Presentation on theme: " Historic impact of agriculture positive, but modern, intensive agriculture is a threat to biodiversity, water, soil, etc. Modern agriculture depends."— Presentation transcript:
Historic impact of agriculture positive, but modern, intensive agriculture is a threat to biodiversity, water, soil, etc. Modern agriculture depends not only on soil, water, biological systems, but also fossil fuels, medicines, chemicals, etc. Fertiliser: Use decreasing, except in EU-10: nitrates are polluting drinking water and causing eutrophication (50% of Baltic N from agriculture) Pesticides: Still a concern; localised contamination. Irrigation: Agricultural intensification; decline in the levels and quality of water; degradation of the land (particularly in S Europe). Biofuels: Need to ensure overall environmental benefits. Intensification: ECE and the Balkans have untapped agricultural potential, which may see intensified production to meet world demand for food.
Main objective has always been to increase production. Rural E and SE Europe being abandoned due to low productivity and distance from major markets; poor labour efficiency in formerly collectivised economies; privatisation. Both intensification and abandonment have negative outcomes. EEA very optimistic about organic farming. Agriculture also subject to negative environmental impacts.
Climate change: rainfall; seasonality; temperature; forestry as a response? Livestock: Significant decreases during the 1990’s; livestock farming disastrous when coinciding with poor manure management Services: Landscapes, habitats; tourism; carbon storage; bioenergy production? Biodiversity
CAP no longer driving intensification RD funding rather than agri. funding Income pressure to specialise: how do we offset this? Catch-up for E Europe Challenge of farming efficiently whilst looking after the environment: all this has to be tackled together surely?
Key Issues: ◦ Nutrient loads on freshwater ◦ Loss of land to built development ◦ Habitat fragmentation and species decline ◦ Soil, air quality CE European Landscape Convention (2004) ◦ Cultural heritage; natural heritage 6 th Environmental Action Plan (EAP) ◦ Soil, air, sustainability, waste, pesticides. ◦ Really stresses the importance of agent education. ◦ How to aim beyond farming?
Ammonia: 85% manure, 15% fertilisers GHGs: 20 Mt CO 2 eq. out of 68.5 related to agriculture Pollution: 29.8% rivers Eutrophication: 16.2% lakes 60% of shoreline in some way polluted, along with 30% of groundwater Unacceptable number of fish kills Few SPAs “Poor agricultural practice”