Evaluation Methodologies > Guidance on specific indicators > High Nature Value
Guidance documents concerning the application of the High Nature Value impact indicator
Two documents have been developed by the Evaluation Expert Network to help
The guidance document on 'The application of the High Nature Value impact indicator' aims to assist with the application of the HNV indicators of the Common Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (CMEF), and specifically Impact Indicator 5 – the maintenance of HNV farmland and forestry. Consisting of six main chapters, the document considers the policy framework and the HNV concept, introduces the CMEF HNV indicators, and provides support in relation to application of HNV indicators in both farming and forestry. The document was developed through a Thematic Working Group established by the Evaluation Expert Network.
While the primary purpose is to support assessment of impacts of RDPs on HNV farming and forestry, the paper focuses mainly on the HNV baseline indicator, establishing the baseline situation of HNV farming/forestry in the programme area at the start of the RDP.
Due to current data limitations, this will be an indicative figure, with land-cover data the most likely source. Quantitative monitoring of this baseline extent will provide a very approximate indication of change. Cartographic monitoring, allowing changes to be located and examined in detail, is more useful.
The baseline HNV extent should be supplemented with additional indicators of the baseline situation, especially concerning key HNV farming/forestry practices, and the condition of associated habitats and species. Separate baseline indicators may be needed for the different HNV farming/forestry systems within an RDP region. Sample surveys are an appropriate method for gathering and monitoring the necessary data.
Establishment of the baseline situation is crucial for the HNV impact indicator as it gives an indication of changes taking place in HNV farming and forestry against this baseline. Careful interpretation of observed changes and possible RDP and other influences will be needed.
Finally, the HNV result indicator, which is also important for assessing RDP impacts, is effectively a measurement of take-up of specific RDP measures relating to HNV farming/forestry.
The assessment of impacts of RDPs on HNV farming and forestry is discussed at length in another, complementary working paper on ‘Approaches for assessing the impacts of the RDPs in the context of multiple intervening factors’. This paper follows up and complements the first guidance document described above, and provides more detail on establishing the baseline and monitoring activities, and how to address evaluation aspects. Thus it includes recommendable approaches, methods and tools to meet the evaluation requirements in relation to the 7 common impact indicators of the CMEF (including HNV), key challenges with regard to their measurement and interpretation, and also judgement issues. Considerable current practice from Member States is also provided.