CAP Biodiversity Evaluation / July and Aug. 2020

Sprouts from Brussel


The European Commission seeks your opinion on the impact of its Common Agricultural Policy on Natural Resources 

In parallel to the ongoing Common Agricultural (‘CAP’) reform process, and the Farm to Fork Strategy, the European Commission’s DG Environment is carrying out a comprehensive evaluation of the effects of the CAP on Biodiversity Soil, and Water. Building on a roadmap published in 2018 and on a study published in March 2020 on the “Evaluation of the impact of the CAP on habitats, landscapes and biodiversity”, the current public consultation is open until 22th October 2020. 

The external study argued in favour of extensive cropping systems with sparse crops and high crop rotation diversity, especially those that contain fallow, as systems that support habitat preservation by providing more options for species in terms of food and breeding habitat. With regards to crop diversity more specifically, it defended the existing crop diversification measures within the CAP, highlighting that decoupled payments for diversity in Italy had led farmers to experiment with riskier crops, and led farmers more towards fallows across the EU, although the diversification measures had merely been taken up in 0,8% of the arable area in 10 Member States. 

The Public Consultation builds on the outcomes of the study and will lead to a Commission Staff Working Document at the end of 2020, with the primary lead of DG Environment, rather than DG Agriculture, epitomising the tensions between the two entities over this topic