Sustainable Land Use

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The Interest group on Sustainable land use and agriculture was established in 2007 and is provisionally chaired by Natural England.

Aims and Scope

The way farming is performed impacts the state of Biodiversity both positively and negatively. The main purpose of the group is to share information on the implementation of best practice on agri-environmental policies including the impacts of direct payments influencing the state of biodiversity. Our aim is to contribute to an informed debate about the role of farming for biodiversity. We concentrate on the debate on the reform of the European Common Agricultural Policy and the design of integrated Rural Development policies.

Key Areas

The groups work is based on a shared vision: Progressively transforming the CAP into a system that is focused more clearly on rewarding the environmental services arising from land management, where the markets fail to do so. The group acts as a platform for exchanging information on the nature conservation implications of agriculture policy and land use developments.

A secondary focus is the debate on global and European trends (such as changes in population and the consumption of energy and meat etc) leading to increased demand for agricultural land use with knock-on implications for European agricultural and environmental policies. One current area of interest relates to the way that the concept of sustainable Intensification is being used within Europe. To what extent is it possible to produce more whilst impacting less on the environment? Which role can “greening” of the CAP play in this context?

Recent outputs


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


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


  • Learning the lessons of the Greening of the CAP An IEEP Publication with ENCA input.
  • Greening of CAP Pillar 1 Payments- can it be done better and simpler? Seminar Proceedings. More information on the Seminar is available here.
  • Some Reflections on the Review of the CAP ‘Greening’ Measures IG SLU reflections on the European Commission's 'Review of CAP 'Greening' Measures'.

These and other documents relating to sustainable land use are available to download from the Library.

Projects and Publications

The presentation, ENCA IG Sustainable Land Use and Agriculture, Yesteray- today- tommorow, was presented by Karin Robinet, BfN, Germany, at ENCA-20, Slovenia in 2017. It gives an overview of work since the groups establishment in 2007 and future challenges.



The work on a common Vision for CAP-Reform takes place in exchange with the UK Land use Policy group (LUPG).

There is also close cooperation with the European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Council (EEAC).


The IG is open to new members of other agencies inside the ENCA network. We also appreciate contributions from scientists working in institutions which are not members of ENCA.

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