Agriculture & Land Management

Our Work

Europe’s rural land faces many competing demands for the provision of food, energy and timber, as well as environmental and cultural services. There is scarcely any true wilderness left in the EU, so the ways in which land is managed affects the quality of the environment as well as the character and social fabric of much of rural Europe.

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) continues to be a major driver of land use and management decisions. Other sectoral policies, such as those promoting renewable energy, protecting biodiversity and regulating water quality and usage have an important influence too.

IEEP seeks to inform and influence the development of the key EU policies that affect the sustainable use of rural land and to encourage the integration of environmental priorities into these policies. We provide independent policy research, analysis and advice focussing on ways in which farming and forestry can help to protect Europe’s natural resources and the wide range of environmental goods and services which they support.

Latest in Agriculture & Land Management

  • Towards sustainability: Future policies for European livestock

    The CAP is failing to reward adequately those livestock farmers who produce public goods. Brexit and CAP reform are opportunities to do better.

  • Are Ecological Focus Areas delivering for biodiversity?

    Ecological Focus Areas are intended to safeguard and improve biodiversity on arable farms in the EU. What evidence is there that they are actually delivering biodiversity on farmland?

  • Ecological Focus Areas – what are their impacts on biodiversity?

    Ecological Focus Areas are intended to safeguard and improve biodiversity on arable farms in the EU. This IEEP study for EEB and BirdLife examined the evidence for potential biodiversity impacts on farmland, taking into account how the areas are being managed.

  • The PEGASUS project publishes its first Newsletter

    Welcome to the first newsletter of the PEGASUS project! It provides information on the project’s progress to date and details on the 34 case studies currently underway in 10 EU countries examining how to ensure the improved delivery of public goods and ecosystem services in different farming and forestry situations.

  • IEEP sets out new sustainability criteria for biofuels post 2020

    Defining effective and workable sustainability criteria for biofuels is one of the critical steps in decarbonising Europe’s energy sector. Such criteria must provide the necessary safeguards for the use of bioresources in Europe, as well as the policy and investment certainty required for sustainable deployment.

  • Sustainability criteria for biofuels post 2020

    Defining effective and workable sustainability criteria is one of the critical steps in decarbonising Europe’s energy sector. They must provide the necessary safeguards for the use of bioresources in Europe, as well as the policy and investment certainty required for sustainable deployment.

  • Improving environmental financing via result-based agri-environment measures

    A new article by IEEP explores the use of result-based agri-environment measures in the region of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The study shows that result-based schemes can increase the environmental effectiveness and conditionality of the EU Common Agricultural Policy.

  • A circular bio-economy in the European agriculture and forestry sectors

    IEEP experts call for bridging the circular and bio-economy concepts, to support the transition of Europe’s land using sectors to a more resource efficient and sustainable future.

  • Land suitability assessments for bioenergy feedstocks in the EU – a review of data sources

    Current data availability is inadequate to undertake a detailed national or European level study of land areas that are underutilised and could be considered available for bioenergy production within the EU.

  • CAP greening: what are its environmental prospects?

    A significant injection of money was agreed for ‘green’ farming practices under the recent CAP reform. This report examines the environmental impact these measures are likely to have on the ground and concludes that Member States’ implementation choices appear to have much diminished the chances of the greening measures delivering significant additional environmental benefits.

  • New PEGASUS website

    Project website for EU research project PEGASUS goes live!

  • Results-based agri-environment schemes: new report and guidance handbook available

    Are you interested in developing and implementing a results-based payment scheme for farmland biodiversity? Together with experts from across Europe, IEEP has produced a range of useful resources to guide the future development of results-based agri-environment schemes in the EU and beyond.

  • Result-based agri-environment measures: market-based instruments, incentives or rewards?

    Result-based schemes are innovative agri-environment measures, which remunerate farmers only if they can demonstrate to have achieved the desired environmental goal. This is different from ...

  • EU research project PEGASUS - new thinking on sustainable land management

    EU research project PEGASUS kicked off in London on 29-30 April. The three-year project, led by IEEP, is focused on transforming land management approaches in the EU to improve the delivery of public goods and ecosystem services from rural areas.

  • Evidence before ideology

    The latest edition of IEEP's newsletter is now available. David Baldock argues that in 2015 solid evidence rather than political fashion will be required in scrutinising EU policy and economic performance. Also: fossil fuel subsidies; allocating fishing quota; and the launch of our new training programme.

  • The Manual: Chapter 12 - Funding instruments

    This is a chapter of IEEP’s Manual of European Environmental Policy. This chapter sets out the EU's main funding instruments that have environmental implications, including the European Agriculture funds, the European Fisheries Fund and the Structural and Cohesion funds.

  • The Manual: Chapter 13 - Sectoral policies

    This is a chapter of IEEP’s Manual of European Environmental Policy. This chapter sets out the development of some of the most important links between EU environmental policy and other policy areas, such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, transport, trade, and so on.

  • Whither the new Commission?

    IEEP’s David Baldock gives his take on the new Commission in the latest edition of our newsletter. Read about how IEEP is raising ambition for the next EU climate and energy package, plus: priorities and policy options for a circular economy, payments for farmland biodiversity achievements, biodiversity proofing EU spending, and more.

  • Guidelines for biodiversity proofing the EU budget

    This report provides a practical framework to ensure that spending under the EU budget has no negative impacts on biodiversity, and that spending under the EU budget is overall supportive to achieving the biodiversity targets.

  • Sustainable intensification of European agriculture

    The concept of sustainable intensification has come into prominence in the context of global food security. This report defines what we mean by sustainable intensification, explains its global logic, discusses what it means for EU agriculture and exemplifies this in three case studies for soil performance, nutrient recycling and biodiversity.

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