The EU Commission decided in 2013/2014 to reform the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The aim is a better distribution of the agricultural funds and a more environmentally friendly, „greener“, first pillar of the CAP. The reasons for the reform were the observation of dramatic declines in number of species in the agricultural landscape and persistently high inputs of nutrients and plant protection products (PPPs) into the soil and water. In addition, in regions with intensively used agricultural land, voluntary agri-environmental measures have rarely been implemented. The aim of this research project (GAPEVAL2) is to assess the impact of the CAP reform on the abiotic resource protection in Germany, based on the data from the Integrated Accounting and Control System (IACS). An additional goal is to develop alternative proposals for changes to achieve the objectives. The project builds on the findings of the previous GAPEval project.
From 2014 to 2020 approximately one-third of the total budget of the EU will be spent on the CAP. Germany is the largest contributor to the overall EU budget. Therefore it has a great interest in ensuring that the public funds are used effectively and efficiently. In Germany, agriculture is by far the largest land user, with a large number of positive and negative environmental impacts on soil, water, air, climate and biodiversity.
Currently the future of the CAP after 2020 is under discussion. But so far there is little empirical evidence on the impact of the current CAP reform on environmental goods. Several reasons are recognized for this, of which only a few will be mentioned. The Greening was not introduced until 2015. As a result, it became clear to farmers only at the beginning of 2015 what specific conditions they would have to fulfil. In addition, national agri-environmental programs were newly launched in 2015. In summary, 2015 is seen as an adaption year. After the introduction, farmers first had to gather experience on how to implement these new instruments in the most sensible way. It can therefore be assumed that some effects will only occur after several years.
The research project has the following objectives:
The environmentally relevant effects of the CAP reform are to be examined on the basis of an environmental indicator set. The focus will be on the effectiveness and efficiency of the funds used. In addition, a spatially differentiated analysis of the implementation of area-related EAFRD measures is to be carried out (EAFRD: European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development). Furthermore, the costs of the individual greening measures will be estimated at the farm level. Finally, concrete and practicable proposals will be developed at the level of instruments and measures to increase the desired environmental impacts.
Ministries of agriculture and environment, farmers, consultants, official nature conservation, agricultural administration, European Commission
First, the IACS data will be examined with regard to the following aspects:
Second, the costs of greening are estimated by evaluating the 2016 agricultural structure survey and by an economic analysis of the greening measures. Finally, the results of the analysis will be evaluated and interpreted to derive recommendations for actions.
Additionally the Julius Kuehn Institute for Strategies and Impact Assessment (JKI-SF) will carry out a regionalized assessment of the environmental risk of pesticide use.
IACS data from various federal states from 2010 to 2018 are used. This project is based on the already completed projects on greening (LINK ZUM DACHPROJEKT). The focus of the analysis is on the development of permanent grassland, the implementation of ecological focus areas and crop species diversity. The latter is not only investigated at the farm level, but also at the landscape level, since the increase in the average farm size is expected to lead to an increase in crop species per farm. Furthermore, the data will be analyzed with regard to the development of four further aspects: the farm size, location and relation of the fields as well as the farms to each other, the water erosion potential, the humus balance and the use of environmentally sensitive sites.
In order to prepare a well-founded analysis of the aspects listed in addition to the greening measures, the agri-environmental and climate measures of the federal states are also taken into account.
Establishment of Ecological Focus Areas
Implementation of grassland protection
What role does the non-application for conversion of grassland registered under IACS play and how much land is transformed to non-agricultural forms?
Crop species differentiation
Other abiotic environmental issues
Estimation of the costs of greening
How can the efficiency of greening be improved?
The results will be presented and discussed with the stakeholders at a conference in autumn 2019.
The final results and recommendations for action derived there will be compiled in a final report. In addition to the ecological effectiveness of the greening measures also aspects of cost efficiency, administrative effort and legal certainty as well as the importance of accompanying instruments (advise, agri-environmental measures) are going to be addressed.
Finally a strategy paper is going to formulate the main results and recommendations relevant for the political implementation of the CAP.
12.2017 - 2.2020
Project funding number: FKZ: 3717 11 2370
Funding program: BMUB - Umweltforschungsplan
Project status: ongoing