CAP activities

CfR.1/2016/1 Understanding Farmer Uptake: What measures are most promising to deliver on supporting biodiversity and ecosystem services in the next round of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)?

Final report is currently under final edition. 


EKLIPSE invited experts to join an expert working group (EWG) to assess factors that influence the uptake of some CAP measures that enhance biodiversity (at EU, MS and farmer level) in order to develop recommendations for the CAP to improve biodiversity and related ecosystem services (ES). 

The CAP measures considered are: Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs), which are one of the three agricultural practices beneficial to environmental and climate change farmers have to implement in order to get “green direct payments” (“greening” scheme), as well as other CAP measures that are proven to effectively enhance biodiversity in farmland.

This inquiry was a direct policy request from IUCN and the Swedish Board of Agriculture.


CAP Expert Working Group
The Expert Working Group (EWG) gathers 12 European experts covering 9 countries (Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Spain, Sweden, UK):

Other members:

More information about the CAP EWG can be found here.


PROGRESS of the request process (the most recent activities first):

Current status of the request
The report has already been reviewed and is now finalized. Currently it is going through the edition phase and it is expected to be launched by early April. 

Review of the draft synthesis report

The expert group completed their draft report early December 2018 and it is now opened for consultation through an external expert review and public consultation. Please find here the draft synthesis report of EKLIPSE expert working group on “Understanding Farmer Uptake: What measures are most promising to deliver on supporting biodiversity and ecosystem services in the next round of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)?”.

Review of the method protocol of EKLIPSE expert working group
Please find here the method protocol of EKLIPSE expert working group on “Understanding Farmer Uptake: What measures are most promising to deliver on supporting biodiversity and ecosystem services in the next round of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)?”.

In December 2017, the expert group had elaborated their draft method protocol to assess the uptake of agricultural policy measures that improve biodiversity. The review of this draft protocol was public and has been broadly disseminated. Anyone was free to comment or give the expert group feedback.

The review process resulted in 8 individuals or organisations giving feedback on the draft protocol. The expert working group worked hard to include as much relevant comments as possible (see answers to all comments here and the track and change method protocol here).

Following the method protocol, the EKLIPSE CAP Expert Working Group is now drafting their work. EKLIPSE is committed to ensure the usability of all its products and will therefore organize an open review process of this draft report engaging a range of stakeholders.


Summary of the method protocol
Objectives and research questions
The suggested knowledge synthesis framework is based on three main parts derived from the request and adapted by the EWG (Fig. 1):
A. Compile a list of biodiversity measures (EFAs as well as other measures that are proven to effectively enhance biodiversity in farmland) and a summary of the evidence that these options contribute to biodiversity:
a.     review the summary of evidence that these specific measures work,
b.     understand which measures are the most effective for biodiversity with consideration to different farming/geographic/management conditions
c.    list other important aspects affecting the ‘effectiveness’ of measures.
B. Assess factors that influence the uptake of these interventions under existing and potential future contexts. Both administrative and socio‐economic factors should be analysed:
a.     at EU level
b.     at MS or other relevant sub-level 
c.     at farm level
C. Provide recommendations to improve the delivery and uptake of the measures, and thus the benefits for biodiversity. The recommendations should address at least European and MS levels.

Figure 1: Suggested knowledge synthesis framework to be used to address the request. Step B will be addressed at three different levels. *The MS-level (B2) differs between MS and can in some cases include sub-levels (such as the federal state level in Germany).


The specific research questions considered in this project are:
1. What are the factors influencing the types of biodiversity measures available at the EU level?
2. What are the factors that influenced the selection of biodiversity measures by different MSs?
3. Which factors determine famers’ uptake of different biodiversity measures?
4. How might future uptake of measures with positive influence on biodiversity be encouraged, and what is the role of farmers’ socio-economic factors in this?
These research questions are addressed by the different methods in step B. Step A is necessary to inform step B, and the purpose of step C is to plan quality-checking and dissemination of the results.


Methodological framework

Figure 2: Overall methodological framework visualizing the data flow (arrows) between the different steps, sub-steps and methods used in this project. The scenarios developed in step B will be integrated in the assessment of factors affecting uptake by MS (interviews) and farmers (focus groups and agent-based models). Scenarios will be developed based on input from a) a review on effects of different interventions on biodiversity (step A), b) a review on factors influencing farmers uptake and c) statistics describing current measures’ implementation (both step B). The combined output from all methods used in step B will feed in the recommendations developed in step C.


Outputs and recommendations for the next CAP

The outputs from this EKLIPSE working group are expected to contribute to the discussions around the post-2020 CAP. The EWG aims at formulating recommendations to be considered in the design and implementation of agricultural policies that target or have the potential to impact biodiversity in agricultural landscapes. This work is to promote the wider adoption of measures with demonstrable socio-ecological positives for biodiversity, society and farmers; whereby the “label” of the final intervention (be it greening or agri environment and climate measures) is not the most important aspect, but rather the objective and effects of implemented measures.

Past activities
This initial request was put to EKLIPSE by IUCN and the Swedish Board of Agriculture in September 2016 and entitled “What are the effects of CAP greening measures on biodiversity and related ecosystem services?”

In order to refine the request, the following scoping activities have been carried out:

A. a Call for Knowledge in order to identify already existing work on the request. It was launched in March 2017 inviting scientists, policy-makers, practitioners and other societal actors to share their knowledge on the topic.

B. a stakeholder workshop (26th April 2017, Brussels) with other participants involved in European policies and biodiversity issues to ensure the policy relevance of the request detailed below and to refine the request. 

The Document of Work (DoW) describes the results of the scoping activities as well as the background of the request and was the basis for the call for experts. 

Based on the results of the stakeholder workshop and the Call for Knowledge, it was agreed to refine the request question. Especially the question of uptake of measures seemed to be most adequate for the work of an EKLIPSE expert group. 

Therefore, EKLIPSE sent out a Call for Experts (No.2/2017 May 2017) inviting various kinds of societal actors to apply to join an Expert Working Group to answer the question: Understanding Farmer Uptake: What measures are most promising to deliver on supporting biodiversity and ecosystem services in the next round of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)? 

During the scoping phase, the EKLIPSE Expert Methods Group and the KCB Agri group discussed potential methods of knowledge synthesis which can be applied to this request, and they proposed an integrated framework to be carried out by the EWG (see the DoW). This included the following methods:
- Summary of reviews
- Non-systematic literature reviews
- Focus groups with extension agents or farmer groups, and
- a Delphi process, synthesis evaluation matrix or bayesian belief network.

Watch our EKLIPSE presentation 'Approach, process, and envisioned contribution to the CAP' which was delivered in November 2017 to a CEC workshop about mainstreaming ecosystem services for agricultural production in Lund, Sweden.


Please find the Request Poster here