Landowners and Conservationists Join Forces in Vision for the CAP
European land managers and conservationists are calling for an environmentally friendly future for the CAP.
A joint policy paper, Proposals for the future CAP: a joint position from the European Landowners’ Organisation and BirdLife International, will be launched tonight by Paolo De Castro, Chairman of the European Parliament Agriculture Committee, ELO Secretary General Thierry de l’Escaille and Birdlife International European Director Angelo Caserta in the European Parliament.
The conservationists and landowners believe food security and environmental challenges can only be met by European policy with commensurate budget resources - and that this is the task for a reformed CAP.
The CLA and RSPB say the benefit for the public will be a more viable and sustainable farm system that provides food and environmental benefits including cleaner water, reduced global warming and more biodiversity.
The land managers and conservationists also agree that this can only be achieved through increased emphasis on rural development and agri-environment measures.
CLA President William Worsley said: “We believe farming must be efficient and competitive and viable for the long term.
“We have found that on some crucial issues environmental groups - such as the RSPB - and land managers have a lot in common.
“This is why our respective European bodies – the European Landowners’ Organisation (ELO) and BirdLife International – are setting out the principles we share on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).”
Mr Worsley said: “Both organisations see a continuing role for a European policy and budget to help achieve Food and Environmental Security (FES).
“We agree that the CAP must change to meet this century’s emerging challenges: the growing demand for food, dangers of global warming and threats to Europe’s biodiversity and environmental quality.”
Mark Avery, RSPB Director of Conservation, said: “Landowners and conservationists may not always see eye to eye but where reforming the CAP is concerned we are very definitely singing from the same hymn sheet.
“The current system needs to be overhauled to reward farmers properly for the environmental benefits they provide and which are so vitally important for protecting wildlife on farmland.
“Skylarks, lapwings and yellowhammers are an intrinsic part of the UK countryside, and we are very pleased to be joining forces with the CLA to help make sure they are still there for many years to come.”
27 Jan 2010
Jenna Hegarty is an Agriculture Policy Officer at RSPB.