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Environmental Services

The role of Environmental services in EU rural development

The second pillar of the CAP, that relating to rural development, has very substantial provisions for the good of the environment which are helping to turn the tide with regard to challenges of biodiversity, greenhouse gas emissions, soil and water quality, and landscape preservation.

Specifically the objective of Axis 2 of the EAFRD regulation is “to improve the environment and the countryside, providing measures to protect and enhance natural resources, as well as preserving high value farming and forestry systems and cultural landscapes in Europe’s rural areas”. The importance of improving the environment through the EU rural development policy is reflected in the facts that:

  • the proposed minimum funding percentage for axis 2 is 25% (compared to 10% for axes 1 and 3)
  • the agri-environment measure (M214) is the only compulsory measure, and hence is applied in all 88 of the EUs RDPs.

Focus Group on Delivery of Environmental Services

The Focus Group, which was launched in December 2011 and concluded early in 2013, identified aspects critical to the maximisation of 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). These recommendations are based on data drawn from current experiences (47 examples from 15 Member States), different delivery approaches and success factors, as well as from field visits and a series of discussions with environmental stakeholders across the EU.


    Executive Summary: Final Report of the Focus Group on the Delivery of Environmental Services
    [PDF ]
  • Final Report of the Focus Group on the Delivery of Environmental Services [PDF ]
  • Annexes:
    • Annex 2: Examples of the delivery of environmental services supported by the RDPs [PDF ]
    • Annex 3: Background paper setting the context and the aims of the Focus Group work [PDF ]
  • CC Workshop on “Quality design of environmental and climate measures for 2014-2020 RDPs”
  • EU Rural Review on Delivering Environmental Services using Rural Development Policy (April 2013) [PDF ]
  • EAFRD projects brochure on environmental services [PDF]

Thematic Working Group 3: Public Good and Public Intervention

A major initiative undertaken by the ENRD directly related to Environmental services has been Thematic Working Group 3 “Public goods and public intervention”. To read more click here.

Thematic Working Group 4: Collective Approaches to Agri-environment Schemes

In April 2011, a TWG4 workshop brought together experts with specific experience of the design of and challenges inherent in implementing collective approaches to agri-environment operations. [PDF ]

Cedia Autumn Conference 2010 State of play of the “Agri-environment Payments” CAP measure in the EU

The ENRD Contact Point prepared and delivered a presentation on the “State of play of the ‘Agri-environment Payments’ CAP measure in the European Union, at the Cedia Autumn Conference 2010 Brussels 30th Sept to 1st October. [PDF ]

Other relevent information

Information on the progress of all the measures of the RDPs, including those related to Environmental services can be found here

A significant number of project examples involving the delivery of Environmental Services can be found on the ENRD’s Projects Database. To go to the RDP Projects Database click here.