More than 3600 European scientists appeal to the EU: “The future Common Agricultural Policy must stop destroying nature”

10 Mar 2020

Slow Food among Civil Society Organizations Endorsing the Letter: “the Urgent Appeal is Unprecedented and at a Crucial Time”

Slow Food, along with other non-governmental organizations, supports the letter of more than 3600 European scientists. The letter, which has been sent to the EU institutions, draws attention to the current Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) as among the main factors that have led to the current climate emergency and biodiversity loss, as well as the failure to meet the socio-economic targets for rural areas.


Photo by Paweł Fijałkowski from Pexels

Scientists assert that the European Commission’s CAP proposal for 202127 must be “drastically improved” in order not to further damage the environment. They propose urgent actions for long-term food security, biodiversity conservation, and climate change mitigation. These demands are firmly supported by Slow Food, which has been advocating for agroecology as the key to addressing the environmental challenges.

The debate on the next CAP funding period (2021-27) as well as discussions on EU budget post-2020 is underway. They will determine how much budget will be allocated to agriculture and under what conditions. According to Slow Food, this urgent appeal by thousands of scientists is unprecedented and comes at a crucial time. It is vital because it strongly supports what Slow Food has been claiming for years: scientists have confirmed that agroecology is a viable alternative to industrial monocultures and the use of chemical pesticides.

Since 1980, the EU has lost 57% of birds in farming environments. Butterflies, bees and other pollinating insects are also in severe decline, along with all cultivated biodiversity.

Scientists claim that it is precisely the new CAP, which should start looking for solutions to the environmental crisis. The ecological transition of agriculture should be carried out by the CAP that immediately ends subsidies based on the quantity of production and direct payments based solely on land ownership. Instead, it should significantly increase support for farmers in transition to more sustainable and nature-friendly agriculture. Scientists call for a 10% percentage of agricultural land devoted to natural habitats such as hedges, flower strips or ponds and for a reduction of synthetic chemicals, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers, ensuring greater support for organic and biodynamic farming.

The full study is available here.

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