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Gareth Morgan Head of Agriculture Policy (Birdlife UK) PowerPoint Presentation
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Gareth Morgan Head of Agriculture Policy (Birdlife UK)

Gareth Morgan Head of Agriculture Policy (Birdlife UK)

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Gareth Morgan Head of Agriculture Policy (Birdlife UK)

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  1. Response to “European biodiversity – the private sector offer”CONFERENCEBRUXELLES (European Parliament )DECEMBER 1st 2009 Gareth Morgan Head of Agriculture Policy (Birdlife UK)

  2. Agriculture and biodiversity – Birdlife warmly welcomes the initiative.The two must go together

  3. Farmland birds have had a tough time

  4. Farmland birds are the most threatened group of birds in Europe • Yellowhammer population fell by 40% between 1980 and 2002 in EU15 • Little bustard in France: from ~10.000 males in 1976 to ~1.600 in 2004 (84% decline in 18 years) • EU population of Corn buntings fell by 60% between 1980 and 2002 • Tree sparrows in the UK declined by 95% in between 1970 and 1998

  5. The new Member States: following the trend

  6. Why the change? No fundamental disagreement with factors identified: • Decline of historical farming practices • Getting landscape structure right • Climate change • Predation • Introduced species • Urbanisation, marginalisation and abandonment

  7. More mechanization Greater intensity of farming Polarization of arable and pasture Increased use of pesticides and fertilizers Increasedfieldsize Abandonment of marginal areas Less mixed farming Less habitat diversity Fewer landscape elements Decline of extensive grazing Loss of natural habitats loss of weeds and insect food But the primary issue has been changes in farming practices RSPB Image

  8. Is there a future for multi-functional farming? S Nagy

  9. High Nature Value Farming – we need ecological modernisation

  10. But in most farming systems we can’t take biodiversity for granted

  11. A robust baseline standard… NABU

  12. …and thinking ahead when policies such as set-aside are changed or abolished… RSPB Sue Tranter (

  13. Agri-environment schemes – public payments for public goods…

  14. Stone curlew in England • Under the Countryside Stewardship scheme, fallow plots were created for nesting Stone curlews. • Pairs in central southern England increased from 45 in 1991 to 103 in 2005 RSPB

  15. Great bustards in Castro Verde, Portugal- Agri environment makes the difference Castro Verde, Portugal • AES implemented on the 60.000ha Castro Verde SPA to maintain traditional crop rotations and low grazing intensities, reduce pesticide inputs and keep winter stubble • Great bustard national population:increased from 760 to over 1400 since 1996 • Population concentrated in Castro Verde increased from 50 to 80% • Elsewhere,8 local populations went extinct and most others declined

  16. So why are Farmland birds still in decline? • Funding for agri environment and other conservation schemes is still limited • Biodiversity is still just a by-product of most CAP spending EU budget spent on land management in b€

  17. . S Benko BirdLife • AES needs to be available everywhere • But schemes must deliver results • And this needs a big shift in CAP funds C Miller R Martin L Boccaccio RSPB RSPB

  18. The challenge gets greater… Simulated distribution of Grasshopper warbler in late 20th century • Climate Change will bring new pressures on biodiversity • Farmland will be the main habitat through which many species will have to move to follow their shifting “climate envelope” Simulated distribution of Grasshopper warbler in late 21st century

  19. The EU budget – time to work together!Defend the budget – but not the status quo… S benko BIRDLIFE INTERNATIONAL EUROPEAN DIVISION Avenue de la Toison d’Or 671060 BRUSSELS- BELGIUM Tel. +32 2 280 08 All bird images, unless indicated otherwise: Stefan Benko All other images, unless indicated otherwise: Ariel Brunner