Grasslands which are a major part of the global ecosystem, covering 37% of the earth’s terrestrial area, have a significant contribution to food security through providing most of the energy and proteins required by the ruminants used for meat and dairy production. Grasslands are considered to have the potential to play a fundamental role in climate change mitigation, particularly regarding carbon storage and sequestration and for biodiversity preservation. This chapter provides an overview of the causes of the pasture degradation and some essential elements for sustainable management, which aims to improve the quantity and quality of pasture, mitigation of climate change and biodiversity preservation. Another point of this chapter is the grasslands with high nature value that nowadays is a top priority in the European legislation as the European Commission has confirmed that HNV farming will remain a key priority in 2014–2020. We present the situation in Bulgaria because it is one of the first member state countries that have assessed HNV regions and put funding in place to support them.
Part of the book: New Perspectives in Forage Crops