Slow Food among Civil Society organizations endorsing the letter: “this urgent appeal is unprecedented and comes at a Crucial Time”
Slow Food, along with other Italian non-governmental organizations, supports the letter of more than 3600 scientists from 36 countries sent to EU institutions. The letter draws attention to the current Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) as one of the main factors that has led to the current climate emergency and loss of biodiversity, as well as the failure to meet the socio-economic targets for rural areas.
Scientists assert that the European Commission’s CAP proposal for 2021-27 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 environmental challenges.
The debate on the next CAP funding period (2021-27), as well as discussions on the EU budget post-2020, are underway. How much of the budget is allocated to agriculture, and under what conditions, is yet to be determined. 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 saying for years: that agroecology is a viable alternative to industrial monocultures and the use of chemical pesticides.
Since 1980, the EU has lost 57% of its bird population in farming environments. Butterflies, bees and other pollinating insects are also in severe decline, along with all cultivated biodiversity.
Scientists claim that the new CAP should start looking for solutions to the environmental crisis. This would mean an ecological transition of agriculture and an immediate end to subsidies based on the quantity of production and to direct payments based solely on land ownership. Instead, the CAP should significantly increase support for farmers in transition to more sustainable and environmentally-friendly agriculture. Scientists call for 10% of agricultural land to be 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.