Europe and Central Asia

Advocating for sustainable agriculture

Towards a new European Food and Land-Use Policy


When it was first introduced back in 1962, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) played a pivotal role in ensuring food security for post-war Europe. Today, this expensive policy (almost 60 billion per year) is inefficient and environmentally damaging, heavily subsidizing intensive agricultural practices contributing to climate change, biodiversity loss, soil erosion and water pollution.
Farmland covers 45% of the EU’s land area and these habitats are rocketing towards biodiversity oblivion. Populations of farmland birds are in freefall, down a staggering 55% in the last three decades. We are now at the lowest point since records began and farmland birds are one of the most threatened bird groups in Europe. That’s why BirdLife Europe & Central Asia and its EU partners call upon decision makers to transform the current CAP into a new European Food and Land-Use Policy that would be designed to meet today’s challenges and deliver on the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The BirdLife vision for a new European agricultural policy centres on a healthy agriculture sector – diverse in terms of farming types, produce and demography – within a rural landscape where our natural resources are managed sustainably and where biodiversity thrives. The new policy must be:
  • Fair – for farmers and rural communities.
  • Environmentally Sustainable – for clean air and water, healthy soil, and thriving plant and animal life.
  • Healthy – for good food and the well-being of all people.
  • Globally Responsible – for the planet’s climate and sustainable development around the world.
Read more in the BirdLife Europe & Central Asia position paper: Towards a new European Food and Land-Use Policy 
Summary is available here
On 21 November 2017, we presented toghether with the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), and NABU, German BirdLife/EEB partner an evidence-based Fitness Check assessment of the CAP at a workshop in Brussels.

Click here to read more about the event CAP - Fit for the Future of Farming? 


Agriculture section

Living Land campaign  

Agriculture and Biodiversity in the EU

The Common Agriculture Policy

Rural Development

High Nature Value Farming

PEGASUS: Transforming Approaches To Rural Land Management
EUKI: An unavoidable step after Paris: Cutting emissions from farming

Publications and Positions



Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on the ECA section of this website are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe.