Landscape approach, sustainable land use and agricultural policies


ENCA activity under this Priority has focused on sustainable land use practices and the EU Common Agriculture Policy (CAP). The IG SLU has taken forward much of the activity under this priority.

Sustainable land use AND THE CAP


The United Nations defines sustainable land management (SLM) as “the use of land resources, including soils, water, animals and plants, for the production of goods to meet changing human needs, while simultaneously ensuring the long-term productive potential of these resources and the maintenance of their environmental functions”.

Land use, and, land degradation is a primary driver of biodiversity loss. However, the relationships between land use and biodiversity are complex, context specific, and, are often two-way. For example, some habitats and species communities are dependent on land use practices, and vice versa (Haines-Young 2009).

ENCA members are interested in highlighting best-practice cases shown to conserve and protect nature in the agricultural landscape. Further, ENCA is interested in influencing policies relating to land management practices, at the national and European scale. For example, the European Commission's Common Agriculture Policy (CAP).


  • ENCA-22 Estonia 2018 focused on 'Agri-environmental reform for enhancing biodiversity outcomes.' It had presentations on Country approaches to implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), future reforms and new methods for implementation.
  • ENCA-21 Lithuania 2017 where the Member presentation, presented by BfN and UBA, focused on CAP Greening: Present Status & Future Opportunities.

Presentations and papers are available in the Library and can be found by searching the topics 'Sustainable Land Use' or 'Landscape Approach'.

ENCA Outputs

Delivering environmental and biodiversity objectives through the CAP 2021-27: A synthesis of evidence by ENCA

ENCA Members working with the IG SLU have developed a response to the European Commissions Legislative Proposals concerning the Communication Towards the CAP after 2020: The Future of Food and Farming.

The paper comprises a summary and key messages supported by four sections,

  • Introduction
  • The Environmental Challenge - A synthesis of the biodiversity evidence relevant to the CAP
  • Evidence from the CAP 2014-20
  • Reflections on the CAP legislative proposals
ENCA CAP 2021-27- synthesis of evidence 2018.pdf

ENCA outputs relating to this priority can be downloaded from the Library by searching 'Sustainable Land Use' and 'Landscape Approach' in the Topic search.

9.ENCA_IPBES_Helm2 for website.pdf

ENCA-22 2018 Presentation

Biodiversity and agriculture: IPBES ECA assessment

Aveliina Helm, University of Tartu, Estonia