Policy ForumAgriculture Policy

EU agricultural reform fails on biodiversity

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Science  06 Jun 2014:
Vol. 344, Issue 6188, pp. 1090-1092
DOI: 10.1126/science.1253425

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In December 2013, the European Union (EU) enacted the reformed Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for 2014–2020, allocating almost 40% of the EU's budget and influencing management of half of its terrestrial area. Many EU politicians are announcing the new CAP as “greener,” but the new environmental prescriptions are so diluted that they are unlikely to benefit biodiversity. Individual Member States (MSs), however, can still use flexibility granted by the new CAP to design national plans to protect farmland habitats and species and to ensure long-term provision of ecosystem services.

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