Rural Development Plans are being prepared under the Common Agriculture Policy to protect farmland wildlife
On the 15th of September 2014, a wide range of stakeholders met in Brussels to discuss Rural Development Plans (RDPs) for the period 2014-2020 and options for pushing forward environmental objectives. The Conference, organised by Fundatia ADEPT, BirdLife Europe, CEEweb and the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), took place at a time when negotiations between European Commission and Member states are in full swing.
Rural Development Plans are being prepared under the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) reform. Although one key aim of the plans is to strengthen the links between the farming sector and the environment, their success in achieving this objective is dependent on effective design.
The new CAP, voted in December last year for a period of 7 years, failed to deliver effective environmental protection, despite its declared intentions. However, the CAP has been one of the key driver of biodiversity loss in the EU. The plans, which are the main tool for the protection of the environment under the CAP are being designed now for the next 7 years. They represent the last chance to save farmland biodiversity; effective design is therefore imperative.
If the right choices are made, significant outcomes for biodiversity, soil, water and climate will be achieved. It is crucial that RDPs include adequately financed and well-designed management measures for priority species and habitats, with priority to Natura 2000 and High Nature Value (HNV) areas.