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Definition of a common European analytical framework for the development of local agri-environmental programmes for biodiversity and landscape conservation

European agriculture is very diverse from an ecological and a socio-economic point of view. This project will identify the performances of different agricultural systems in relation to the conservation of biodiversity and landscape in seven countries through the identification and assessment of agricultural impacts over the ecosystems' environmental multi-functionality, using ecological and agri-environmental indicators at an agri-ecosystem/farm level. The project will assess the management feasibility of the analytical framework and tools proposed for agri-environmental measures by local farmers and administrators.

The main objective of AEMBAC is to define a common European analytical framework for the development of local agri-environmental programmes.
From the analysis of seven country studies, a pan-European framework will be identified to create a common tool for the identification, development and evaluation of locally appropriate agri-environmental measures, to encourage the supply of environmental goods and services by farmers, and discourage unsustainable agricultural practices.

Progress to Date
The analysis of impacts exerted by local agricultural systems on the environmental functions performance related to biodiversity and landscape conservation has been designed and implemented in 15 study areas.
The second phase of the project has resulted in a methodology to connect science and policy in order to develop agri-environmental measures, tailored to the most relevant local impacts exerted by agriculture. Policy targets and instruments have been defined by the scientific analyses carried out in the study areas, taking into account both the ecological and socio-economic sustainability of the local agri-environmental situation.

AEMBAC will provide, at the local level:
1) identification of general and specific agri-environmental objectives
2) collection of baseline data and establishment of systems to monitor impact
3) identification and selection of environmental, agricultural and socio-economic criteria and suitable indicators to be monitored and evaluated
4) assessment of relationship to other policies, including competition with other land use schemes
5) development of dynamic programmes for the transition phase towards sustainability
6) promotion of technological innovation and environmental awareness amongst European Union citizens
7) a clearer definition of risks and uncertainties with regard to unsustainable agricultural practices
8) a trade-off between different objectives with more precise information.
At a European level, the results of AEMBAC will enhance transparency and promote a wider application of the subsidiarity principle in managing agri-environment programmes, and ultimately improve the efficiency of EU financial support mechanisms for agriculture, for example the Common Agricultural Policy.


Scientist responsible for the project

Rue Vergote 15
1030 Brussels
Belgium - BE

Phone: +32 2 732 8299
Fax: +32 2 732 9499


Project ID QLRT-1999-31666
Organisation IUCN - The World Conservation - Regional Office for Europe
Area 5.5
Start date 01 March 2001
Duration (months) 36
Total cost 2 260 370 €
Total EC contribution   1 996 594 €
Status Completed
Web address of the project

The partners

  • IUCN - The World Conservation Union - Regional Office for Europe, Belgium - BE
  • Environmental Protection Institute of the Estonian Agricultural University, Estonia - EE

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