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CAP support for High Nature Value farming Future CAP for Scotland conference 16 th March 2011 Guy Beaufoy, EFNCP.

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Presentation on theme: "CAP support for High Nature Value farming Future CAP for Scotland conference 16 th March 2011 Guy Beaufoy, EFNCP."— Presentation transcript:

1 CAP support for High Nature Value farming Future CAP for Scotland conference 16 th March 2011 Guy Beaufoy, EFNCP

2 We support farm incomes through the CAP to prevent decline and abandonment … The threat of decline and abandonment varies hugely across different farming situations Income support should be targeted at farming situations most under threat, e.g. with low returns to labour And where decline and abandonment would lead to biggest losses of public goods In other words, policy should differentiate, not pretend all farming is in the same situation.

3 Intensive large-scale farming is best prepared to earn income from the market. And environmental goods are inherently low. Remaining biodiversity should be retained through cross-compliance. Improvements are possible, but only so far. And it costs the tax-payer

4 HNV farming concept: Some broad types of farming and farmland are inherently rich in biodiversity, and have common characteristics and challenges. They are mainly on land with physical or structural limitations. The main biodiversity challenge is to maintain them on a large scale. The main aim is not to change practices. Economic viability is a key concern.

5 Most of our farmland biodiversity is on land farmed at low intensity and with a high proportion of semi-natural features [Wales] Large % of unimproved pasture Biodiversity elements, e.g. big hedges +

6 Most of our farmland biodiversity is on land farmed at low intensity and with a high proportion of semi-natural features [Romania]

7 Most of our farmland biodiversity is on land farmed at low intensity and with a high proportion of semi-natural features [Normandy]

8 Low-intensity forage crop Low livestock density per hectare of forage Unimproved pasture Farming household Patches of low-intensity cropping can increase habitat diversity at the farm level [Scotland]

9 Olives and other orchards farmed at low intensity have also created landscapes of high nature value [Andalucía, Spain]

10 Semi-natural farmland is fundamentally different from mainstream intensified farmland: highest farmland biodiversity, public goods, ecosystems services lowest farm incomes and highest threat of abandonment needs special attention from policy across EU [map not for targeting support] EU has 50 million ha approx of semi-natural farmland

11 HNV landcover types can be identified at the farm level, and can be recorded on IACS as basis for Pillar 1 payments: For Pillar 2 measures, we need to identify and understand the systems and practices that maintain this HNV farmland… Unimproved permanent pastures and meadows Orchards/olives with semi-natural understorey Other semi-natural features e.g. big hedges

12 Spain Navarra NAVARRA (SPAIN) – Characterising HNV Farming systems at the Regional level (2 examples) 2 nd International workshop on pastoral landscape and conservation. 4 / 32 Cantabrian mountain livestock system Mediterranean crop mosaics

13 Latxa sheep 2 nd International workshop on pastoral landscape and conservation. 13 / 32 Cantabrian mountain farming system: Characteristics? Situation? Challenges?

14 2 nd International workshop on pastoral landscape and conservation. 16 / 32 Mediterranean mosaic landscape: low-intensity almond groves and other permanent crops in mosaic with patches of semi-natural grazing

15 What are the challenges for these semi-natural HNV farming landscapes?

16 Abandonment – the farmland of most biodiversity value is dropping out of farming systems all over Europe. Poor incomes and socio-economic conditions of these farming systems are the main reason. Upland hay meadow, Navarra

17 There is no joined-up policy to address this basic lack of viability. The income problem is not addressed efficiently by “historic” Pillar 1 or by LFA. Agri-environment is not intended as income support. New livestock handling facilities on common land – good but wasted.

18 Abandonment of traditional olive groves is a fire risk and very difficult to reverse Entire landscapes are under threat. Very few Pillar 2 schemes exist on the ground to stop this process. Needs a major shift in policy focus, and in funds

19 High income, low public goods value. High subsidy (winners). Intensive irrigated olives € / ha Marginal non-irrigated olives € / ha Net income without CAP Current CAP payment LFA200 Net income with CAP Flat-rate payment Negative income, high public goods value. Low subsidy (losers).

20 HNV farmland = 16% of Blackdown Hills AONB in south-west England. 6,000 ha approx. All Grade 4 and 5 land - not LFA.  0.1% of HNV farmland is designated Natura 2000  10% of HNV farmland is designated SSSI  only 11% of HNV is in Higher Level agri-environment Scheme  < 50% of HNV is in any agri-environment scheme

21 Farm income south-west England. If we are thinking of the decline threat, where is HNV farmland on this graph?

22 Sources of farm income – south-west England: Beef, sheep and mixed farms have negative income from production, highest dependence on Pillar 1. AES have become an important plank in income support, especially now Upland ELS replaces LFA payment (includes capital payments).

23 Effective policy needs a rigorous understanding of what is happening on the ground. RDPE – “little current risk of widespread land abandonment in England, even in most marginalised areas” Too simplistic? Our Devon HNV farmland project finds –“gradual but inexorable decline of farming on semi-natural grassland” –Increasing dependence on Higher Level agri-environment payments to keep this land in use, but not enough coverage –Not enough joined-up policy response to HNV farming needs, this only happens through local projects with other funding

24 The lack of economic viability and support for HNV farming has serious natural-resource and territorial consequences across the EU. Current income support – Pillar 1 + LFA – is failing to address this large-scale challenge. Pillar 2 response varies greatly across regions – there is no coherence or consistency. No point in fine-tuning certain farm practices with agri-environment while the farming system is gradually collapsing around us.

25 Agri-environment: A very important measure that can support HNV farming systems. But no consistency of use across EU. Same is true of LFA.

26 Art. 68 Not just about payments – pro-active local projects involving farmers are critical for addressing environmental + socio-economic challenges.

27 We propose the following measures: EU-level Pillar 1 top-up payments (degressive) for: –Unimproved permanent pasture and meadows –Orchards/olives with unsown grass understorey –Other biodiversity features on farmland Consistent use of LFA and agri-environment schemes to support HNV farming systems at landscape scale Specific measure for RDPs to fund local pro-active projects working with farmers to maintain HNV systems

28 Conclusions – HNV farming approach: Differentiate farming types for income support Identify broad HNV systems at country/region level Understand challenges they face Quantify objectives for their maintenance Make policy response commensurate in scale Join up environment and socio-economic policies Facilitate joined-up approaches at the farm and landscape scale

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