Environmental decision making in the European Union and Canada


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Presented by Guy Robinson as part of the 2009 Place and Purpose Symposium run by the Landscape Science Cluster

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Environmental decision making in the European Union and Canada

  1. 1. Environmental decision-making in the European Union and Canada. Guy Robinson
  2. 2. Agri-Environmental Policy in the EU and North America: Lessons for Australia? Guy M Robinson Centre for Rural Health & Community Development, University of South Australia
  3. 3. AGRI-ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY Agri-environment policies (AEPs) in the USA, Canada & the EU are egs of payments for environmental services. - pays farmers to reduce env disbenefits (negative externalities) of agric prodn: nutrient run-off, soil erosion - transfers public funds to farmers; - creates positive externalities: scenic vistas, farming heritage, inc biodiversity, desirable habitats; - can keep farmers on the land. Different approaches in N. Amer to EU … lessons for Austr?
  4. 4. AGRI-ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY Env payments = highly varied and can be rel. unspecific, with payment not conditional on delivery of the envl. service. USA – env payments admin thru Conservation Titles of recent Farm Bills. EU – Pillar 2 of CAP + cross-compliance provisions within commodity payments section of Pillar 1. Canada – Env Farm Plans, varying by province, agreed between govt & farmers’ orgs. Ltd payments.
  5. 5. AGRI-ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY EU – seen in part as response to Uruguay Round of GATT - move from direct commodity payments to agri-env and rur devpt progs (RDPs) - part of ‘multifunctionality’ - agri-env payments to produce outcomes desired by society that would not be achieved by other means - focus on both +ve & -ve externalities: farmers rewarded for prodn of public goods and reducing –ve externalities - Promoting less intensive prodn US – complying with WTO provisions. - Increased spending from 2002 Farm Bill: envl goals.
  6. 6. CONTRASTS EU farmers paid to reduce stocking densities (in order to reduce nitrogen surplus) US farmers paid to reduce nitrogen surplus … could reduce stocking density or invest in manure storage facilities for their intensive cattle feed-lot. Canadian farmers encouraged to prevent run-off into watercourses by extending buffer zones … may reduce stocking density.
  7. 7. AGRI-ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY US: forerunner = 1930s Conservation Reserve Program (today = 10% of US cropland ….+ve effects on commodity prices; and capitalized into value of fmland). Size & scope of conservn progs. inc. thru 2002 Farm Bill. + Grassland Reserve Prog (GRP) + Conservn Security Prog (CSP) But also inc. funds for commodity progs. EU: 1986 UK Agric Act – creating ESAs. - Extended thru 1992 MacSharry reforms to CAP - More in 2000 and 2003, replacing prodn subsidies with ‘Single Farm Payment’ (compensation for dec fm supports)
  8. 8. CROSS-COMPLIANCE In both the EU & N Amer agri-env policy used to make new env regns more palatable to farmers. Baylis et al: agri-env = partial compensation for cross- compliance … compulsory in EU from 2005, and present in US thru 1990s (e.g. compensations for retaining & improving habitats) - Minimum Good Farming Practice (GFP) levels set for farmers to qualify for EU Pillar 1 payments & price supports.
  9. 9. Cross-compliance in the latest CAP reforms  “For the first time, the main subsidies are explicitly linked to compliance with EU standards covering environmental, public and animal health and animal welfare. Farmers also have to maintain land in good agricultural and environmental condition as defined by the Member States. The Member States will have to inspect a sample of the farms each year on a systematic basis to ensure that standards are met.”  http://www.defra.gov.uk/farm/capreform/agreement- summary.htm
  10. 10. CONTRASTS EU – broader view of agric externalities - includes tradnl features, e.g. stone walls, rare breeds, bldgs … compensation for provision by farmers - farmers as producers of landscape. US/Can – targets reduction of –ve externalities, e.g. loss of topsoil, polln of watercourses, loss of habitat - In US pre-2002 Farm Bill, 90% conservation $ to farmers went to land retirement. now some exceptions, e.g. Farm & Ranch Land Preservn Prog. But subsidises polln reduction in intensive systems.
  11. 11. Objectives of the first Scottish Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs)  Protect rough grazing  Protect unimproved, enclosed land in valleys  Repair farm dykes/hedges  Regenerate farm woodland  Harmonise new developments with landscape amenity  Limit modern agricultural practices  Encourage traditional crofting techniques  Protect machair from over-stocking  Encourage positive conservation of machair  Protect wetland areas/loch shores from damage  Restrict pesticide usage on edges of arable fields
  12. 12. Worksheets in the Ontario Environmental Farm Plan  Soil and site evaluation Water wells  Soil management Pesticide storage  Nutrient management in growing crops Fertiliser storage  Manure use and management Petroleum products storage  Field crop management Disposal of farm wastes  Pest management Treatment of household wastewater  Stream, ditch and floodplain management Storage of agricultural wastes  Wetlands and wildlife ponds Livestock yards  Woodlands and wildlife Silage storage  Energy efficiency Milking centre wash water  Water efficiency Noise and odour  Horticultural production
  13. 13. The six-stage sequence of the EFP Stage Actions 1. Introductory workshop site evaluation; assess potential concerns 2. Complete farm review review farm operations; complete relevant worksheets 3. Second workshop consider possible actions; learn how to develop a realistic plan 4. Complete action plan identify actions for all ‘Fair’ or ‘Poor’ rated situations; develop timetable for action 5. Peer review add suggestions/ask for changes; return plan to farmer; send information anonymously to OFC 6. Implementation of plan put plan into action; re-evaluate each year
  14. 14. Farmers’ self-assessment of soil resources How do you rate on soil resources, pollution, wastes, pesticides? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Variable Best (4) Good (3) Fair (2) Poor (1) ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 1. potential for soil very low low moderate high compaction 2. effects of harvesting wide choice of good choice of limited choice no choice harvest dates; harvest dates; of harvest dates; of harvest good natural or good natural fair natural date; poor tile drainage drainage drainage natural drainage 3. crop rotations regular rotation occasional occasional no rotation and cover crops with soil- rotation with rotation but or cover crops building crops soil-building little plant and little and cover crops crops and/or material returned plant material cover crops to soil or left returned in on surface soil _____________________________________________________________________________________
  15. 15. Range of activities undertaken within the EFP, 1/4/93 - 31/7/02 Activity % of all activities Activity % of all activities ______________________________________________________________________________ Soil management 25 Disposal of farm wastes 1 Water wells 17 Wetlands and wildlife ponds 1 Storage of agricultural waste 10.5 Water efficiency 1 Stream, ditch and floodplain Fertiliser storage and handling 1 management 7 Noise and odour 1 Livestock yards 6.5 Milking centre wash water 1 Storage of petroleum products 5.5 Horticultural management 0.5 Treatment of household wastewater 4 Silage storage 0.5 Energy efficiency 4 Manure use and management 0.5 Pest management 3.5 Pesticide storage and handling 3 Field crop management 3 Nutrient management in growing crops 2 Woodlands and wildlife 1.5
  16. 16. EFP-related actions taken by farmers  600 no-till planter drill purchases  220 double-wall farm fuel tanks  600 watercourse and woodland fencing projects to restrict livestock movement  250 transplanting projects  200 household septic system replacements  1600 drinking water well upgrade or plugging projects  300 foam markers purchased for sprayers
  17. 17. Items of Work in England’s Countryside Stewardship Scheme Managing grassland Managing fen and reedbeds Lowland hay meadows Managing fen Upland hay meadows Managing reedbed Lowland and Culm pastures and old pastures Upland in-bye pasture Managing lowland heath Upland rough grazing enclosed pastures Maintaining existing lowland heath Upland rough grazing Enhancing existing lowland heath Chalk and limestone grassland Re-creating heath Upland limestone grassland Recreating grassland on cultivated land Access Agreements - Supplement for raised water levels Open - Supplement for use of native seed Linear - footpaths Bridleways Access for the disabled Access for educational purposes
  18. 18. CONCLUSIONS  Grt variety of progs to choose from if anyone wishes to copy or ‘learn’ from the experience of AEPs in the EU & N Amer.  In the EU progs often have multiple (rel unspecific) aims & reflect baselines determined nationally; N Amer – more targeted & more reflective of producer’s opportunity cost (e.g. competitive auction-based … may enhance additionality).  Monitoring – variable!  EU – reflects taxpayers’ views; US – AEP correlates with other agric subsidies, not conservn awareness.
  19. 19. The End! Paper has drawn upon the following: Baylis et al (2008) Ecological Economics Robinson (2006) Geoforum; Geogrl J. Robinson (1994) J. Env. Planning & Management Robinson (1991) Land Use Policy
  20. 20. The Environment Institute