Urgent CFP: The Common Agricultural Policy and Cultural Heritage – Threat or Opportunity?

An urgent call for papers for a session at the forthcoming EAA Annual Meeting in Krakow:

Due to changed circumstances, we are now seeking up to three speakers from the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia (the recent European Union ‘accession countries’) for the conference session at EAA 2006, Cracow, The Common Agricultural Policy and Cultural Heritage: Threat or Opportunity?

Contributions from these countries (…we hope particularly Poland as the host country) is a fundamental theme of this session. We should stress that the presentation of original research is not required – it would very valuable if speakers from the new accession countries could describe the current relationship between their national archaeological services and farming – and how relationship might be developed during the next 10 – 20 years.

The session abstract is:
The Common Agricultural Policy and cultural heritage: threat or opportunity?

In some European countries the damaging impacts of agricultural operations on the archaeological record have been recognised for many years and it is acknowledged that these impacts were further increased by agricultural intensification associated with entry into the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Reform of the CAP, with its greater emphasis on environmental protection, now offers some opportunities to moderate these damaging processes but, at the same time, restructuring of European agriculture in the face of global pressures threatens the survival of important cultural landscapes.Increasingly, European archaeologists are engaging effectively with the spatial planning and development agenda, but are they neglecting more significant impacts on the historic environment? As the European Environment Agency concludes in its 2005 survey of the state of the European environment, “industrial activity, urban development and transport have an impact on the landscape, but these impacts are relatively localised compared with the wide role played by agriculture in shaping our surroundings”.
Intensive arable and cropped landscapes already cover a third of Europe’s land area. Between 1990 and 2000, 92,500 Km2 of pasture was converted to arable and permanent crops (…an area the size of Portugal), while 1,200 Km2 of wetland, 25,000 Km2 of semi-natural and natural land and 18,000 Km2 of forest were converted to agriculture, all with potential serious consequences for the archaeological record. In the same period the expansion of urban areas and developed infrastructure was a more modest 8,000 Km2. How are archaeologists responding to this and how will entry into the CAP of EU accession countries impact on their cultural landscapes and archaeology?

Please could offers of papers be sent to: jon.humble@blueyonder.co.uk

With thanks,
Jon Humble & Steve Trow, on behalf of the Sustaining the Historic
Environment in Farmed Landscapes Working Group

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