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JRC (Joint Research Centre) Report on the impact of the CAP on the environment

A report on the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) and its impact on Green Deal, Farm to Fork, EU Biodiversity Strategy, was published by the Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) on 11 August. Its title is “Modelling environmental and climate ambition in the agricultural sector with the CAPRI model”. In synthesis, it analyses the impact of the CAP reform with respect to selected environmental indicators, production, income, prices.

“The report presents a modelled scenario of an ambitious implementation of the CAP reform proposals to measure the effects on EU agriculture including four quantitative targets put forward in the F2F and BDS strategies already reflected in the recommendations of the Commission to the Member States on their CAP Strategic Plans. These targets were selected as the ones with the greatest potential to affect agricultural environment and production. Moreover, those are the targets to which the CAP can provide specific contribution.

The analysis includes a reduction of the risk and use of pesticides, a reduction of nutrient surplus, an increase of area under organic farming, and an increase of area for high-diversity landscape features. The impacts are modelled under three scenarios. One is a status quo scenario assuming no change in the CAP compared to its implementation during 2014-2020. The other two scenarios include a potential implementation of the CAP post 2020 legal proposal targeting these objectives, both with and without the targeted use of Next Generation EU funding.”

Forum SIP

Rapporto del CCR sull’impatto della PAC sull’ambiente

Un rapporto sulla Politica Agricola Comune (PAC) e il suo impatto su Green Deal, in particolare su Farm to Fork e su la EU Biodiversity Startegy è stato pubblicato l’11 agosto dal Centro Comune di Ricerca (CCR). Il titolo è “Modelling environmental and climate ambition in the agricultural sector with the CAPRI model” (Modellare l’ambizione ambientale e climatica nel settore agricolo con il modello CAPRI). In sintesi, il rapporto analizza l’impatto della riforma della PAC rispetto a determinati indicatori ambientali e di produzione.

“Il rapporto presenta uno scenario per un’attuazione ambiziosa delle proposte di riforma della PAC per misurare gli effetti sull’agricoltura dell’UE, compresi i quattro obiettivi quantitativi proposti nelle strategie Farm to Fork e Biodiversity Strategy già riflessi nelle raccomandazioni della Commissione agli Stati membri sulla loro PAC Piani strategici. Gli obiettivi selezionati sono quelli con il maggior potenziale di impatto sull’ambiente e sulla produzione agricola e sono quelli ai quali la PAC può fornire un contributo specifico.

L’analisi include una riduzione del rischio e dell’uso di pesticidi, una riduzione del surplus di nutrienti, un aumento dell’area destinata ad agricoltura biologica e un aumento dell’area per le caratteristiche del paesaggio ad alta diversità. Gli impatti sono descritti in tre scenari. Il primo è uno scenario di statu quo che presuppone nessun cambiamento nella PAC rispetto alla sua attuazione nel periodo 2014-2020. Gli altri due scenari includono una potenziale attuazione della proposta legislativa della PAC post 2020 mirata a questi obiettivi, con e senza l’uso mirato dei finanziamenti dell’UE Next Generation”.

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Consumer footprint calculator

Those who pay close attention to environmental matters are already aware of the Ecological footprint calculator . Those who have used it, even if they are already very aware of climate change issues, have often been surprised to find that they are living in an unsustainable way.

The European Commission’s Research Centre has now created its own calculator to establish the Consumer Footprint in relation to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). What is it, and what is it based on?

“The Consumer Footprint Calculator allows you to calculate the environmental impacts of your consumption pattern, as well as to evaluate how changes in your lifestyle may affect your personal footprint. It considers five areas of consumption, namely food, mobility, housing, household appliances, and household goods.

The tool is based on a life cycle thinking approach, meaning that it considers the impacts occurring along the entire life cycle of the products and the energy that you consume.

The Consumer Footprint Calculator covers 16 environmental impact indicators related to emissions generated into soil, water, and air as well as to resource use. These 16 indicators are those adopted in the European Commission Product Environmental Footprint method and can be summarised in a so-called “single score”. This Calculator allows you to evaluate the impacts of your consumption, to help achieve SDG 12 on responsible consumption, and many other Sustainable Development Goals.”

But let’s not kid ourselves! Even when replying to the calculator’s questions, the results will always be worrying since they will confirm the unsustainability of the current model of society in the EU. There is the possibility of a “consolation” compared with the other calculator, however: and that is discovering that the most virtuous, despite living unsustainably, generally have a less negative impact than the average European citizen. Careful though! This does not mean that we can be satisfied with the lesser evil and give up trying to improve our environmental and consumer footprints.

Consumer Footprint Calculator : https://knowsdgs.jrc.ec.europa.eu/cfc

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European Soil Observatory (EUSO)

Congratulations to the JRC (Joint Research Centre) of the European Commission for setting up and launching, on 4 December 2020, the European Soil Observatory (EUSO). There was need for a single tool capable of leading forces, energy, data and policies on the soil towards a common understanding. The date chosen is the World Soil Day. This was not the usual ritual celebration, rather it was a presentation of a clear vision and the illustration of the various stages that researchers, groups, farmers, politicians, civil servants and civil society must go through together.

The first step is to involve member states in order to increase exponentially the number of sites from which soil data are retrieved.

The new EU Soil Observatory will pool satellite data and field samples to create an overview of soil health across Europe. EUSO has fixed five objectives:

  1. EU-wide soil monitoring
  2. Strengthened soil data centre
  3. Monitoring of soil related policies
  4. Soil Research and Innovation
  5. Providing an open and inclusive European Soil Forum

The purpose of the EUSO is not to create yet another bureaucratic European entity. On the contrary, the purpose is to rationalize, use and complement actions and data that until now have been spread across different bodies. This will facilitate the exchange of synergies and above all the use of scientific data to respond to the policy and administrative needs in a context of mutual respect and attention. Let’s acknowledge that this is not easy, but it is necessary, especially now that policies with a direct impact on the soil are being developed in the context of the EU Green Deal.

The actions and experiences of the SIP Forum mean that it should be part of this journey, which began on 4 December.

A recording of the whole day’s proceedings can be found on the Observatory’s website

For further info, see: EUSO

istituzioni europee

Osservatorio Europeo sul Suolo (EUSO)

Congratulazioni al Centro Comune di Ricerca (JRC-Joint Research Center) della Commissione europea per la creazione e il lancio, il 4 dicembre 2020, dell’Osservatorio europeo sul suolo (EUSO). Era necessario avere uno strumento unico capace di convogliare forze energie dati e politiche sui suoli verso una concezione comune. La scelta della data coincide con la Giornata Mondiale del suolo. Non si è trattato del solito rito di celebrazione, al contrario si è assistito alla presentazione di una visione chiara e alla illustrazione delle varie tappe da percorrere tutti assieme ricercatori, associazioni, agricoltori, politici, amministratori, e società civile.

Il primo passo sarà il coinvolgimento degli Stati membri al fine di poter moltiplicare in maniera esponenziale i siti da cui raccogliere i dati sui suoli.

Il nuovo Osservatorio del suolo dell’UE raccoglierà e tratterà dati satellitari e campioni sul campo per creare un quadro e controllare la situazione della salute dei suoli in tutta Europa. Cinque sono gli obiettivi che l’EUSO si propone:

  1. Sviluppo di un largo sistema di monitoraggio sui suoli
  2. Un rinforzato centro europeo di dati sul suolo
  3. Un supporto alle politiche: monitoraggio delle politiche per il loro impatto sui suoli
  4. Supporto alle azioni di ricerca e innovazione
  5. Un Forum europeo sul suolo, aperto e inclusivo

L’EUSO non nasce per creare un’ulteriore struttura burocratica europea. Al contrario si vuole razionalizzare, usare e complementare azioni e dati finora sparsi in differenti organismi. Facilitare quindi lo scambio le sinergie e soprattutto l’uso di dati elaborati scientificamente per rispondere alle necessità delle politiche e degli amministratori in un contesto di reciproco ascolto. Riconosciamolo: è un’impresa non facile ma necessaria, soprattutto ora che col Green Deal si stanno elaborando politiche che hanno un diretto impatto sui suoli.

Il Forum SIP con le sue azioni e le sue esperienze dovrà far parte di questo cammino iniziato il 4 dicembre.

La registrazione degli interventi dell’intera giornata è disponibile nel sito dell’Osservatorio https://bit.ly/3pChPFM

Altre info: EUSO: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/eu-soil-observatory

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Sustainable soil management within the European Green Deal

The last few months have seen the accumulation, under the Green New Deal umbrella, of a series of documents directly connected with the soil. Experts in the field have read and analysed various documents on subjects such as farming, climate, biodiversity, forests, research, etc., in the search for parameters, data, indications and objectives that can be regarded as being held in common.  It’s an arduous task, which is why we are pleased to welcome an article written by 2 researchers from the Joint Research Centre (JRC), Luca Montanarella and Panos Panagos, which analyses, compares and describes the implications for the soil of three EU documents: Farm to Fork, Biodiversity, Climate. Our cover summarises their analysis, this is what they have to say:

This opinion paper addresses the importance of soils within the Green Deal and identifies the significance of soils in Biodiversity Strategy, Farm to Fork and Climate Law. In all three policies, soil health will benefit from ambitious objectives to be reached by 2030: 50 % reduction of pesticides, 50 % decrease of nutrients excess, 20 % fertiliser reduction, organic farming at 25 % of agricultural lands, 10 % increase of landscape features, increase of land-protected areas at 30 %, wetlands restoration and halting land degradation.

Soils will therefore play an important role in the future agricultural policy (Farm to Fork strategy), environmental protection (Biodiversity strategy) and climate change (Climate Law).

…  …  …

The European Green Deal sets out a comprehensive strategy for tackling climate and environmental-related challenges. Soils play a central role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 (Bouma et al., 2019). For Europe, this means that soils have to be included as a key element of the proposed European Green Deal (EGD).

Continua a leggere “Sustainable soil management within the European Green Deal”
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The ELO (European Landowners’ Organization) Soil and Land prize

ELO – the European Landowners’ Organisation –  was founded in 1972. Its members consist of landowners’ organizations from almost every State Member of the EU. Its mission is as follows: “ELO is committed to promoting a sustainable and prosperous countryside and to increasing awareness relating to environmental and agricultural issues.

ELO contributes to close cooperation between rural communities and, through numerous projects that are cofinanced by the European Commission, aims to counteract rural depopulation caused by urbanization and globalization. Set up as a forum for different rural stakeholders, it functions as a platform for the analysis of local problems connected with the implementation of European legislation. Continua a leggere “The ELO (European Landowners’ Organization) Soil and Land prize”

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The soil: how much do we value this critical resource?

How much do we value the soil?” is the question posed by a recent publication from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. It is neither a guide nor a manual for the economic valuation of a material good. It is a publication designed to remind people of the importance of the soil for the survival of humanity through the research carried out by the JRC.

Continua a leggere “The soil: how much do we value this critical resource?”