The Grassland Conservation Management Advisory Service (GCMAS) has been established under the GRASSLAND-HU component of the LIFE programme. It is responsible for reconciling the demands of agriculture with the conservation of biodiversity and providing farming practices that support conservation-friendly grassland management. It operates at national level as network, and offers its services free of charge. The GCMAS, contrary to what its name suggests, is not a single entity, not an official institution like the Hungarian Meteorological Service, but rather a group of professionals who advice farmers and other land users on how to plan, finance and manage agricultural activities in a way that is better suited to the land.
What types of grasslands are within the scope of GCMAS?
Among the species-rich ecosystem of the Carpathian Basin, conservation of grasslands has great importance. The present-day steppes of the Great Hungarian Plain, the mountain pastures, the meadows along the floodplains of River Tisza and other types of Hungarian grasslands, collectively called the Pannonian Steppes are the result of the mixture of climatic conditions and pastoral grazing. These grasslands, with unique compositions of species, offer ideal conditions for a vast diversity of habitats, which can be found only in Hungary.
What is the GCMAS for?
The GCMAS aims to protect the natural and semi-natural Pannonian grasslands covered by Natura 2000 under the LIFE GRASSLAND-HU integrated project. The Project is one of the largest conservation projects in Hungary, targeting grassland habitats by carrying out scientific monitoring and communication activities, producing professional and strategic resources. In the frame of its operation, the advisory system works as a collaboration between the GCMAS and farmers, in order to protect grassland habitats.
Who are the members of the GCMAS?
‘Meet the Team’ page of the members of GCMAS specialized in nature conservation, agricultural and grassland management can be viewed on our website.
How can GSMMAS consultants help you?
The GCMAS network was established to provide professional support for farmers who are open to adapt agri-environmental measures and to promote the benefits of farming practices best suited to maintaining the natural value of grasslands habitats and species among local stakeholders.
How can you contact us?
The contact details of our consultants can be found on our ‘Meet the Team’ page. You can contact us via email or telephone. Meetings can take place face-to face, either in an office or at a grassland site, by arrangement with the local grassland consultant.
In what kind of activities are the consultants engaged?
- site mapping
The main purpose of site mapping is to gain insight into the condition of a given grassland habitat, assess the potential impacts of farming practices and find solutions for the negative effects through promoting the sustainable use of biological resources.
- professional input
The special knowledge and wide mapping experience of our consultants provides professional support to the Grassland project.
- Farmer Days and workshops
Our aim is to raise awareness of grasslands among local stakeholders, by dissemination of knowledge, implementing traineeships and promoting conservation friendly farming management. Organising events and workshops is the best way to develop management and conservation plans with local support.