Summary [pdf, English, 209 KB]
2005-2006, the EU Strategic Steering Group on Agriculture (SSG)
mainly focused its activity on identifying the gaps between WFD
requirements and existing CAP. A first analysis of agricultural
pressures and impacts on water bodies was prepared. The level of
analysis possible in the first round was limited as it was in advance
of the river basin management plans and their associated programmes
of measures (that must be drafted by 2008 and adopted by 2009).
Few practical case studies were therefore available and part of
this work remains theoretical. Now one year before the first River
Basin Management plans have to be completed the situation has changed
and first examples of how to deal with agriculture in these plans
In recognition of the acuteness of water scarcity and drought challenges
in Europe, the Commission adopted a Communication on these issues
on 18 July 2007. This Communication identifies measures of water
saving, water efficiency and land use that can bear fruit in the
short term in all sectors includ-ing agriculture.
climate change and energy have become high priorities, as the EU
is taking the lead to build a global low carbon economy. In March
2007, the European Council adopted conclusions to reduce CO2 emissions
and to set a binding 20% target for the use of renewable energy
sources, including a 10% share of biofuels in petrol and diesel
consumption. Agriculture and forestry can make an impor-tant contribution
in providing the feed stocks for bio-energy, in carbon sequestration
and in further reducing GHG emissions but the development of biofuels
could also further affect the quality and quantity of water resources.
So the water – agricultural link has become more important
over the last years and it is time to discuss practical approaches
on how to fulfil the different demands and objectives, namely meeting
the environmental objectives of the Water Framework Directive, ensuring
food supply and the energy supply required to mitigate the impacts
of climate change, ensuring adaptation of agriculture to climate
change including increasing water scarcity and droughts.
and objectives of the conference
In light of the background described above the conference will provide
a forum to discuss the different approaches to set up the first
RBMP with regard to agriculture. This will cover general approaches
but also specific issues like water pricing or the use of exemptions.
conference should also allow to develop ways of addressing the new
challenges coming from climate change, bioenergy production and
increasing water scarcity and droughts. The event should be used
to exchange different experiences gained and lessons learned from
the different approaches.
In order to achieve the highest benefits the conference will include
working groups and a discussion in the plenary session.