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Copa & Cogeca workshop on sustainability in future CAPCopa & Cogeca held a major Workshop this week on How to integrate the Sustainable Development Goals and Climate Change in the future CAP, looking at how to produce more using less resources in the future to feed a growing world population in a changing climate.
Discussing the future CAP, keynote speaker Flavio Coturni from the EU Commission highlighted the need for a more modern and simpler CAP in the future, with easier access to land and more attractive rural areas to encourage people to work there, in line with the EU goal to boost growth and jobs. More targeted measures adapted to local needs and more cost efficient measures to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change were also highlighted.
Speaking at the event, Niels Peter Norring, Vice-Chairman of Copa and Cogeca Environment Working Party, underlined the importance of having a strong CAP in the future with an adequate budget behind it to meet the increasing challenges, as well as the need for innovation, investment, advisory services, education and training. He also emphasized the importance of having the right policies in place to ensure that the EU agriculture sector mitigates and adapts to climate change in a balanced way without jeopardising food production, as set out in the Paris Agreement.
The increasing interest in technologies like low tillage systems to improve soil health and productivity was highlighted by many speakers, as well as the benefits of precision agriculture which enables farmers to save on natural resources. The need to establish synergies with climate change adaptation and productivity was emphasized too. Research also needs to be farmer-led, speakers stressed, and dissemination is still a major bottleneck. Jelle Maas from Wageningen University said that “waste and side-streams have to become a new resource”. Whilst Mr Norring raised the possibility of introducing incentives, for example regarding biogas production, in the tool box under EU rural development policy.
The general tone was that the CAP largely contributes to achieving most of the SDGs in the EU. In this context, FAO representative Mark Davis stressed “ What the world can learn from Europe”. He praised farmers, saying that they do a lot more every day in meeting the SDGs than most other sectors do.
Wrapping up, Copa Vice-President Mr Reisecker underlined the benefits and opportunities coming from the bioeconomy, circular economy and from bioenergy, enabling the EU to move away from fossil fuels. Speakers at the workshop, which was widely attended, included representatives from FAO, the EU Commission, WWF, Wageningen University, the Economic and Social Committee, Copa and Cogeca.
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Publication date: 6/19/2017
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