10 May 2017 FACE’S CONTRIBUTION TO A NEW EUROPEAN AGRICULTURAL POLICY
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) accounts for nearly 40% of the EU budget and is a crucial support mechanism for agriculture and the rural environment in Europe. Many hunters will be aware that European agriculture has had a significant impact on farmland biodiversity, including many small game species.
In 2020, the CAP will be revised; FACE and its members will be working hard to improve the next CAP and its consequences for hunting and conservation. In FACE’s view, the next CAP should reward farmers for producing food and ecosystem services whatever the scale, thereby providing multiple benefits for farmers and society at large. For hunters, this means that the next CAP should play a more positive role with regard to the conservation of small game species, which require a diversity of farmland habitats.
The CAP should encourage and help farmers to better respond to the multiple environmental and often competing market demands. The CAP should incentivise habitat restoration on farmland via direct (Pillar I) and rural development (Pillar II) incentives to increase biodiversity at the farm level. It is important that hunters and farmers work together to make sure that we restore valuable habitats and species on Europe’s farmland.
During the revision of the CAP and after its completion, Member States’ environment and agriculture authorities should cooperate closely. This will ensure the effective implementation of policies directed at biodiversity conservation and food production as a whole, leading to the delivery of multiple ecosystem services to the benefit of farmers, hunters and society at large.