Important legal notice
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Agriculture - Planting the seeds for sustainable farming and forestry
“To show how theories of developing multifunctional and sustainable agriculture in Europe can be translated into practice.”

The problem

The European Union and individual Member States share legal responsibility for meeting the targets set out under a number of long-term international treaties on the environment, specifically the Kyoto Protocol and the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD). But it is less clear where precisely responsibility lies for the impacts of the new policies, directives and standards that must give effect to the commitments made. In addition, the environmental protection requirements must be integrated into all EU sectoral policies, including the Common Agricultural Policy. An assessment of the level of this integration process is needed.

MEACAP  Preserving the environment, developing agriculture


The project has four goals:

  • To assess the obligations of the Community with respect to agriculture in the fulfillment of commitments under the Kyoto Protocol and CBD
  • To analyse and recommend the most appropriate adaptations of the existing policy instruments and, if necessary, to suggest new measures, technological developments and innovations for the farming sector to meet the new objectives and obligations
  • To assess the extent to which these changes at farm level and upwards require changes in agricultural and rural development policies at national and EU level, especially those within the CAP
  • To complete and disseminate an integrated strategy and policy recommendations for implementing the two agreements in the EU agricultural sector

Contribution to policy development:

  • Research will clarify requirements for conformation specifically to the Kyoto Protocol and CBD, but also to a number of other international agreements on the environment
  • MEACAP will affect debate on standards that farmers are required to meet, but will also influence policy for rural and agricultural development, energy, and the environment throughout the EU and Candidate Countries

Project deliverables

  • Assessment of EU commitments under Kyoto Protocol and other treaties – April-June 2004
  • Publication of options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – April 2004-Jan 2005
  • Cost-benefit analysis of greenhouse gas mitigation options – April 2004-June 2006
  • Final project report – March 2007


  • Website set up and updated regularly – done
  • At least two editions of two-to-four page brochures on results to date – ongoing
  • Stakeholder workshop and consultation on draft final report – September 2006
  • Series of short informal report and feedback consultation meetings with European Commission officials and key stakeholder staff – when required
  • Final report dissemination plus follow-up papers and conference – March 2007

Technical information

Project acronym: MEACAP
Project’s official full title: Impact of Environmental Agreements on the CAP
Research priority: 1.1. Modernisation and sustainability of agriculture and forestry, including their multifunctional role in order to ensure the sustainable development and promotion of rural areas
Specific webpage:
Proposal/contract no: 503604
Start date: 1 April 2004
Kick off meeting: May 2004
European Commission scientific officer: Hans-Jörg Lutzeyer (

Name: Institute for European Environmental Policy
Abbreviated name: IEEP
Address: 28 Queen Anne's Gate, London, SW1H 9AB
Country: United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)207 799 2244
Fax: +44 (0)207 799 2600


Name: Federal Agricultural Research Centre
Abbreviated name: FAL
Country: Germany

Name: Institute for Energy and Environment
Abbreviated name: IE
Country: Germany

Name: Humboldt University
Abbreviated name: HUB
Country: Germany

Name: Alterra
Abbreviated name: ALT
Country: Netherlands

Name: Institute of Forest Ecosystem Research
Abbreviated name: IFER
Country: Czech Republic

Name: Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei
Abbreviated name: FEEM
Country: Italy

Name: Scottish Agricultural College
Abbreviated name: SAC
Country: United Kingdom

Name: European Forest Institute
Abbreviated name: EFI
Country: Finland