04 Jun AVOIDING DISASTER: EUROPEAN HUNTERS DEMAND THAT CAP 2020 DELIVERS FOR BIODIVERSITY
On 1 June 2018, the European Commission (EC) published its proposals for the next Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). In FACE’s opinion (1) , many parts of the proposal need greater clarity to ensure a high level of ambition with regards to the future of our environment and biodiversity.
FACE demands the following for the next CAP:
- There must be a high threshold set by the EC for the approval of national CAP Strategic Plans. Insufficient plans, including those that do not meet the EU’s CAP environmental objectives and are not genuinely performance-based, should be rejected by the EC.
- The EC must carefully monitor Member States’ performance and implementation. Each plan should be objectively and systematically assessed.
- CAP direct payments should be in compliance with the (performance-based) CAP environmental objectives.
- The partnership principle between environmental and agricultural authorities within EU institutions and Member States must be strongly promoted. Appropriate consultation with relevant stakeholders, including hunters’ associations, and scientific communities should be undertaken.
- The next Greening element of the CAP, which will be replaced (2) by a new system of “eco-schemes” must be financially attractive to farmers. Eco-schemes should genuinely contribute to biodiversity objectives in order to address the loss of wildlife populations.
- Small and medium sized farmers, which typically deliver many public goods and services including the maintenance of high nature value farming (HNV), must be adequately incentivised to continue sustainable farming practices
- A new performance-based approach to the design and implementation of agri-environmental schemes is required to deliver landscape-scale biodiversity improvements. Results-based agri-environmental schemes, which deliver considerable public goods and services, should play an integral role with Member States.
European hunters are aware that the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is a crucial support mechanism for agriculture and rural areas in Europe. However, the CAP has a significant negative impact on the environment, biodiversity and the status of many huntable and non-huntable species in agricultural landscapes. Most small game populations have dramatically decreased due to intensive agricultural practices (e.g. loss of habitat and feeding opportunities) and the use of unsustainable agriculture methods.
(1) See also FACE’s submission to the European Commission’s Consultation on modernising and simplifying the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP): https://www.face.eu/about-us/resources/news/faces-contribution-to-a-new-european-agricultural-policy
(2) See also FACE’s position on Greening under the next CAP: https://www.face.eu/about-us/resources/news/face-position-on-greening-under-the-next-cap