NRC on Environment and agriculture

Profile 2018 - 2020

Rationale

This NRC on environment and agriculture is proposed to cover information and assessment-related activities conducted across the EEA and related to interdependences between the agricultural sector and the many aspects of the environment. The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has strongly framed the development of the agricultural sector, but the sector is vital to achieving wider political objectives, such as those of the 7 EAP and the SDGs. For instance, achieving sustainable food production and enhancing resource efficiency are core of several polices and strategies, whereby conflicting goals in achieving sustainability exist.

New technologies and approaches in agriculture, including e.g. precision farming, are assumed to be beneficial for achieving sustainability goals; however, there is limited evidence of their uptake and overall impact. Yet, an increasing amount of data available on sectorial and land use practices stimulates discussion on new approaches to environmental monitoring.

While specific eco-systemic issues in relation to agriculture are covered by the dedicated NRCs (e.g. NRCs biodiversity and soil), issues directly related to the environmental performance of the sector and agricultural policies may be subject of the work of this NRC. Several policies relevant for the agricultural sector are developing, LULUCF being one of them, – this NRC may have a role in related discussions.

Expertise

    • Broad knowledge of the development of the agriculture sector and agricultural policies and their (potential) impacts on the environment;
    • Knowledge on national assessments related to the environmental and economic performance of the sector;
    • Sound overview of the implementation of the CAP and national implementation schemes;
    • Knowledge on indicator development related to e.g. AEIs and the CMEF
    • Knowledge of agricultural data supplied to/held by ESTAT and DG AGRI.

    Policy processes to be supported

    • European and global fora for exchange of data, information and knowledge linked to agriculture, sustainable production, and agro-ecosystems
    • CAP, particularly aspects related to the “Greening” under CAP Pillar 1 and agri-environment-climate measures (AECM), Natura 2000- and WFD-measures and organic farming under Pillar 2
    • 7th EAP
    • Relevant  other environmental policies and strategies and agendas, including those on the SDGs, water, biodiversity, resource efficiency, soil, and the green economy

    Expected input and contributions from the NRC in 2018 - 2020

    • Review of and comment on EEA products:
      • EEA reports and briefings
      • Eionet / ETC reports;
    • Updates of EEA indicator fact sheets (CSI, AEI or others as appropriate);
    • Agri-environment indicator review and development;
    • In conjunction with land cover experts discuss the potential of Copernicus and satellite data for agricultural applications.
    • In conjunction with the agricultural administration, paying agencies in particular, discuss the potential of using CAP implementation data, e.g. LPIS and IACS data, for agri-environmental assessments and monitoring.

    Data delivery

    • No mandatory data collection is foreseen – as long as agricultural data are delivered to Eurostat and DG AGRI, as it is currently the case for most countries. This NRC could be involved in the further development of relevant indicators sets and in increasing their use (including geographical outreach).  

    Relevant organisations and networks

    • DG ENV
    • DG Agri
    • DG Clima
    • DG JRC
    • DG Eurostat
    • DG Research & Innovation
    • Copernicus
    • FAO
    • OECD