‘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, upcoming editions of the EU Rural Review, EAFRD Projects Brochure, factsheets and case studies.
The ENRD Thematic Group, composed of experts and practitioners, exchanged around good practices and approaches to:
- improving soil and water quality through efficient land and nutrient management;
- improving water use efficiency to reduce the pressure on water systems and improve water availability;
- carbon conservation and sequestration in soils.
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.
Work on this sub-theme has included the following elements:
- Background Paper
- 1st TG meeting (26 October 2016): see meeting summary
- 2nd TG meeting (14 December 2016): see meeting summary
- 3rd TG meeting (7 March 2017): see meeting summary
- 4th TG meeting (3-5 May 2017): see meeting summary
- Final TG report
- Opportunities and future perspectives for resource efficiency in rural areas (13 June 2017 – Brussels, Belgium)
More outputs from the ENRD thematic work on this topic will be made available soon.