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Achieve more sustainable agriculture and forestry – Target 3

Agriculture and forestry go hand in hand with the biodiversity on which they depend, and both have a great impact on its health. These two activity sectors can and must, as a priority, help maintain and improve biodiversity. The strategy identified a number of actions to ensure we reach target 3 rapidly. The strategy mid-term review provides a detailed assessment of progress towards target 3a (agriculture) and target 3b (forestry).

What the strategy says

The EU has already made efforts to integrate biodiversity into the development and implementation of other policies. However, given the benefits that biodiversity and ecosystem services bring to sectors such as agriculture and forestry, these efforts are still not sufficient. By 2020, there must be a measurable improvement, compared to the EU2010 baseline, in the conservation of species and habitats depending on or affected by agriculture and forestry, and in the provision of their ecosystem services. (Read the Strategy)

In practice

The Strategy identified 5 actions to ensure that agriculture and forestry help maintain biodiversity.

  • Action 8: Enhance CAP direct payments to reward environmental public goods such as crop rotation and permanent pastures; improve cross-compliance standards for GAEC (Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions) and consider including the Water Framework in these standards
  • Action 9: Better target Rural Development to biodiversity needs and develop tools to help farmers and foresters work together towards biodiversity conservation
  • Action 10: Conserve and support genetic diversity in Europe's agriculture
  • Action 11: Encourage forest holders to protect and enhance forest biodiversity
  • Action 12: Integrate biodiversity measures such as fire prevention and the preservation of wilderness areas in forest management plans

Some of the progress so far...

  • On 16 December 2013, the new CAP reform for 2014-2020 was adopted. It focuses on delivering more effective policy instruments, designed to improve not just the competitiveness but also the sustainability of the agricultural sector over the long term
  • On 19 May 2014, the Council welcomed the Communication of the European Commission on a new EU Forest Strategy. This strategy aims to stem the decrease in forest areas and ensure sustainable forest management.

Further information

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