‘Resource Efficiency’ is one of the sub-topics of the broader ENRD thematic work on ‘Greening the Rural Economy’. It focused on identifying ways of supporting effective and efficient management of natural resources, specifically soil and water.
Resource efficiency is key for climate mitigation and adaptation, but also for the long-term functioning of agriculture and forestry. This has been articulated internationally through the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and at the European level through the Cork 2.0 Declaration.
In this context, ENRD work on the topic included meetings of a dedicated Thematic Group (TG), a European Seminar, editions of the EU Rural Review and EAFRD Projects Brochure, factsheets and case studies.
The ENRD Thematic Group, composed of experts and practitioners, exchanged around good practices and approaches to:
The European Seminar, bringing together a wider range of rural development stakeholders, highlighted the key role of the EU’s Rural Development policy and its implementation in helping to achieve resource efficiency objectives. The strategic use and combination of relevant Rural Development Programme (RDP) Measures can provide a variety of tools and opportunities, offering flexible approaches adapted to the different contexts and needs across rural areas in the EU.
Additionally, the event emphasised the potential for achieving complementarity with other policies and types of intervention (such as schemes promoting sustainable resource management and results-based approaches). In this sense, building a truly sustainable and resource-efficient rural economy requires multi-stakeholder engagement involving actors along agri-food supply chains from farmers to consumers and also policy-makers.