BirdLife position on the reform proposals for the Common Agricultural Policy
In October 2011, the European Commission released its proposals for CAP reform. These proposals raise many risks and opportunities for nature conservation and this briefing outlines the issues relating to 4 key priority areas that have been identified by BirdLife:
The proposals to reform the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) are to a large extent a missed opportunity to put more sustainable farming at the heart of the policy. The co-decision process offers a vital opportunity to improve the proposals so that they deliver genuine benefits for the environment and farming sectors.
Well-designed and targeted schemes such as agri-environment form the green backbone of the CAP and reward farmers who farm with wildlife and the wider environment in mind. These schemes must receive a much larger share of the Rural Development Budget.
The CAP must address its failure to design and implement targeted support towards High Nature Value farming systems, which are environmentally rich but often economically marginalised.
Natura 2000 sites, many of which depend upon sensitive farming methods, must receive targeted support at the Member State level, linked to sound management.
New measures to ‘green’ Pillar I direct payments must be designed to bring meaningful and significant environment benefits, ensuring sustainability at the farm level.
Trees Robijns, trees.robijns(at)birdlife.org