DEFRA HAS allocated £1m over three years so the impact of CAP reform on the environment can be monitored.
Margaret Beckett, DEFRA secretary, announced her intention to set up an Agricultural Change and Environment Observatory Programme at the Royal Show on Mon (Jul 4).
“The new £1m programme I am announcing will allow DEFRA to monitor the environmental impact of England’s changing farm sector,” she said.
The aims of the programme will be to monitor, and where possible anticipate, changes in agriculture and at farm level brought about by CAP reform.
This will be achieved through:
- monitoring information on farmer intentions and changes in farming patterns and practices in the long as well as the short term;
- monitoring actual and predicted environmental outcomes which result from these changes;
- establishing links between the changes observed in farming patterns and practices and observed environmental changes, both beneficial and detrimental;
- extrapolating future environmental changes on the basis of observed or intended behavioural changes by farmers or other land managers and the best available information on the causal links between these and longer term impacts;
- publishing these findings in regular reports and disseminating them to a range of audiences, for example through the DEFRA website;
- involving stakeholders in a range of roles: managing the resources and process of the Observatory, providing expert commentary and peer reviewing the work of the observatory. A Stakeholder Advisory Group will also be established in the near future.