Agriculture & Land Management

Our Work

Europe’s rural land faces many competing demands for the provision of food, energy and timber, as well as environmental and cultural services. There is scarcely any true wilderness left in the EU, so the ways in which land is managed affects the quality of the environment as well as the character and social fabric of much of rural Europe.

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) continues to be a major driver of land use and management decisions. Other sectoral policies, such as those promoting renewable energy, protecting biodiversity and regulating water quality and usage have an important influence too.

IEEP seeks to inform and influence the development of the key EU policies that affect the sustainable use of rural land and to encourage the integration of environmental priorities into these policies. We provide independent policy research, analysis and advice focussing on ways in which farming and forestry can help to protect Europe’s natural resources and the wide range of environmental goods and services which they support.

Latest in Agriculture & Land Management

  • Ensuring the carbon sustainability of biomass

    Ensuring the carbon sustainability of bioenergy requires a new approach in EU policy. This IEEP report spells out a different pathway to the one proposed by the European Commission in the recently released “winter package”.

  • Agriculture and Land Management Policy Internships

    The Agriculture and Land Management team at IEEP is offering potentially two part-time or full-time internships to support the team’s work and to offer structured learning and experience on European agricultural and environmental/climate policy. Location in London or Brussels office.

  • Moving the debate on sustainable bioenergy to 2030

    On 30th November, the European Commission published a “Winter package” of policy proposals, including for bioenergy in the form of a revised Renewable Energy Directive. Although encouraging to answer the many requests for policy certainty, a number of key questions about the right and most appropriate approach to deliver sustainable bioenergy still remain and need further scrutiny.

  • Are Ecological Focus Areas delivering for biodiversity?

    Ecological Focus Areas are intended to safeguard and improve biodiversity on arable farms in the EU. What evidence is there that they are actually delivering biodiversity on farmland?

  • Ecological Focus Areas – what impacts on biodiversity?

    Ecological Focus Areas are intended to safeguard and improve biodiversity on arable farms in the EU. This IEEP study for EEB and BirdLife examined the evidence for potential biodiversity impacts on farmland, taking into account how the areas are being managed.

  • Biofrontiers – sustainability critical to the development of advanced biofuels

    Adherence to effective and workable sustainability criteria is an essential requirement when using public support to incentivise advanced alternative fuels.

  • Understanding the consequences of changing biomass demand for energy

    Understanding the consequences of increased biomass demand for energy on the environment is central to the development of future policy on renewable energy in Europe. This study seeks to help answer this need by modelling different levels of biomass demand for energy and the consequences for land use and forest based industries.

  • The cascading use of woody biomass in the EU – challenges, opportunities and policy solutions

    Improving the resource efficient use of wood through cascading the resource from one use to another, requires action throughout the wood flow. Current efforts focus on recovering and re-using waste wood but more could be done with the production and utilisation of wood processing residues and improving the balancing between the material and energy use of wood.

  • The PEGASUS project publishes its first Newsletter

    Welcome to the first newsletter of the PEGASUS project! It provides information on the project’s progress to date and details on the 34 case studies currently underway in 10 EU countries examining how to ensure the improved delivery of public goods and ecosystem services in different farming and forestry situations.

  • IEEP sets out new sustainability criteria for biofuels post 2020

    Defining effective and workable sustainability criteria for biofuels is one of the critical steps in decarbonising Europe’s energy sector. Such criteria must provide the necessary safeguards for the use of bioresources in Europe, as well as the policy and investment certainty required for sustainable deployment.

  • Sustainability criteria for biofuels post 2020

    Defining effective and workable sustainability criteria is one of the critical steps in decarbonising Europe’s energy sector. They must provide the necessary safeguards for the use of bioresources in Europe, as well as the policy and investment certainty required for sustainable deployment.

  • Improving environmental financing via result-based agri-environment measures

    A new article by IEEP explores the use of result-based agri-environment measures in the region of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The study shows that result-based schemes can increase the environmental effectiveness and conditionality of the EU Common Agricultural Policy.

  • Learning the lessons from CAP greening

    What is the most cost-effective way to encourage basic environmental management across the farmed countryside in the EU-28? Learning from experience to date in greening Pillar 1 of the CAP, this report considers a range of options to increase the environmental added value from greening.

  • Mapping study on the cascading use of wood products

    Promoting the cascading use of wood through policy is one approach to improve resource efficiency and increase the overall availability of wood for use in a variety of sectors.

  • A circular bio-economy in the European agriculture and forestry sectors

    IEEP experts call for bridging the circular and bio-economy concepts, to support the transition of Europe’s land using sectors to a more resource efficient and sustainable future.

  • Land suitability assessments for bioenergy feedstocks in the EU – a review of data sources

    Current data availability is inadequate to undertake a detailed national or European level study of land areas that are underutilised and could be considered available for bioenergy production within the EU.

  • New report launch: Call for a new vision for responsible renewable energy with a clear European dimension

    Claude Turmes MEP hosted an event launching both IEEP’s report and a debate on the future of renewable energy in Europe. In the our report IEEP present how a resource efficient energy system might be delivered in a way that minimises impact on biodiversity and the wider environment.

  • The EU’s climate targets, land use, and forests: delivering biodiversity-friendly mitigation

    Land use and forestry is a new frontier for EU climate policy. IEEP’s report for FERN sets out some ideas for how a supportive policy framework can deliver both climate and biodiversity benefits.

  • CAP greening: what are its environmental prospects?

    A significant injection of money was agreed for ‘green’ farming practices under the recent CAP reform. This report examines the environmental impact these measures are likely to have on the ground and concludes that Member States’ implementation choices appear to have much diminished the chances of the greening measures delivering significant additional environmental benefits.

  • Volkswagen: Painful Lessons

    The latest edition of IEEP's newsletter is now available. David Baldock discusses Volkswagen and lack of implementation and compliance across EU environmental policy in general. Also: greening of the CAP; Marine Protected Areas; and LULUCF.

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