CAP ‘stopped working to halt biodiversity loss’, auditors find

Sallie Anderson

The EU’s flagship Typical Farming Policy (CAP) has actually stopped working to reverse the enduring decline in biodiversity triggered by extensive farming, the European Court of Auditors cautioned on Friday (5 June), on the event of World Environment Day.

“The CAP has so far been insufficient to counteract declining biodiversity on farmlands, which is a major threat for both farming and the environment,” stated Viorel Stefan, the member of the audit court accountable for the report.

The European Commission set out in 2011 a technique to halt biodiversity by 2020, which dedicated to increasing the contribution of farming to keep biodiversity and the preservation of types in addition to environments impacted by the sector.

Nevertheless, the auditors criticised the truth that extensive farming stays the main reason for biodiversity- loss, due to the increased usage of chemicals and equipment in more uniform and open landscapes, and absence of measured targets in the 2020 Biodiversity Method.

The EU auditors likewise knocked the “poor coordination” in between the CAP and the 2020 Biodiversity method, which disappoints dealing with the decline in hereditary biodiversity – which refers to hereditary irregularity within types.

The court worried formerly that losing genetic diversity could reduce the capacity of ecosystems to adapt to an unprecedented situation, such as illness or to ecological variations.

Some members states like Poland have actually created techniques to secure hereditary biodiversity, in spite of doing not have a clear roadmap from Brussels.

‘ Undependable’ information

The EU prepared to invest around 8 percent of the budget on biodiversity in 2019 and 2020, which has to do with EUR135 bn annually consisting of EUR103 bn from the CAP.

Nevertheless, the report discovers that the method the commission tracks CAP expense benefiting biodiversity is in fact “unreliable” given that it overemphasizes the contribution of some procedures to biodiversity.

This is why Ireland and Germany chose not to utilize the commission’s method when establishing their biodiversity tracking systems, as they consider it incorrect.

In Addition, EU auditors thought about that many CAP financing, which is as direct payment to farmers, has a little favorable effect on biodiversity.

“Although some direct payments requirement, notably ” greening”, have the potential to improve biodiversity, the commission and member states favoured low impact options,” the court concluded.

Expect 2030?

On The Other Hand, EU auditors and civil society organisations were more positive about the brand-new 2030 Biodiversity Method provided by the commission last month together with the Farm to Fork method.

EU auditors informed a group of press reporters on Thursday that there has actually been a continuous exchange of info with the commission, given that January, to feed the internal dispute connected to the just recently proposed techniques and 2021-2027 CAP.

“The EU is not on track to meet the 2020 targets to halt biodiversity loss. There has been little progress in four of the six targets of the current strategy and the situation of biodiversity in agricultural ecosystems has worsened since 2010,” stated Sabien Leemans from WWF Europe.

“The new biodiversity strategy is better because it contains concrete and measurable targets on agriculture, for instance on increasing the area of organic farming – but the upcoming CAP will need to integrate these targets to make sure that this is implemented in members states,” she added.

The auditors prompted the commission to ensure that member states consist of quantifiable dedications to deal with biodiversity loss in their CAP tactical strategies – due to exist in 2021.

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