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

  • Biodiversity proofing of the EU budget

    This study shows how more can be done to firstly avoid and minimize detrimental impacts of EU funding on biodiversity, and secondly to increase biodiversity benefits.

  • Land use mapping for sustainable biofuels

    IEEP and WWF join forces to define criteria and principles to guide the mapping of appropriate land use to ensure sustainable biofuel crops.

  • Press release - Mixed news for the EU’s environment from the MFF deal

    8 February - 'There is mixed news for the EU’s environment and the green economy from today’s MFF deal’ says David Baldock, Director of IEEP.

  • Principles of Double Funding

    This briefing explores the issue of double funding in relation to the CAP reform debate and considers the implications for delivering added value for the environment.

  • EP vote must not undermine a greener CAP

    A decade’s progress in improving the Common Agricultural Policy’s environmental credentials risks being lost if the EP vote to water down the Commission’s ambitious proposals to green the CAP.

  • Land Stewardship in England post 2013: CAP greening and agri-environment

    What will the introduction of environmental measures in Pillar 1 mean for agri-environment schemes in the future? A topic of much debate as part of the CAP reform negotiations, this new report explores the potential impacts of greening Pillar 1 on England’s entry-level agri-environment scheme and how a future scheme could be designed to deliver more for the environment and ensure the long term sustainability of farming.

  • Addressing ILUC? The European Commission’s proposal on indirect land use change

    The European Commission’s proposal on indirect land use change – what’s in it for mitigating emissions? Read IEEP’s latest Biofuel ExChange briefing.

  • Greener or greyer: what's next for the future EU budget?

    This Policy Brief analyses the outcomes of the Special Summit on the future EU budget, which took place on 22-23 November 2012.

  • The role of bioenergy in Europe's energy future

    IEEP’s review questions the potential contribution of increased use of biomass for heat and electricity generation to reduce emissions.

  • Bioenergy and climate change: hard questions to answer

    We have a policy framework which will drive greater use of bioenergy to 2020 but with no associated guarantee of reductions of greenhouse gas emissions, concludes IEEP report.

  • New report: Nature and its role in the transition to a Green Economy

    This new IEEP-authored report highlighting the importance of nature to the economy aims to clarify and help mainstream nature’s role in the transition to a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication.

  • Overdue rethink on biofuels undermined by industry lobby

    The Commission has finally taken half a step towards addressing the indirect land use change (ILUC) from biofuels. David Baldock, Director of IEEP, said, ‘it is very dispiriting to see that after such a long internal debate, the Commission has backed down in the face of intense pressure from the biofuel and farming industry. As a result, a hard fought agreement has been compromised.’

  • Draft ILUC proposal leaked

    The European Commission's draft proposal for a Directive on the indirect land use change (ILUC) from biofuels was leaked to the public in mid-September 2012. This briefing summarises and reacts to these leaked proposals.

  • Exploring key priorities and actions for the 7th EAP

    This policy paper examines how the forthcoming 7EAP can contribute to protecting natural systems and improving the way in which we use natural resources. It also examines a number of cross-cutting actions needed to support the priorities of the 7EAP and ensure better delivery of EU environment policy.

  • Designing RDPs fit for the environment

    Substantial changes to rural development regulation have been proposed which provide significant opportunities for Member States to deliver more for the environment. This report highlights some of these opportunities and sets out a series of principles and environmental priorities to help guide Member States in designing their future rural development programmes.

  • Systemic approach to adaptation to climate change and renewable energy harnessing (Biomass and Mini-hydro)

    Biochar has the potential to both mitigate greenhouse gases, and to act as an adaptation measure in terms of responding to the impacts of climate change. Based on its compatibility with the appropriate soil properties, it could increase the resilience of soil to erosion.

  • Refreshing Europe's water policy

    The latest edition of IEEP's newsletter is now available with a lead article on efforts to reinvigorate EU water policy. Plus CAP reform, nature in the Green Economy, using straw for biofuels, emissions trading revenues ...

  • After Rio, it’s up to us to shape the Future We Want

    Despite some new commitments on Green Economy, oceans, and Sustainable Development Goals, progress on much of the Rio agenda will depend on actions taken by individual countries, blocs (like the EU), companies and civil society networks.

  • Biofuels and Agricultural Commodity Prices: A Review of the Evidence Base

    EU biofuel use will increase the global prices of agricultural commodities, most notably oilseeds and vegetable oils. This requires close attention by policy makers.

  • Maximising environmental benefits through Ecological Focus Areas

    Of the three measures proposed to 'green' Pillar 1 direct payments, Ecological Focus Areas have the greatest potential to address a range of environmental concerns. How much of this potential is realised depends on a number of key factors discussed in this new IEEP report prepared at the request of the Land Use Policy Group.