Much of Europe’s biodiversity is associated with ecosystems that have arisen from, or are profoundly affected by, human land uses, particularly agriculture and forestry. IEEP has been involved in land use issues since its inception and in recognition of its biodiversity importance pioneered the High Nature Value (HNV) farming concept. It has also been at the forefront of developing policy responses to maintain HNV farming, and to reduce the negative environmental impacts of other agricultural systems, through high-level advice on reform of the Common Agricultural Policy and the improvement of specific instruments such as cross-compliance standards and agri-environment schemes. We have recently drawn this work together in major reviews of how biodiversity and agriculture interact for the European Commission and the European Parliament.
Tackling biodiversity declines in many agricultural and forest habitats is a major challenge as policy measures are required to support some land-use practices that are marginally economic and to regulate others that typically increase production and profitability. IEEP has helped to address this through practical guidance on policy implementation, including training on agri-environment scheme establishment and the management of farmland within the Natura 2000 network. We are currently investigating the potential advantages and disadvantages of result-based agri-environment schemes - see our web platform for information and guidance.
We have a growing area of work on bioenergy and biofuels, as their production has increased greatly, leading to significant biodiversity impacts within the EU, but particularly elsewhere, such as biodiversity-rich areas in South America. IEEP has developed policies and tools to protect biodiversity from the negative impacts of bioenergy and biofuel production, including land use mapping and defining criteria to protect highly biodiverse grasslands.
What should be Europe’s role in feeding the world in 2050? This IEEP report for the European Parliament describes options for increasing the productivity of European agriculture whilst adapting to climate change, reducing emissions, and providing biodiversity and ecosystem service benefits from agriculture.
What should be Europe’s role in feeding the world in 2050, considering competing demands for land? This IEEP report for the European Parliament describes options for reusing food wastes and agricultural and forestry residues for biomaterials and bioenergy.
Mire ecosystems are well-known for their unique species and habitats of high conservation value and they also provide a range of benefits to our societies and economies. This publication outlines the results of a pioneering project that aimed to identify and valuate ecosystem services provided by pristine mires and managed peatlands in Finland.
Co-authored by IEEP staff, the Manual is for anyone who is considering or currently undertaking a TEEB country study. Its purpose is to provide guidance throughout the entire TCS cycle, from initiation to policy analysis and ecosystem service valuations, communicating findings, and using results to support decision making.
This guidance document has been prepared to support practitioners of National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans to update their plans to incorporate biodiversity and ecosystem service values. Six in depth country case studies provide common lessons of good practice.
IEEP has just produced a roadmap and guidance document to help practitioners to incorporate biodiversity and ecosystem values into their NBSAPs. See case study examples and tune into the webinars on June 5 and 7.
This new IEEP-authored report highlighting the importance of nature to the economy aims to clarify and help mainstream nature’s role in the transition to a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication.
The European Commission's draft proposal for a Directive on the indirect land use change (ILUC) from biofuels was leaked to the public in mid-September 2012. This briefing summarises and reacts to these leaked proposals.
This policy paper examines how the forthcoming 7EAP can contribute to protecting natural systems and improving the way in which we use natural resources. It also examines a number of cross-cutting actions needed to support the priorities of the 7EAP and ensure better delivery of EU environment policy.
The CAP could, and should, be primarily to assist EU agriculture to become more internationally competitive and sustainable and to achieve this by innovation. It already has many instruments to do this, and the reforms could further assist. However the resources deployed could be far better used.
This IEEP-led study for the European Commission (DG ENV) improves the knowledge base on green infrastructure policy initiatives in Europe and assesses their implementation and efficiency. It also formulates policy recommendations for integrating green infrastructure into the EU policy framework.