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Guidance on Making Agricultural Measures Clear and Transparent at Farm Level

Guidance on Making Agricultural Measures Clear and Transparent at Farm Level

The guidance document provides a tool to assist the WFD (Water Framework Directive) implementation at the farm level, giving advice to national and river basin management authorities on how mandatory and voluntary measures included within the WFD Programmes of Measures can be made operational at the farm level. This guidance document was developed through a collaborative programme involving the WFD Common Implementation Strategy (CIS) partners. Ecologic Institute intensely supported the drafting of the guidance itself as well as the organisation of the CIS workshop on "Clear measures for farmers" that provided input for the guidance. The guidance document is available for download.

Agricultural practices remain an important source of water pollution and overexploitation and are partly responsible for habitat degradation. However, agriculture plays also a positive role in the provision of public goods, including environmental quality. Agriculture provides, among other things, an important potential for problem-solving in water protection and has already significantly contributed to this aim. The Water Framework Directive (WFD) is a central policy tool in this context.

The WFD requires that Member States adopt River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs) including Programmes of Measures (PoM). After the adoption of the RBMPs, measures that have been identified in the PoMs must be made operational before the end of 2012 as stated in Article 11.7 of the WFD. A basic precondition to make the agricultural measures in PoMs operational at farm level is that the measures that farmers should adopt are clear and transparent. 

The aim of this guidance is to support the national and river basin management authorities in making agricultural measures in the PoMs operational. Specifically, the guidance identifies administrative principles, methods and tools for implementing measures at farm level, as well as the different communication and decision support tools that help to provide clear and transparent information to farmers and follow up to the WFD competent Authorities.

This guidance document [pdf, 224 KB, English] was developed through a collaborative programme involving the WFD Common Implementation Strategy (CIS) partners. The Ecologic Institute intensely supported the drafting of the guidance itself as well as the organisation of the CIS workshop on "Clear measures for farmers" that provided input for the guidance. The workshop took place in April 2011 in Brussels. The guidance was endorsed by the Water Directors in Budapest the 26 May 2011.