Restoring, preserving and enhancing ecosystems dependent on agriculture and forestry

The priority at a glance

Pressure on the environment is still very prevalent. For example, only 17 % of EU habitats and 11 % of ecosystems are considered to be in a favourable state, nutrient surpluses persist in some water bodies (despite progress in others) and 45 % of EU soils suffer from problems of quality. These challenges need to be remedied and the positive environmental contribution of farming and forestry should be strengthened.

Areas of Intervention (Focus areas)

  1. Restoring and preserving biodiversity (including in NATURA 2000 areas and areas of High Nature Value farming) and the state of European landscapes.
  2. Improving water management.
  3. Improving soil management.

Access relevant resources, guidance documents, and examples of RDP implementation by clicking on the below buttons.

Links to resources from the EU and Member States to support programming and implementation of rural development priorities for 2014-2020.

Relevant information for this section will be added in the future according to availability.

Examples of RDP implementation

Examples of EAFRD projects

Stories of successful RDP implementation

  • Using smart information technology to better target Slovakia’s agri-environment schemes [PDF]
  • Thorney Farmland Bird Friendly Zone: joined up delivery of agri-environment, the United Kingdom (England) [PDF]

Relevant case studies

  • Creating a productive mixed forest on abandoned agricultural land, Latvia [PDF]

Lessons learned 2007-2013

Links to relevant ENRD work providing a deeper understanding of how to enhance ecosystems with effective RDP programming and implementation.

  • ENRD Workshop on “Quality Design of Environmental and Climate Measures for 2014-2020 RDPs organised by the ENRD as a part of the preparatory activities for the new programming period 2014-2020. The outcomes of the workshop inform on effective assessments of needs and definition of priorities; selection of measures, design and implementation; effective delivery of environmental services.
  • Rural Review 15: Delivering Environmental Services using Rural Development Policy (April 2013) [PDFen] is exploring how rural development policy is supporting provision of environmental services in EU rural areas.
  • Environmental services  provides link to the thematic page of Focus Group on Delivery of Environmental Services which identified aspects critical to the delivery of environmental services and offered a set of recommendations for the design and implementation of the future generation of Rural Development Programmes (2014-2020). Executive summary of the FG report  [PDFenfrdeitespl]
  • EAFRD Project brochure on Environmental Services [PDF] focuses on the wide range of different environmental services that can be assisted through the EAFRD using financial support available to EU Member States’ Rural Development Programmes (RDP).
  • Public Goods and Public Intervention section represents the results and finding of the relevant thematic working group, exploring the potential of rural development policy to contribute to the provision of public goods in rural areas through agriculture including farmland biodiversity and natural resources such as water and soils.
  • Thematic Working Group 4: Collective Approaches to Agri-environment Schemes [PDFen] discussed about existing collective approaches to agri-environment contracts.
  • Brochure on Public Goods and Public Intervention in Agriculture: [PDFendefritespl] is based on the work carried out by the Public Goods Thematic Working Group which discussed issues related to public goods and examined how EU rural development policy contributes to it.
  • Rural Review 7: Public Goods and Rural Development (March 2011): [PDFenfrdeesitpl] is dedicated on the role of EU agriculture and rural development policies in the delivery of public goods in rural areas throughout Europe.
  • EAFRD Project brochure on Green Growth: [PDFenfrdeitespl] presents EU RDP projects case studies which illustrate and explain in practice how Europe’s rural areas can benefit from adopting environmentally-sustainable approaches to their development.
  • Study on “Addressing biodiversity and habitat preservation through Measures applied under the Common Agricultural Policy” examines the role of the CAP to sustain biodiversity and associated ecosystem services through agriculture and how this role could be enhanced in the future to contribute towards meeting the EU’s biodiversity goals.