Reform of the Common Agricultural Policy offers options for remunerating farmers for taking measures that benefit agricultural nature, landscape, water quality, adaptation to climate change, and environmental quality of nature areas. This PBL report shows that a system of payments would only be effective when awarded under strict conditions, and if clear choices are made, for example, for regions that are rich in biodiversity.
Payments to farmers improve the quality of rural areas, if awarded under strict conditions
Blooming field edges, warbling skylarks, panoramic views: farming supplies more than mere food. In current agricultural practice, however, intensive food production dominates. If farmers were to be paid for providing landscape, nature and environmental services, this could enable more beautiful landscapes, richer nature and a cleaner environment.
This paper summarises a PBL report that maps agricultural options and presents an estimation of their costs.
The European Common Agricultural Policy offers certain opportunities. The European Commission possibly will allocate a larger part of the budget to financing services related to environment, nature and landscape. Currently, societal and political discussions are being held on the desired reform in agricultural policy, for the period between 2014 and 2020.
This publication is an extended summary of the PBL report: "Bijdrage GLB aan beleidsdoelen milieu, natuur en landschap; Een verkenning van de mogelijke inzet van het Gemeenschappelijk Landbouwbeleid". The full report is available only in Dutch.