Two new EEB-funded studies published today highlight the alarming state of nature on Europe’s arable land and show how an expected lack of ambition from Member States when putting new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) greening measures in place will not solve this problem.
The first study, from the German Institut für Agrarökologie und Biodiversität (IFAB), investigated the state of biodiversity on agricultural land in 10 European countries* – a unique piece of research which has never been done before. The second piece of research, from the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), analysed the flexibility afforded to Member States when putting greening measures in place to find out what impact this has had on their environmental ambition.
This package of new research adds to the mounting body of evidence (1) which highlights the alarming state of biodiversity on Europe’s farms, and shows that despite this grave picture CAP greening is nothing more than a buzzword which exists on paper but fails to make an impact in our fields.
Key findings from the studies:
> The state of plants on arable land across Europe is very poor, even in regions where it was expected to be high. Poppies are disappearing fast and are only present on 13% of Europe’s fields.
> Member States frequently pick the least environmentally-beneficial elements from the options available to them to implement CAP greening measures. Nearly 90% of countries do not fully restrict pesticide use on farm nature protection areas.
Faustine Bas-Defossez, EEB Senior Policy Officer for Agriculture and Bioenergy, comments:
“This package of research reveals the true colour of the new CAP behind its ‘green’ claims. Despite the dire state of nature on Europe’s farmland, this research shows that greening is nothing more than a buzzword which exists on paper but turns grey in our fields. Member States are almost always choosing the worst option for the environment. While some argue that the onus is now on farmers to implement greening on the ground, given the choices made by Member States it is very unlikely that greening will see the light of day on our farms.”