Communication on "Land as a Resource" WFD CIS Working Group on programme of Measures 26 March 2014 Jacques Delsalle DG Environment Unit B1 – Agriculture, Forests & Soil
Land multiple functions: how to deal with synergies and trade-offs? Europe 2020 Green Jobs Cohesion & Urban Policy Health & Pollution policies Transport Policy Biodiversity Strategy Energy Water Policy Bio-economy Climate Adaptation CAP Forest Strategy
DPSIR • Pressures • land use changes • urban sprawl, artificialisation • Agri. intensification / abandonment • Infrastructures • Land tenure • State • Land use/cover • Land degradation • Potentialproductivity • Soil quality • Water retention • Drivers • Demography • GDP, sectoral production • Trade, Globalization • Consumption patterns, behaviours • Climate change and variability • Impacts • agri/forest production • ecosystem services • biodiversity • pollution • water resources • land price • wider economic impacts • social impacts EU Global • Responses • Structural measures • Land demand, land management • Policy Instruments • Land regulations, economic instruments, communication & information instruments • Action at EU level • Need to act at EU level: subsidiarity/proportionality • New policy instruments • Use of existing policies and regulations • Soft approach, guidelines • Improvement knowledge base
Problem definition (1/2) • Land is a finite resource • The resource is shrinking: • Land take: almost 1000 km2 of agriculture or natural land disappear every year in the EU • Growing share of EU land affected by degradation process (erosion, loss of organic matter) and loss of ecosystem services provision potential. • This is a global problem: • EU-driven land degradation outside the EU • Growing global land demand for settlement, food, biomass • Climate change impacts on land demand, availability, degradation…
Land take: will trends 1990-2006 continue? What could be the impacts of EU policies? (Agriculture, Energy & Climate, Cohesion, TEN-T, etc…) What will be the impacts of economic crisis? Fresh insights to come from CORINE 2012 data… Source: JRC (2012)
Land degradation in the EU Tonnes of soil erosion per hectare per year, JRC (RUSLE model) • Complex phenomenon including • loss of productive land, • soil sealing, • agro-silvo-pastoral land abandonment, • inappropriate agricultural intensification, • ecosystem fragmentation, • pollution, • increased frequency of climatic extremes • etc. Pressures on soil biodiversity, JRC (from the European Soil Biodiversity Atlas)
Global dimension Source: Bringezu et al. (2014)
Problem definition (2/2) • Lack of integration of sustainable land resource management at various levels • EU policies and funding instruments • Public policies (national, regional, local, river basin, etc..) • Behaviour of firms, consumers, investors • Insufficient knowledge and assessment tools • Monitoring of land cover/use/management changes • Sustainable land planning tools
Background • 2011 EU2020 Strategy / Road Map for resource-efficient Europe (RERM) • Milestone: “By 2020, EU policies take into account their direct and indirect impact on land use in the EU and globally, and the rate of land take is on track with an aim to achieve no net land take by 2050; • soil erosion is reduced and the soil organic matter increased, with remedial work on contaminated sites well underway". • 2012 Rio+20 outcome document “The future we want”: • land and soil degradation recognized as a global problem • Milestone on land: "strive to achieve a land degradation neutral world in the context of sustainable development“ • 2013 7th Environment Action Programme for the EU • calls for setting targets on land take and on a number of crucial soil quality aspects (erosion, organic matter and contamination). • 2011 Biodiversity Strategy • 2013 Climate Adaptation strategy, etc.
The Communication on “Land as a resource” responds to these political mandates Land take Bringing together the common elements from these processes in order to ensure that EU land management is based on sustainable principle Increase land efficiency by optimizing the provision of different land functions Land Efficiency Global impacts Land degradation
What will be the Communication about? • Raising awareness about : • the value of land as a resource for crucial ecosystem services (provisioning, regulating, cultural, etc.); • the limitation of the resource and how it is affected by land take and land degradation; • how the gap can increase particularly in the context of global challenges (increase in population, food demand, bioenergy, climate change) • Providing pointers for further action at EU level: • Evaluate the effectiveness of current policy instruments at National, EU and global levels; • Define the sustainable level of ambition for a set of objectives (targets) for pressures, state, impacts or responses • Assess options for EU contribution to a more sustainable management of land as a resource.
Policy options Targets • We are currently assessing the effectiveness of existing policy instruments at EU, national and local level. • On this basis, potential policy options for action at EU level will be identified, to be subject to public and stakeholder consultation and impact assessed Planning tools Structural Measures
Calendar, next steps • 2014: support studies, preparation joint JRC-EEA report • 19 June 2014: Conference in Brussels and launch of public and stakeholder consultation • Autumn 2014: workshop with Member States to discuss shortlisted policy options • Early 2015: internal decision process (new Commission) • Mid-2015: publication Communication, Impact Assessment and joint JRC-EEA report
Thank you for your attention! http://ec.europa.eu/environment/land_use/index_en.htm