With the Greening and the Ecological Focus Areas (EFA), the EU has introduced a new agri-environmental instrument within the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which in financial terms is much larger than the traditional agri-environmental programs. The main objective of the EFA is the support of biodiversity on farms. The EFA addresses a relevant problem, since biodiversity is substantially declining in the EU since many decades and so far, the agri-environmental programs were insufficient to stop this trend.
Opportunity or waste of taxpayers’ money?
In the presentation, I will provide some evidence on the German and European level that the EFAs are not effective and largely inefficient. I will discuss some empirical findings on these two criteria, which go back on two interdisciplinary studies. However, in the case of federal state of Lower Saxony in Germany, we can also find some complementary effects of EFA with the agri-environmental programs. I will show regional evidence, that the EFA might still provide a potential to improve the traditional biodiversity instruments within the Common Agricultural Policy. A discussion and some recommendations will be given, how to improve the policy design in the CAP. This includes an alternative model how to finance agri-environmental programs.
The talk will be based mainly on two papers:
Zinngrebe, Y., G. Pe'er, S. Schüler, J. Schmitt, J. Schmidt & S. Lakner (2017). The EU's Ecological Focus Areas - explaining farmers' choices in Germany (Open Access!). In: Land Use Policy 65 (June 2017): 93-108.
Pe'er, G., Y. Zinngrebe, J. Hauck, S. Schindler, A. Dittrich, S. Zingg, T. Tscharntke, R. Oppermann, L. Sutcliffe, C. Sirami, J. Schmidt, C. Hoyer, C. Schleyer and S. Lakner (2016). Adding some green to the greening: improving the EU's Ecological Focus Areas for biodiversity and farmers (Open Access!). In: Conservation Letters 21.11.2016