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Rural Development Support for Coexistence


As part of their work gathering case study examples, the Platform has been examining potential funding sources for good practice. Case studies have highlighted that Rural Development support is a potential source of EU funding that is not, yet, fully exploited by Member States. The Platform decided to carry out further investigation into the area.

The results of initial research were discussed at the Platform’s Plenary Meeting in 2016 and are available in a report: Supporting good practice for coexistence – presentation of examples and analysis of support through the EAFRD as also in a leaflet (see other language versions below). This page provides a summary of the results and further information for those interested in including coexistence measures in their national or regional programmes.

New: Briefing note: Changes to State aid guidelines on European Union Member States financing for compensation and prevention measures

This short briefing, published in Carnivore Damage Prevention News summarises the recent changes and their implications for compensation and damage prevention.

Rural Development and large carnivores

Coexistence with large carnivores is challenging, involves a wide range of activities and different stakeholders, and covers huge geographic areas often having a transboundary character. The advantage of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) funding is that it is available across the EU, it provides a significant resource (€100 billion in 2014-20) and it is possible for individuals or groups to access it.

The Rural Development Policy provides support for preventive actions aimed at mitigating the risk of damages done by large carnivores and it is possible to support investments intended to protect against damages from large carnivores (e.g. fences). However, the Rural Development measures do not include payments to compensate damages already done by large carnivores.

The Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) form the second pillar of the Common Agricultural Policy and support rural areas of the EU to meet the economic, environmental and social challenges of the 21st century. Each EU country receives a financial allocation for the programming period through the EAFRD which can also be regionalised within the Member State. This is co-financed with national funding. In the 27 Member States, there are currently 118 Rural Development Programmes (RDP) in total.

There are 20 measures and 60 sub-measures in the EAFRD regulation for the 2014-20 Programme (see also Annex 1, Part 5 of the implementing regulation for a description). Some of them have direct relevance to protected species including large carnivores while others having broader cross-cutting aims. In practice, four measures are widely used for coexistence measures (4.1 Investment in physical assets; 4.4 Non-productive investment; 7.6 Studies / investments natural heritage; 10.1 Agri-environment-climate) however, since coexistence is a complex area, including a range of activities, theoretically many EAFRD measures could be of more or less direct relevance. The most relevant measures for good practices for coexistence are summarised in the table below (see the report for a fuller description of the measures and good practice categories).



Table RDP Measures

Engaging with the rural development programmes

In the case that measures to manage coexistence are included in a Member States programme, potential beneficiaries can apply for them and receive support for various actions such as e.g. installation of electric fencing or the use of livestock guarding dogs to protect animals, etc. (see the report for a list of measures included in the different Member States).

In the case that relevant measures are not included in a programme from its inception, it is still possible to amend the programmes by introducing such measures in order to address the identified problem and needs. Coexistence measures can therefore be added to the programme during its implementation. The discussions about amending the programme should be carried out also in the context of the Programme Monitoring Committee. The task of the Monitoring Committee is to oversee the implementation of the programme and consider any amendments. A list of Committee members can be obtained from your ministry (see contact points for each Member State).

Further information

Frequently Asked Questions about Rural Development

Contact points for each Member State for Rural Development Programmes

Country files for rural development programmes including full texts and fact sheets

Summary files for all programmes from the ENRD


EAFRD implementing regulation

Large Carnivore Platform report: Supporting good practice for coexistence – presentation of examples and analysis of support through the EAFRD

Leaflet on supporting coexistence between people and large carnivore through the Rural Development Programmes

Online version:

Bulgaria Deutsch ελληνικά English Castellano Suomi Français Italiano Polski Romania Svenska

Print version:

Bulgaria Deutsch ελληνικά English Castellano Suomi Français Italiano Polski Romania Svenska

Useful websites

European Network for Rural Development Website

European Commission website