Proposals for the future CAP
Land managers and conservationists have much more in common than many realise. Both see the land in Europe as a precious resource for future generations. Proposals for the future CAP, a joint policy paper from the European Landowners' Organisation and BirdLife International, spells this out.
Europe needs food security without the future of the land being damaged. That is in the interests of farmers as well as nature-lovers. But the CLA, as part of the European Landowners' Organisation, believes a growing global demand for food and the threat of global warming pose pressures for European land use.
As demand for food grows prices are likely to rise. Production of food may intensify as a result. To balance the many pressures on land, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) should be seen to be using public money to fund key public goods - protection of the environment as well as food security.
The clearer it is that taxpayers are gaining benefits as well as giving, the more just, robust and effective the CAP will be.
Centuries of farming and land-management have made the European landscape. Many species and habitats depend on these activities. Yet some traditional forms of agriculture - like hill farms in some of the most beautiful areas of England and Wales - make little profit. Without them our landscape and biodiversity would be damaged. The future CAP must focus more on supporting the quality and character of their products and the environmental quality of their work.
Of course The European Landowners' Organisation and Birdlife International have different perspectives on many detailed issues. But the two organisations agree that a European policy and budget is needed to secure the future of our land.
We have a responsibility to contribute to global food security as well as our own. Damage to our ecosystems is already causing problems to water resources, soil quality and biological services like insect pollination. Europe must lead the way in strategies to protect them.
We commend the joint declaration in Proposals for the Future CAP. We would welcome your feedback.
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