Eco-schemes are a new tool under pilar 1 of the post-2020 CAP; aiming at greening the CAP, they are compulsory for Member States in their Strategic Plans but not mandatory for farmers. Member States are currently drafting their Strategic Plans and the content of these new eco-schemes remains unclear so far. How to define the new eco-schemes within the CAP Strategic Plan for the future CAP? How to ensure that these eco schemes are going to green the future CAP? The European Commission has published on 14 January 2021 a list of measures potentially eligible under the new eco-schemes to support Member States in drafting their CAP Strategic Plans.
Looking at the list of measures put forward by the European Commission, it is clear that mountain farming has an important role to play in the Green Deal and for the promotion of extensive and sustainable agriculture through the eco-schemes. Many of the proposed measures indeed apply to farming in areas with natural constraints such as agro-forestry and silvopastoral systems, transhumance and common grazing and more globally low intensity grass-based livestock system.
Other measures proposed by the European Commission for the eco schemes are also of interest, such as the promotion of agro-ecology practices (mixed cropping – multi cropping, mixed species/diverse sward of permanent grassland for biodiversity purpose), the establishment and maintenance of permanent grassland and the support to organic farming conversion.
Euromontana welcomes the proposals of the European Commission and calls on mountainous Member States to build adequate eco-schemes, enabling mountain farmers to be eligible and contribute to a sustainable CAP.21 January 2021