Land and soils are essential for life on Earth. Yet one third of the global land is considered as degraded and this process is continuing due to higher food production, urbanization and industrial activity. In a new Horizon 2020 project, Ecologic Institute develops a roadmap for research and innovation on soil systems and land management – jointly with stakeholders. The Soil Mission Support project will thus improve coordination in this field and support the EU Mission on Soil Health and Food, the European Green Deal, and contribute to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This project assesses a selection of climate-change adaptation measures for the agriculture sector and gathers quantitative evidence on their potential to compensate for climate-change induced productivity losses. The results feed into the parent project "Climate change and bioeconomy – Sustainability gap analysis for the agricultural sector".
The EU-funded project "Species protection rules under the Birds and Habitats Directives: how effectively are they integrated into sectoral policies" supports the European Commission (DG Environment) in identifying existing gaps and uptake of the species protection system provided by the EU Nature Directives in the Member States, specifically in the agricultural and forestry sectors. The project is led by Milieu and is supported by Ecologic Institute, IEEP and Stritih.
Currently, farming systems in Europe rely strongly on the use of Plant Protection Products (PPPs). Yet, the use of PPPs pose risks to both human and environmental health with pesticide exposure being associated with health problems, including reproductive issues and cancer as well as environmental degradation. In the SPRINT project, research institutes from 11 European countries and Argentina as well as the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) work together, alongside with farmers and policy makers, to accelerate the transition to sustainable plant protection.
The aim of the project is to evaluate the agricultural extension services in Schleswig-Holstein with regard to their impact on the protected goods water, climate, soil and biodiversity. In addition, new advisory measures, incentive and control instruments are to be developed on the basis of the analysis and evaluation results.
This project seeks to bring available knowledge together on the future of the EU agricultural production, including on possible sustainability gaps in the form of food, water and energy security, land take and GHG emissions that need to be closed by 2050. The results contribute to a better understanding on how the agricultural sector can contribute to climate-change mitigation and biodiversity conservation, taking into account the growth potential of the bioeconomy and its impact on the environment.
The goal of the KOPOS project is to establish regional supply structures in order to increasingly reconnect urban and rural areas and to practice environmentally friendly management. In the project regions of Freiburg i.Br. and Berlin-Brandenburg, KOPOS is investigating how cooperation between regional actors can help to build more regional supply structures and secure access to land for sustainable cultivation.
Ecologic Institute contributes to the project "Provision of Technical Support Related to Target 2 of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 – Maintaining and Restoring Ecosystems and their Services" for DG Environment. The concerned task focuses on better understanding the impact from the bioeconomy’s current and future demand on biodiversity in the EU.
The aim of the project participants is to provide the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) with scientific support in communicating the results of the IPCC Special Reports on "Climate Change and Land" (SRCCL) and "The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate" (SROCC). This is achieved by preparing the contents of the special reports by means of core messages, explanatory texts and presentations in webinars.
Ecologic Institute prepares a study for the German Environment Agency by the beginning of 2020, identifying legal norms beyond water law that can contribute more strongly to effective implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). The study is funded under the Environmental Research Plan.
In a study for DG FISMA, the Ecologic Institute and its partners supported the Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance in the development of technical screening criteria for agriculture activities to be included in the EU Sustainable Finance Taxonomy. The tasks included: 1) scoping of agriculture activities with significant potential to contribute to mitigation and adaptation; 2) drafting of criteria, metrics and thresholds to ensure that selected activities substantially contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation, and do not significantly harm any other environmental objectives; 3) supporting research on means for compliance checking; 4) organising a workshop with expert group members; and 5) preparing inputs to support the Impact Assessment of the agricultural components of the Taxonomy. The outcomes of the study were integrated in the Technical Report on EU Sustainable Finance Taxonomy.
This study explored how result-based carbon farming payment schemes could be set up to trigger widespread adoption of carbon farming in the EU. Result-based schemes differ from action-based schemes in that payment the farmer receives depends directly on the measurable climate benefits they deliver. By focusing on results rather than prescribing the actions that farmers should take, these schemes have the potential to offer flexibility to farmers.
The research project INNOVA will consolidate key factors from adaptive management strategies from leading earlier and on-going European initiatives in Spain (Valencia), Germany (Bay of Kiel) and the Netherlands (Nijmegen) and France’ overseas territories in Guadeloupe and Martinique. INNOVA intends to provide prototypes of climate services including business models, practical frameworks, and recommendations for creating and up-scaling opportunities while adapting to a changing climate.
Soils are an enormous reservoir of carbon, containing nearly twice as much carbon as the atmosphere. Preventing soil carbon from entering the atmosphere is essential for climate mitigation efforts. Moreover, agricultural soils also carry a large potential for additional carbon sequestration, especially already degraded soils. Both preserving and enhancing soil organic carbon (SOC) has further benefits, contributing to improved soil quality, agricultural productivity, biodiversity and water protection and thus increased resilience against climate change. CIRCASA project aims to strengthen the coordination and synergies in European and global research on SOC sequestration in agricultural soils, leading to an improved understanding and scientific basis to target ambitious practices required to preserve and enhance SOC.