Agriculture & Land Management

Our Work

Rural land provides a range of environmental and cultural goods and services that are highly valued by the public. This includes the diverse landscapes that are characteristic of local agricultural and forest systems in different parts of Europe and the birds, wildflowers, bees and other animals associated with these. The way the land is managed also affects the quality of our air, soils and water and can play an important role in helping to improve the resilience of land to climate change and natural disasters, such as flooding or fires. With an ever increasing demand for food, timber and energy there continue to be significant pressures placed on the environment by agricultural and forestry production. These pressures will be exacerbated by the effects of climate change. The sustainable use of land requires coordinated cross-sectoral policies designed to optimise our use of rural land to deliver food, timber and energy sustainably, together with environmental goods and services.

IEEP’s experts on agriculture, land management, biodiversity, climate, energy, soils and water are well placed to assess the environmental implications of different types of land management and land use changes. Key to our work is embedding environmental and sustainability considerations into policies influencing both the production and consumption of food, timber and energy.

Latest in Sustainable Land Use

  • 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.

  • The EU’s climate targets, land use, and forests: delivering biodiversity-friendly mitigation

    Land use and forestry is a new frontier for EU climate policy. IEEP’s report for FERN sets out some ideas for how a supportive policy framework can deliver both climate and biodiversity benefits.

  • 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.

  • Assessing sustainable biomass availability

    Dr. Ben Allen presented IEEP’s views on the sustainable use of biomass at an international conference in Brussels. Understanding the scale of the resource is a key part of determining appropriate policy intervention and ensuring commercial viability.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Space for energy crops – An assessment on the potential contribution of Europe’s energy future

    The overall energy potential that can be produced from growing dedicated energy crops on ‘spare’ land in the EU is low. This new report explores the potential for the additional production of energy crops in Europe on land not already used for food production, forestry, or providing other important services, and assesses some of the challenges associated with increasing output.

  • High Nature Value farming throughout EU-27 and its financial support under the CAP

    This study reviews Member States’ estimates of the extent of HNV farmland and use of RDP measures and the CMEF indicators, then identifies future priorities for CAP support for HNV farming and discusses the support opportunities under the reformed CAP. It offers detailed new evidence about the combined effect of Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 CAP payments on the economic and environmental viability of a typical HNV farming system in three Member States.

  • New report: High Nature Value Farming in the EU

    Member States need to make the most of the opportunities under the new Common Agricultural Policy if the declines in HNV farming, critical for meeting our 2020 biodiversity targets, are to be halted.

  • Press release - Biofuels don’t deliver but bioresources have promise

    Biofuels produced from conventional agricultural crops deliver only limited reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and compete for limited supplies of land.

  • Waste-based biofuels sector needs smarter EU 2030 package to realize its high potential

    A robust sustainability framework and ambitious decarbonisation targets for transport fuels in 2030 are necessary to ensure efficient waste utilisation and the long-term reduction of transport emissions.

  • How to design EU biofuels policy for post-2020?

    IEEP has organised two parallel workshops in Brussels and London to discuss with key EU and UK policy makers and stakeholders the future for EU biofuels policy post 2020.

  • Options for sustainable food and agriculture in the EU

    How should Europe respond to the increased demands on our food and agriculture systems arising from global population growth, changing diets, and competing demands on agricultural land? This report offers a view on how the EU could play a role in meeting these challenges in the coming decades and sets out some of the options which merit particular attention.