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Agricultural Policy for Biodiversity: Facilitators and Barriers for Transformation


The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has integrated some environmental aspects into its instruments and measures. Since the 1990s, environmental measures have been introduced and iteratively adjusted with a new funding period every four to seven years. This chapter presents four stages of the policy cycle as an analytical framework in order to assess whether CAP decision makers have learned from experience to improve the performance of the CAP in preserving biodiversity. Following these four stages, we, first, present the evolution of the agriculture related environmental agenda in the CAP. Second, we give an overview of key CAP instruments as policy output, including Agri-Environmental Programs/Agri-Environmental and Climate Measures, Cross-Compliance, and Greening of Direct Payments. Third, we compile information on the implementation performance of these instruments to assess the social outcome and ecological impact of the CAP. Finally, we evaluate the learning potential of the CAP process and derive underlying causes. We conclude that CAP reforms have repeatedly failed to draw on the accumulated knowledge on agri-environmental instruments and give some recommendations for improved biodiversity conservation.

Table of Contents: Transitioning to Sustainable Life on Land