Effects of the new policy framework of the CAP on the biodiversity of grasslands
Starting with the agricultural reform of 2013 new instruments for grassland conservation and protection have been adopted. They have been implemented with the intention to stop the strong decline of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes. One of the crucial factors is the ongoing reduction of species-rich grassland.
High prices of agricultural products and the growing use of biomass as an energy source increased the demand for a more intensive use of grassland. Especially the area of fallow and low input grassland areas was decreasing for a long time. To counter these trends the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the EU focused more on environmental objectives. Therefore in Germany the conversion of grassland into cropland is prohibited. Furthermore on European scale the definition of grassland has been broadened extending the areas for which direct payments may be obtained. Therefore also some of the biotopes valuable for nature conservation became eligible for funding. Our project addresses the resulting effects on nature conservation. We also assess the efficiency of the funding instruments applied in Germany.
Ministries of Agriculture and Environment, farmers, consulting services, EU-commission
Based on data of the integrated accounting and control system (IACS) we analyze the development of the grassland area and its utilization intensity in the period 2010-2016 for 7 German Länder. We take into account information on site specific conditions and the local agricultural structure. Some of the analyzed factors are: agri-environmental schemes, location in a protected area, stocking density or slope. We will further link the IACS data with information of the monitoring schemes on High nature value farmland and meadow birds. Based on this newly derived dataset we intend to quantify the influence of changes in the land use on these environmental indicators and hopefully improve the extrapolation on the national level. In addition we will scan regional development programs on a European scale, identifying promising support schemes for species-rich grasslands.
We will provide recommendation for the future development of the CAP with respect to the protection of grassland.
We use data of the integrated accounting and control system (IACS) to depict the agricultural land use. These data are analyzed with the help of geostatistical methods.
The project will provide information
11.2015 - 3.2018
Project funding number: FKZ 3515 88 0100
Funding program: BMUB - Umweltforschungsplan
Project status: ongoing