monitoring is needed to detect the changeings in the biodiversity on the degradated land before the starting of the grazing and during the grazing. Presently only the Nimfea has got data on the flora and fauna of the project sites. The negative effect of the lacking of grazing is easily noticeable.)
  • Tasks, needed steps, continuous works
    Based on the above written, the realization of our program demand for the next conditions, steps:
    § Working out the program, involving professionals: (Working out the detailed plan.)
    § Finding and involving the realizing partners (Finding donors, involving local professionals, meetings with local farmers, involving other partners for example: national parks, agricultural professionals, EU professionals, touristical professionals, etc.)
    § Establishing the infrastructural background. (purchasing stock-yards, renovating, preparing for managing, purchasing the using rights of the needed lands, occurent buying, preparing the working environment, preparing the infrastructure for working, supplyings, developings.)
    § Communication work, introducing, education work, exhibition center, establishing communication center. (Pamphlet printing, program popularization publication, organising forums, farmer meetings, agricultural - environment protectional trainings, forming the training place, producing the terms of exhibition, participation in the local media.)
    § Forming of managing, farming groups. (Get in contact with farmers, finding people disposed to farming, stimulation for participating in raising grazing-animals.)
    § Forming open-air shepherd-museum. („Szárnyék”, „kontyos kunyhó”, „hamvas”, stock from native domestic animals for touristical aims, etc.)
    § Nature conservation schedule. (resettling of Spermophilus citellus, artificial nest creation and nest-box placing.)
    § Landscape-rehabilitation schedule. (Based on the above written.)
    § Developing schedule. (Possibilities of whool processing, structural base, application preparing, realization.)
    § Biodiversity monitoring. The biodiversity monitoring of the project area started in 2004. The surveying of the insect fauna is done by three professionalists who does the work volunteerly. The insect fauna was never studied in these sites before, so the surveys have to be done regularly. The bird- and mammal monitoring is running in the project area since years.
  • Obtained results
    The Nimfea Nature Conservation Association started its Landscape-rehabilitation program in the year 2002.
    During the 2002-2004 many consequences and experiences were collected, behind the obtained professional results.
    The Association bought buildings (barns only) - by the help of a bank - for the basing of the program. These barns were used during the social times, since than some of them were destroyed or started to destructed, the valuable parts of the buildings were stolen. The renovation needs a lot of investment, to be able to use them for animal-keeping.
    The buying of land is very complicated, so a Foundation have to be formed for buying land, because civil societies can not buy land in Hungary.
    The collegues of the Nimfea Nature Conservation Association started to place out nest-boxes for Rollers (Coracias garrulus), Kestrels (Falco tinnunculus), Red-footed falcon (Falco vespertinus) and Long-eared owls (Asio otus) in the adequate habitats. Faunistical and floristical surveys were continued, specially considering on insects, amphibiants, reptilians and birds. Mammal surveys happens mainly on rodents by the analysis of owl-spittles. There were no surveys on mammals, reptilians, amphibiants, insects on these sites, the former years. The surveys will be done from year to year, to establish a correct monitoring system to detect the changeing int he condition and wildlife of the habitats.
    The popularization of the program also started by leaflets and other publications, and on our web-page. There were two films edited for local TVs to inform the people about the program. Regular conciliation meetings are organised several times for local farmers, who could be involved in the program.
    Effected species
  • Plants, associations:
    Many important and rare plant associations are effected by project, from the dry puszta associations to the saline-moorlands and loess-puszta vegetation.
    Very important and rare plant species are effected directly, the Phlomis tuberosa and the Peucedanum officinale.
  • Insects:
    The insect fauna of the region is very rich, with many rare and protected species, which are linked to the special flora and vegetation. Just mention one rare moth species: Gortyna borellii lunata. The research of the insect fauna started in 2004 with specialists. Researches and surveys are done on sample sites, in different habitats.
  • Birds:
    The next specially protected species are effected positively by the Nimfea’s project (all species are breeding in the project area):
    Imperial eagle (Aquilla heliaca)
    Montagu’s harrier (Circus pygargus)
    Red-footed falcon (Falco vespertinus)
    Short-eared owl (Asio flammeus)
    Collared pratincole (Glareola pratincola)
    Stonecurlew (Burhinus oedicnemus)
    Great Bustard (Otis tarda)
    Roller (Coracias garrulus)
    Lesser-grey shrike (Lanius minor)
    Rook (Corvus frugilegus)
    The monitoring of these breeding species are done regularly and correctly by our collegues.
  • Mammals:
    Gopher (Sphermophilus citellus)
    The Gopher almost extincted from this region. Re-introduction of the species is very important, because this species is the main prey of the Shaker and the Imperial eagle.
  • Importance of the project
    The grassland habitats around the town of Túrkeve are linked with the neighbouring wet-land, forest, agricultural and protected sites (next to the Körös-Maros National Park).
    The flora and the fauna of these sites rich, but the degradation of the habitats endanger the wildlife. The grazing-animal keeping disappeared from these areas, lots of people lost their job, the natural values started to disappear.
    The pilot-project of the Nimfea Nature Conservation Association is for the solving of nature conservational and social problems in the region. By this project the good condition of the important grass land habitats could be obtained, 50-60 unemployed person could get job, the touristical appeal of the region would rize.
    The project could be a sample for other Hungarian and International organisations to contribute the realization of similar projects


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