New study on "Addressing biodiversity and habitat preservation through measures applied under the Common Agricultural Policy"
Of all EU-funded policies, the Common Agricultural Policy has the greatest potential to deliver biodiversity on farmland and help meet the EU's 2020 biodiversity targets, according to a new study carried out by the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP).
However, a step change is needed if the EU is to achieve the 2020 targets, the report states, suggesting that there are five main issues that need to be addressed:
- the area in which agricultural biodiversity is provided needs to be increased significantly and the efficiency and effectiveness of measures needs to be improved;
- rules to protect Europe's most valued biodiversity needs must be properly implemented and enforced;
- sufficient funding needs to be available to go beyond basic law with "significant increases" needed – for greening of CAP direct payment and agri-environment schemes;
- it is important to combine different measures to provide integrated packages for farmers, notably the importance of providing more targeted schemes through Rural Development plans (eg agri-environment schemes) to build on the broader, wider effect of greening Direct Payments. Other combinations might involve measures to boost the economic viability of farms and rural areas and measures to develop the skills and capacity of farmers.
- the role of innovation in fostering sustainable land management should be encouraged to ensure that production increases are sustainable and take account of the needs of biodiversity and the provision of the full range of ecosystem services.