Thumb hnv link

High Nature Value farming : Learning, Innovation and Knowledge
// HNV Link //

April 2016 - March 2019

Project Summary

High nature value (HNV) farmland defines areas in Europe where agricultural activities support and are associated with exceptionally high biodiversity. These areas are an important component of European agriculture not only for their natural values but also for cultural heritage, quality products and rural employment. Such farming is practised most frequently in areas where natural constraints prevent intensive production. They mainly, but not exclusively, involve low-intensity livestock farming.

The HNV Link project network focuses on innovations that increase the socio-economic viability of HNV farming while maintaining natural values of HNV farmland, including ecosystem services provided to the society. The project links the partners into a peer-learning process and harnesses their innovation expertise for use in other HNV farmland regions.


High Nature Value Farming: Learning, Innovation and Knowledge (HNV-Link) is a 13-partner network dedicated to developing and sharing innovations that support HNV farming systems and communities by simultaneously improving their socio-economic viability and environmental efficiency


The project is implemented in 10 so called “learning areas”, where HNV farming systems are prevalent and where appropriate innovations have been made to sustainably maintain HNV farmland. Innovations are not only technical and commercial but also social, institutional and regulatory.

The following activities are developed:

  • Assess the current situation of HNV farming systems (evolution dynamics, challenges);
  • Collect and evaluate innovation examples from the grassroots and innovation gaps;
  • Engage key actors across a shared HNV farming vision;
  • Organise an “Innovation Fair” to foster peer learning among partners
  • Arrange cross visits of practitioners to learn from the field
  • Disseminate the innovations and lessons learnt to engage farmers groups, advisors, researchers and other actors beyond the 10 learning areas. 

Results, project impact

  • Edition of an Atlas of innovations feasible within HNV farming areas
  • Peer learning and innovation transfers between partners
  • Strengthened network of HNV farming actors
  • Scientific and policy papers on HNV farming
  • Package of educational material exposing educators and students alike to HNV concepts, challenges and opportunities.


Centre international de Hautes Etudes Agronomiques Méditerranéennes – Institut Agronomique Méditerranéen de Montpellier (CIHEAM-IAMM), - France

Source of funding : EU Commission – H2020 program
Programme and Contact references : François LERIN – CIHEAM IAMM, France, project’s manager, lerin@iamm.fr Claire BERNARD-MONGIN – CIHEAM IAMM, project coordination, bernard-mongin@iamm.fr Maïté Puig de Morales – CIHEAM IAMM, financial monitoring, puigdemorales@iamm.fr Virginie AVIGNON – CIHEAM-IAMM, project assistant, avignon@iamm.fr
Total budget : 2 200 000,00 €
Partners :
  • European Forum on Nature Conservation and Pastoralism (EFNCP) - U.K.
  • Université d’Evora, Instituto de Ciências Agrárias e Ambientais Mediterrânicas - Portugal
  • Université des Sciences Agronomiques et de Médecine Vétérinaire de Cluj Napoca (USAMV) - Romania
  • Society for Territorial and Environmental Prosperity (STEP) - Bulgaria
  • County Administrative Board of Västra Götaland - Sweden
  • Application des Sciences de l‘Action (AScA) - France
  • Sligo Institute of Technology, (IT Sligo) - Ireland
  • Université de Thessaly (UTH) - Greece
  • Université d’Helsinki - Finland
  • Local action group LAG 5 - Croatia
  • Conservatoire d’Espaces Naturels Languedoc-Roussillon (CEN-LR) - France
  • Fundación Entretantos - Spain