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Biodiversity and agriculture

21-06-2016

In its mid-term review of the Biodiversity strategy, the European Commission identified a continuing decline in the species and habitats associated with agriculture. It concluded that the strategy was not fulfilling expectations with regard to the contribution of agriculture and forestry to maintaining and enhancing biodiversity. Numerous studies show that agricultural biodiversity loss is linked to intensification of agricultural activities on the one hand, and the abandonment of farming on the ...

In its mid-term review of the Biodiversity strategy, the European Commission identified a continuing decline in the species and habitats associated with agriculture. It concluded that the strategy was not fulfilling expectations with regard to the contribution of agriculture and forestry to maintaining and enhancing biodiversity. Numerous studies show that agricultural biodiversity loss is linked to intensification of agricultural activities on the one hand, and the abandonment of farming on the other hand. Intensification is generally associated with high yields, but also with significant changes in the natural environment. Abandonment generally implies the loss of cultivated landscapes and corresponding habitats. There are essentially two different models of how to reconcile biodiversity and agricultural activities: the land-sharing model based on more extensive farming, and the land-sparing model based on further intensification of farming. The reformed Common Agricultural Policy offers various instruments aimed at supporting biodiversity while guaranteeing a decent living for farmers. Conservationists consider the reforms to be lagging behind expectations, whereas farmers fear a loss of income through lower yields. The European Parliament has expressed concern regarding biodiversity loss and has called on the Commission to assess the effectiveness of the measures taken so far.

Safeguarding biological diversity: EU policy and international agreements

12-05-2016

Biodiversity, the diversity of life on earth at all levels, is declining, mainly as a result of human-induced pressures such as over-exploitation of natural resources, loss of viable habitats, pollution, climate change or invasive alien species. EU biodiversity policy is based on the Birds and Habitats Directives, which served as the basis for the development of the Natura 2000 network of protected sites, now covering 788 000 km2 on land (over 18% of EU land area) and 318 000 km2 at sea (about 5.9% ...

Biodiversity, the diversity of life on earth at all levels, is declining, mainly as a result of human-induced pressures such as over-exploitation of natural resources, loss of viable habitats, pollution, climate change or invasive alien species. EU biodiversity policy is based on the Birds and Habitats Directives, which served as the basis for the development of the Natura 2000 network of protected sites, now covering 788 000 km2 on land (over 18% of EU land area) and 318 000 km2 at sea (about 5.9% of EU seas). The policy is driven by the EU biodiversity strategy, setting ambitious aims for 2020 (halting the loss of biodiversity) and 2050 (protecting and valuing biodiversity and ecosystem services), with the addition of a strategy on green infrastructure. The European Commission estimates that the Natura 2000 network delivers benefits worth between €200 and €300 billion per year, against management costs estimated at €5.8 billion per year. The LIFE Programme co-finances some measures related to biodiversity, especially as regards Natura 2000. Funding aimed at protecting biodiversity is also available under the agricultural, regional, fisheries, and research policies. The European Parliament has long been supportive of EU biodiversity protection policy. Developments in EU biodiversity policy include a process of 'biodiversity proofing' of the EU budget, improved monitoring, definition of priorities for the restoration of degraded ecosystems, 'biodiversity offsetting' of unavoidable residual impacts, and a 'fitness check' of EU nature legislation. This publication updates an earlier edition, of 1 April 2015: PE 554.175.

Safeguarding biological diversity: EU policy and international agreements

01-04-2015

Biodiversity, the diversity of life on earth at all levels, is declining, mainly as a result of human-induced pressures such as over-exploitation of natural resources, loss of viable habitats, pollution, climate change or invasive alien species. EU biodiversity policy is based on the Birds and Habitats Directives, which served as the basis for the development of the Natura 2000 network of protected sites now covering 1 million square kilometres on land (or 18% of EU land area) and 250 000 square ...

Biodiversity, the diversity of life on earth at all levels, is declining, mainly as a result of human-induced pressures such as over-exploitation of natural resources, loss of viable habitats, pollution, climate change or invasive alien species. EU biodiversity policy is based on the Birds and Habitats Directives, which served as the basis for the development of the Natura 2000 network of protected sites now covering 1 million square kilometres on land (or 18% of EU land area) and 250 000 square kilometres of marine sites. The policy is driven by the biodiversity strategy setting ambitious aims for 2020 (halting the loss of biodiversity) and 2050 (protecting and valuing biodiversity and ecosystem services), with the addition of a strategy on green infrastructure. The European Commission estimates that the Natura 2000 network delivers benefits worth between €200 and €300 billion per year, against management costs estimated at €5.8 billion per year. The LIFE Programme co-finances some measures related to biodiversity, especially as regards Natura 2000. Funding aimed at protecting biodiversity is also available under the agricultural, regional, fisheries, and research policies. The European Parliament has long been supportive of EU biodiversity protection policy. Developments in EU biodiversity policy include a process of 'biodiversity proofing' of the EU budget, improved monitoring, definition of priorities for the restoration of degraded ecosystems, 'biodiversity offsetting' of unavoidable residual impacts, and a 'fitness check' of EU nature legislation.

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