A meeting of the AGRI Committee took place on Wednesday, 24 February 2021 with Mr. Daniel Buda (EPP, RO), Vice-Chair of the Committee, replacing Mr Norbert Lins (EPP, DE) in the Chair for the afternoon session.
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Point 9 of the meeting’s agenda was dedicated to a presentation of a Policy Department B study on the “Challenge of Land Abandonment after 2020 and options for mitigating measures” which was presented by Dr. Bernd SCHUH (ÖIR – Austrian Institute for Regional Studies and Spatial Planning. Austria) and Dr. Thomas DAX (Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics, Rural and Mountain Research (BAB), Austria).
The main conclusions of the study:
- Around 30% (circa 56 million ha) of agricultural areas in the EU are under at least a moderate risk of land abandonment. Effective agricultural land abandonment in the EU-27 might total 5 million ha by 2030, or 2,9 % of the current Utilised Agricultural Area.
- Land abandonment is a local phenomenon with a complex set of drivers involving bio-physical, farming, structural, market, regional, institutional and policy factors. Management issues and structural adaptation are the key driving forces affecting this process.
- Harmful effects of land abandonment might threaten the future of semi-natural habitats. However, under specific conditions and in certain phases of the abandonment process, beneficial outcomes might be observed.
- While CAP policy tools can help mitigate land abandonment, their impact on land use changes, production concentration and abandonment trends differs between farm types and production groups.
Watch video of the event (with multilingual interpretation):