A cool CAP post-2013: What measures could help adapt Cyprus farming and biodiversity to the consequences of climate change?

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1 A cool CAP post-2013: What measures could help adapt Cyprus farming and biodiversity to the consequences of climate change? 26 September 2012: IFOAM EU Conference Future farming in times of climate change and water scarcity. "Rural development and sustainable farming approaches for Mediterranean areas and beyond" Martin Hellicar Campaigns Manager

2 PRESENTATION OVERVIEW Focus on Cyprus and on biodiversity (birds as proxi) and its interaction with farming Look at: Cyprus climate future Consequences for farmland and its biodiversity Ecosystem based adaptation Practical solutions through the CAP

3 Who or what is BirdLife Cyprus? Formed 2003, Cyprus partner of BirdLife International 600 members, office with 9 full-time staff Active in site protection, monitoring & fighting bird trapping Also agriculture campaign, because of great biodiversity value of Cyprus farmed landscape

4 BIODIVERSITY & CYPRUS FARMLAND Cyprus farmland biodiversity-rich (for the most part) HNV farmland still dominates many areas, including free-range grazing Key bird species rely on low intensity farming, also rich flora

5 THE CYPRUS CLIMATE CHANGE CHALLENGE Cyprus Institute predictions by 2100: 1. Average Summer T up 2-4 o C (cf period) 2. Two extra summer months (days of 35 o C+) 3. Rainfall down, evaporation up 4. More extreme events (floods, heat waves) 5. Adds up to high risk of desertification 6. Also increased fire risk

6 CC IMPACTS ON FARMING & BIODIVERSITY Agriculture highly climate-dependant (biodiversity too!) High strain on Mediterranean agricultural systems already increasingly dependant on irrigation Changing conditions force species to seek to shift their ranges (affects crop species and their pests too) For Europe s birds, general NE shift of breeding range predicted (Climatic atlas of European breeding birds, Huntley et al. 2007)

7 THE CONVENTIONAL ADAPTATION SOLUTION Increase inputs (especially water in Cyprus) to maintain yields Adapt technology, including crop technology A system divorced from climatic and ecological realities Might work in the short-term, especially in W Europe, but in long-term it impacts on agricultural ecosystems

8 ADAPTATION: THE ECOLOGICAL APPROACH Sustainable farming is about securing the long-term production capacity of agricultural ecosystems operating within ecological limits rather than trying to circumvent them becomes more relevant under shifting conditions (ecological stress ) state of farmland biodiversity a good sustainability indicator

9 IS CONVENTIONAL AGRICULTURE SUSTAINABLE? Populations farmland birds down 50% across Europe Populations grassland butterflies down 70% Cyprus likely better, but HNV areas being abandoned Agriculture a major emitter GHG in EU) Impacts on water quality (N, S, pesticides, salinization) and quantity (over 2/3 of water in Cyprus goes to irrigation )

10 ECOSYSTEM BASED APPROACH TO ADAPTATION Use of ecosystem services and biodiversity to help man adapt to the adverse effects of climate change Key is the functional biodiversity that provides ecosystem services at crop, ecosystem and planetary level: 1. Pollination (56% of Europe s crops depend on it), 2. Pest control 3. Soil protection & fertility (nutrient cycling) 4. Water flow control and storage 5. Carbon storage & climate regulation

11 ECOSYSTEM BASED APPROACH TO ADAPTATION EbA requires a shift from the dominant, resource-intensive monoculture, which is highly dependant on agro-chemicals and unsustainable water use to a less input dependant system that aims to support ecosystem services and long-term productive capacity by reducing GHG emissions, maintaining and restoring biodiversity, increasing soil C capture, soil H 2 O holding capacity and soil fertility EbA more relevant than ever in new, CC reality, as it can create a sustainable system with in-built adaptability... but this not to suggest we don t also need to keep the best of modern agriculture

12 CLIMATE CHANGE = CAP CHANGE The Ecosystem Based Approach needs to be supported by a strategically reformed CAP that focuses on supporting farmers as caretakers of the land The new, green CAP must set a clear and demanding baseline of environmental good practice The reformed CAP must also reward those farmers who do more to support ecosystem services, thus benefitting society as a whole and providing public goods for public money The future CAP must be climate-proofed and include targeted adaptation measures

13 PRACTICAL CAP ADAPTATION MEASURES I I. Water management. Long-term aim has to be to reduce water demand and avoid salinization, over-abstraction and pollution (i) (ii) Implementation of WFD through x-compliance and specific Pillar II support measures Optimise irrigation: ensure expansion limited and systems made as watersaving as possible (Pillar II measures and x-compliance) (iii) Choice of non-water-hungry crops (Pillar II measures) (iv) Protection of soil and its biodiversity (x-compliance, including IPM) (v) Protection of remnants of natural vegetation in farmland (EFAs and x- compliance)

14 PRACTICAL CAP ADAPTATION MEASURES II II. Biodiversity conservation in farmland (and beyond). The link between biodiversity (esp. functional biodiversity) and ecosystem productivity and resilience is now pretty well established. (i) Protection of all remnants of natural vegetation in farmland through x- compliance and Pillar I greening (EFAs). (ii) Restoration of natural vegetation in intensive areas (important for wildlife corridors), through EFA and specific agri-environment-climate (AEC) measures (iii) Reducing pesticide use through IMP (obligatory 2014 onwards) and targeted AEC measures aimed at biological control (iv) (v) (vi) Effective support of existing biodiversity-rich systems, such as HNV and organic systems Support for NATURA 2000 areas (farmland and beyond) Targeted AEC measures for specific threatened species

15 PRACTICAL CAP ADAPTATION MEASURES III III. Soil management. A healthy soil is the key to sustainable agriculture and depends crucially on maintaining soil biodiversity and preventing erosion. Soil can also act as a carbon store. (i) (ii) Crop rotation as a greening requirement and x-compliance measures such as IMP, fertiliser control and protection of all remnants of natural vegetation in farmland. Restoration of natural vegetation in intensive areas through EFA system and specific agri-environment-climate (AEC) measures (iii) Effective support of organic systems (iv) Protection of carbon-rich soils (grassland systems)

16 PRACTICAL CAP ADAPTATION MEASURES IV IV. Pest control. Shifting climatic conditions can bring new pest problems. Sustainable, ecological approaches to pest control are needed to tackle these outbreaks without damaging ecosystems. (i) (ii) Greening measures such as crop rotation and EFA will help maintain diversity and reduce monocultures thus reducing pest outbreaks. IMP supported through x-compliance and also through targeted AEC measures for use of biological control. (iii) Support for organic and HNV systems.

17 PRACTICAL CAP ADAPTATION MEASURES V V. Reducing GHG emissions. Agriculture has to play its part in reducing GHG emissions, as a mitigation measure. Principally, this involves reducing the reliance on agro-chemicals. (i) (ii) X-compliance measures on fertiliser use and greening measures on crop rotation Support for low-input systems such as organic and HNV (iii) Carbon capture measures such as agro-forestry, implemented in a biodiversity-sensitive manner. (iv) (v) Non productive investment measures for use of photovoltaics at farm level. Support for NATURA 2000 carbon sinks through the CAP.

18 PRACTICAL CAP ADAPTATION MEASURES VI VI. Fire prevention. Longer droughts, higher temperatures and more heat waves dramatically increase the risk of forest fires. (i) (ii) Maintenance of low-intensity free range grazing Support for HNV farming to avoid abandonment (and even to restore grazing and HNV farming in abandoned areas) (iii) CAP support for forest management

19 A NECESSARY CAVEAT The adoption of an ecosystem based approach involves accepting that short term maximisation of production has to be sacrificed for the sake of long-term maintenance of production capacity. The EbA values ecosystem services (public goods) more highly that production (private goods) and, if it is to work, requires a CAP with a similar approach. Consumption patterns need to be influenced if this optimisation of production is to provide enough for all, and the CAP has a role here too, in actively promoting health initiatives and sustainable foods.

20 IN CONCLUSION Adapting to the new, often harsh, climate change reality is about tackling an ecological problem through an ecological approach. It is about making agricultural ecosystems and ecosystems as a whole as robust and resilient as they can be, so they are ready to face the challenges ahead. Biodiversity-rich systems are more resilient and thus better equipped to cope with an uncertain future. The CAP has to be reformed to become a tool for maintenance of the long-term productive capacity of farmland ecosystems. Farmers should be rewarded and supported (knowledge input) in ensuring this. Existing sustainable systems such as organic and HNV farming can supported and bolstered with appropriate technology.

21 Thanks for listening

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