It endangers Hungary’s soundness, the welfare of the country’s citizens, if agriculture is not renewed, if the attractive force of rural life does not grow, and the rehabilitation of the landscape fails to come about – pointed out Mr. Sándor Fülöp, the Hungarian Parliamentary Commissioner for Future Generations on 29 September at the press conference, where the Pannonhalma Declaration was published.
The green ombudsman said that his office has organized a conference – supported by the Ministry of Rural Development and the Pannonhalma Benedictine Archabbey – on the issues of sustainable rural development on 16 and 17 September in Győr and Pannonhalma. The participants together drafted the declaration containing specific tasks, in which they pointed out that the protection of the landscape and the conservation of biodiversity requires the local communities to have access to the conditions of effective self-determination.
“The initiatives that strengthen, support the local economy and the local society simultaneously, are extremely important” – said Mr. József Ángyán, the Minister of State for the Ministry of Rural Development. According to Mr. Ángyán the claim that the local economy should be placed back on its own biological foundations – through putting the species of local cultivated plants and farm animals into the spotlight – is a welcome feature. The Minister of State expressed his satisfaction over the fact that the Pannonhalma Declaration supports the government’s National Rural Development Strategy with a perspective for 2020. “When launching the national programmes of the Rural Development Strategy, the Ministry of Rural Development will utilize the proposals formulated in the Declaration; and in implementing these programmes, the Ministry relies on the participation and support of the civil society and the historical churches, which can not be replaced with anything else.” – said finally the Minister of State.
The signatories of the Pannonhalma Declaration do agree that only a development saving or enriching its resources can be called sustainable. The Hungarian countryside has been characterized by just the opposite in the past two decades: the performance declined, while the decrease of natural and human resources have grown to unprecedented dimensions. By now the natural conditions of life worthy of humans have got in extreme peril. “We have to reconsider, where, how and on what do we live. All this is not a technical issue any more, but a moral one: our earthly home, the future of our descendants may depend on the answer.” – this is emphasized in the Pannonhalma Declaration, according to which an economic policy that encourages the sustainable use of our own resources is absolutely indispensable.
At the two-days’ consultation the participants have dealt with the products on local markets, the public catering, the renewing fruit-cultures and the changing conditions of herb-cultivation. According to those present, the following measures – as the first steps of ecological system-change – are absolutely necessary to reach the aims:
29 September 2011